#1 Posted by LadyShayne (151 posts) -

I've been playing D&D for around 6 months now, but it wasn't until last night's game that I realized the divide between digital and analog game players. While leaving the comic book shop someone mentioned for the 50th time about how everyone they knew thought that Dungeons & Dragons was the equivalent of Satanic Worship. We politely chuckled at how ridiculous this assumption was until someone broke the laughter by saying "I mean, if they're going to get mad at something, video games would be a better target." After my mental record scratch and my patient yet annoyed request for him to explain himself, he went to the good ol' canned response of "shooting people in that GTA game is pretty messed up" and another player chiming in with "yeah, and sleeping with prostitutes in cars". Yes, because the twisted scenarios and character relationships they come up with for the game is tame in comparison to something they could see in any R rated movie. And yes, since you can only play as a lawfully and righteously good character in board games, I can see how such hoodlum antics would cause pearl clutching moments (is my sarcasm coming through?). However it was late, and I didn't have the energy to defend the platform of gaming with the same vigor as I do with every other unsuspecting accuser, so I let it slide...this time.   
Which brings me to my question: Is this "video games are worse than us" mentality common among the pen and paper lot, or should I just chalk it up to an age gap (four of the five guys I play with are at least a decade older than me). I'm used to defending video games to people who assume that I don't touch the stuff, but I never thought I would have to do so with people that tout themselves as gamers. Am I overreacting, or is this form of hypocrisy something you guys run into as well?

#2 Posted by Otogi (328 posts) -

I would say the mentality is only expressed commonly when the speaker is considering the intellectual value, not the moral value. I mean, it wouldn't surprise me that more than one person pulled that out (which I can't personally stand, by the way). It's still pretty snobby, but it could be a lot worse. That said, I can't personally say I've ever run into someone in real life who felt that way.

#3 Edited by melcene (3214 posts) -

I don't think it's an age gap thing.   I think that as you put it, it's a prejudice among the P&P lot, or at least those who refuse to cross over.  I mean, I don't think it's an age thing because I know of plenty of older guys who would embrace video games before they'd embrace P&P rpg's.  That's still too weird for them.  Though it's been at least a decade since I've heard of people talking about D&D like it was Satanic worshiping.  Now it's just looked at as nerdy.  And the hypocrisy works both ways.  Plenty of video gamers think P&P'ers, tabletoppers, and LARPers are just way too weird/nerdy/etc. 
Also, it's too bad that GTA has given people the ability to harp on it like that.  And I've been one of the ones to harp.  I know someone who just laughed as his three year old son banged a hooker in the back of a car in GTA.  I mean, really?  /facepalm.

#4 Posted by LadyShayne (151 posts) -
@Otogi: True, it could be a lot worse, but I guess it just caught me off guard more than anything.
#5 Posted by Gaff (2164 posts) -
@LadyShayne Chaotic Evil (or Chaotic Neutral if people are offended by the 4.0 lingo) is how I roll my d8s, so I've never heard anything like that.

Also, it's pretty normal for social groups to be exclusive than inclusive. The need to affirm oneself by stigmatising others ("othering") is an often written about subject in social sciences.
#6 Posted by TheDudeOfGaming (6115 posts) -

Dude...you need to take it easy.

#7 Posted by Gamer_152 (14297 posts) -

I've never personally run into any tabletop game players that have had anything against video games, although it is rather sad to see the amount of video games players that stigmatise people who play tabletop games. The video game consumers looking down on the tabletop players are being arrogant, prejudice and to some extent hypocritical, and any tabletop players claiming the evils of video games are displaying hypocrisy and a painful level of ignorance. I wish we could get past this kind of thing but it seems when it comes to both the people who consume and criticise games idiocy runs rampant.

#8 Posted by Pezen (1809 posts) -

GTA is such a lazy argument, especially from people who wouldn't know two cents about the games and their context. 
Also, if you're an adult and you still have to validate your choice of hobby by whining about people's perception of it in a closed group and/or put down another hobby by comparison, you're some form of pathetic and your opinion should be considered null and void.

#9 Posted by CaptRoFL (83 posts) -

After all this time I have never played a P&P game so, honestly i wouldn't know.
I do know however that other people prejudices just sum up to "Is there guns, and if not then that thing sucks". 

#10 Posted by LadyShayne (151 posts) -
@Gaff: Chaotic Evil, huh...I was curious about going in that direction after my first character fell off of a cliff (and had a large boulder fall on top of her in Wile E. Coyote fashion), but the DM doesn't allow that in his games. I'd probably suck at it anyway but I thought it would be fun considering how much of a stretch it would be from my usual moral character choices. Ah well.
#11 Posted by Sin4profit (3195 posts) -

snobbery works that way..first you decide you like a thing, then you find the comparable (whether structurally or culturally ) thing and the last thing you do is forge whatever argument you can as to why the second thing sucks to justify what you do.   
it's not an age thing at all. lowering the levels of others to create the illusion of higher standing is just kind of a common shallow minded dick thing. 

#12 Posted by LadyShayne (151 posts) -
@melcene: I guess part of the problem was that I was speaking with guys who were dedicated to D&D without a willingness to embrace video games beyond their Atari nostalgia. Though some of them play video games currently, they still stick with ones that are similar to D&D (mainly Oblivion) and don't enjoy any deviations from it. You're right about the hypocrisy being two-sided though, because I do know a few video game players who find my D&D participation to be odd. As for the assumed Satanic connections, you can chalk that up to a combination of blissful ignorance and the more conservative sect of the South. I've lived here for a little over a decade now and I still have unexpected moments of culture shock. 
#13 Posted by Video_Game_King (36566 posts) -
#14 Edited by Spacetrucking (1063 posts) -
#15 Posted by LadyShayne (151 posts) -
@Sin4profit: Yeah, but I just held them to a slightly higher standard than that shallow minded behavior. 
#16 Posted by LadyShayne (151 posts) -
@Killjoi: Trust me, the depths of depravity that some games go to is not lost on me. I just hate it when people use GTA as an example of innocence lost when it's apparent that they haven't been within 100 feet of it, or any other modern game. That said, I think the interview with the developer made me more concerned than the game concept. He sounds so desensitized.
#17 Posted by crusader8463 (14755 posts) -

It's annoying, but people just hate what they don't understand, or groups that are in contrast to their own. Art snobs think they are better then movie snobs. Movie snobs think they are better then video game snobs. Video game better then table top. Table Top better then Larpers. Larpers say at least they aren't furries.
Persionally I think it's all stupid. Everyone geeks out over something. The only difference is that some things are socially accepted for that gender/age and others are looked down on. If you were a 20 something guy and your geek of choice was cars and or sports no one would say a dam thing about it, because society has deemed those things acceptable for that kind of person.
It's just ignorance and stupidity on your friends part. To me the sad part about that is that you would think someone used to being a social pariah would know better then to say something like that, but some people are just weird like that I guess.
My stance on any hobby is simple. If you enjoy doing it, it makes you happy and it doesn't hurt, bother or keep anyone else from doing what they love to do then it's fair game.

#18 Posted by Sin4profit (3195 posts) -
@LadyShayne: hate it when a political view or some such comes between me and people i like, sounds like the same situation, so that's unfortunate. 
like this dude said @crusader8463 said:
" It's annoying, but people just hate what they don't understand "
So maybe being upfront about it will at least help the people ya have some respect for understand your perspective....maybe they can appreciate video gaming more. doubt they'll become gamers, it's a lot to invest in, but it's an opportunity to expand someone onto something new or at least new ideas...if they refuse the information at every angle they're probably just pricks.
#19 Posted by animateria (3302 posts) -

My fellow DnDers play a lot of games. Hell, I explained the game like it's an instance of WoW, or a tactics game just with much more freedom.
So either way we don't care. 

#20 Posted by Vinny_Says (5911 posts) -

Nothing wrong with sleeping with a prostitute in a car, at least not in Amsterdam....

#21 Edited by EchoForge (171 posts) -
To me, we're all just nerds/geeks/dorks. I don't care if you're obsessed with video games, anime, tabletops, LARPing, comic books--and hell, I  include fantasy leaguers--we're all the same, and it always makes me laugh when one group of dorks believes they're 'above' the others. Enjoy your thing, I enjoy my thing. Maybe you'll like what I like, maybe you won't, but I won't force you to, nor will I ever think you're uncool for not liking my silly plastic guitar and drums, waggle remote and and the latest first-person toy soldier-esque game.
#22 Posted by Alex_Murphy (1195 posts) -

I didn't know there were people that played D&D but not video games.

#23 Posted by LadyShayne (151 posts) -
@EchoForge: Agreed. It's the equivalent of a geek making fun of a nerd because their glasses have metal frames instead of plastic ones. We're all the same, so there's no need to focus on the minutiae of dorkdom. It won't earn you street cred. 
#24 Posted by Otogi (328 posts) -

Just a quick question: Anybody here play Play-by-Post games?

#25 Posted by Lind_L_Taylor (4116 posts) -

Sounds like a couple nerds got into a tiff at the Comic Book Shop.
Why the hell does it matter if somebody thinks D&D is satanic?  You should have
said "Hell yeah" & left it at that.  Or you could say, "Well I play GURPS Traveller,
not that crusty, old D&D shit".

#26 Posted by iam3green (14368 posts) -

maybe, i never played a pen and paper game. i only play video games. some people don't know what video games are. when they think video games they think blowing things up and killing people. some people get enjoyment out of killing things.

#27 Posted by melcene (3214 posts) -
@EchoForge said:
" @LadyShayne:
To me, we're all just nerds/geeks/dorks. I don't care if you're obsessed with video games, anime, tabletops, LARPing, comic books--and hell, I  include fantasy leaguers--we're all the same, and it always makes me laugh when one group of dorks believes they're 'above' the others. Enjoy your thing, I enjoy my thing. Maybe you'll like what I like, maybe you won't, but I won't force you to, nor will I ever think you're uncool for not liking my silly plastic guitar and drums, waggle remote and and the latest first-person toy soldier-esque game. "
That was beautiful.  I think I'm going to steal it.
#28 Edited by Informant (85 posts) -

Tabletop games get more of a bad riff instead of video games. Tabletop games usually also require a greater intellectual investment to work around and with the system you're playing. Many people scoff at the effort required and thus they get branded as nerds or whatever, especially in that tabletop gamers aren't as populous as video gamers. The greatest irony is that when they go and play a video game, in the background the game incorporates similar calculation mechanics or systems. It's hypocrisy that they decry such games and then play their own which are essentially smoothed over with a computer working everything out, even more so if anyone should riff on tabletop yet play extensive RPGs. Heck the RPG systems and their well known IPs you know today wouldn't even be in existence without Gygax. It's also worth noting that other countless games would have assimilated at least some influence or game mechanic from his pioneering.
I reject segregating terms such as nerd, geek or whatever simply because the same term can be used in reverse. It goes without saying that currently a sports fanatic or a movie geek isn't called out on because it is socially "accepted" whilst the more intellectual stuff that simply requires playing through a system that relies on probability and a ruleset for instance, is shunned. The only "problem" of all these hobbies is when such things become very a unhealthy obsession or way of life in an unstable individual.