Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Editorial: Sometimes It's OK If Someone Does Something Wrong

Good book, GURPS coming soon.

It's a thing I see, and whether you love the community or not, I think it's a problem that might scare new people away or stop them from doing something. Imagine this scene, someone mentions something about GURPS, a game they want to run, or a character they want to play, or maybe it is going on even as they speak. Someone chimes in with a way to fix things.
And that's really weird. Did anyone ask for any help with any problem? Maybe they groused about something, maybe they spoke about a weak point, but... did they say "this thing is broken and I can't repair it on my own?" Then why is someone trying to fix it?

I'm not a psychological expert, and the community is great, a good helping of the time. But you know what is a great way to curb a new member's enthusiasm? Telling them they are not doing things right when they didn't ask you. I mean, overall, that's pretty rude no matter what the situation is, but just because someone says something, and you have a different opinion, it doesn't make someone else wrong, or mean they need something fixed.
Now, we noobs get it. You are great and awesome and have been playing GURPS since before we were born, and we will bow and pay you the proper reverence when it is due, but please have mercy and rip into the things I think that are cool, awesome, or fun quietly to yourself, ok?
Every good idea starts somewhere, and it starts with someone not knowing that there isn't a better idea. Everyone learns from mistakes, but it comes from making mistakes first and seeing what happens.
And I have fallen into this trap too, I've so desperately wanted to prevent friends and newcomers from breaking the invisible rules that I too have transgressed against. It's a strong temptation, but you need to suppress the urge. I need to too.
In any case, I wish the community was a lot more encouraging and a lot more welcoming. It's fine that people like to help, and that's great, but help the people that are asking for help (and do it nicely.) When someone says, "my build has this weakness," or "my group is having this trouble," or "I have fun doing this part of running a game," maybe they are thinking it's cool to have an interesting drawback, that shoring up rackety things is just a normal part of forming, norming, storming, and performing, or that they are having fun, for crying out loud.
Anyway, I think it's cool being in a community where I can rub elbows with authors and freelancers that have cool ideas and that don't make people feel bad for coming up with new ideas, and that is something I am thankful for.


  1. God knows how many times I've pulled a, "But GURPS can!" on a poor unexpeting D&D player heh.

    I feel like an exited puppy when I do it and I always look back at myself like, "Dude, calm down!" but then I do it all over again >.>

    1. No worries, friend. And this is an opinion, not gospel truth, but sometimes I think some people come on really really strong and might turn off someone because they are just trying to brute force it instead of really understanding the problem. Sometimes people say something and they mean another, and if pounding at it with a pneumatic drill is making them close up even more, then chances are there is actually something else that is being said.


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