Pretendy Fun Time Games



  • It's been 10 years since this came out so there's probably a lot of people who haven't read it. It's worth having on this site.

    http://wadewilson.livejournal.com/11285.html

    Learn it, know it, live it.


  • Coder

    OH BOY. The Pretendy Fun Time Games post.

    While that post has some value, it has always rubbed me the wrong way. I've often seen it cited by the kind of person who will be a jerk, then turn around and tell people to chill out, it's just a game.

    Yeah, it's a game, but it's important to recognize that we're a community of people coming together to play these games. I'll grant the importance of and meaning of community varies widely from game to game, but there are real people on the other end and they deserve a minimum of respect. You don't have to be BFF with everyone -- you really, really don't; cite your geek social fallacies here -- but you do have to not be a jerk*.

    Rather than brushing everything off as 'chill out, it's just a game', I'd much prefer to come at it from the perspective of 'chill a little, we're all here to have fun'. It's a small distinction, but an important one.

    --

    *I tend to think you can be as much of a jerk as you want IC, as long as you balance it with an OOC awareness of it and respect for other players -- but we've got a whole other thread for THAT discussion right now, so I won't go into that any further.


  • Pitcrew

    Interesting that the "chill out it's just a game" almost exclusively tends to have a silent "so lol I can be as big of a dick as I want and you're stupid if that annoys you," at the end rather than "so you know what? I'm going to do my best to not be an ooc dick."

    It's because it's just a game and I do want to chill that I find I have less tolerance for ooc mean and dickish people. It ain't worth it.


  • Politics

    @Tez -- it's only the last bit of it that really underlines the "it's just a game". The first half of the post, especially the Passive Aggression section, does stress that politeness and civility are key.

    It's just that the post is geared towards people who take offense and then blow it out of proportion, and doesn't single out jerks. But the sentiment of it is pretty clearly--at least in my opinion--that being a dick isn't acceptable regardless of who you are or why, and that being a dick ona Pretendy Funtime Game is, essentially, worthless of consideration.

    It takes a dramatic person to get super butthurt over Pretendy Funtime Games; it takes a complete asshole to ruin Pretendy Funtime Games for others, but that doesn't mean that they are anything but PFG, and that you shouldn't let it ruin your experience.



  • @Coin Exactly. I've always taken the point of the piece, as a whole, to be 'it's a game, everyone needs to have fun'.



  • Dear God, 10 years. We are all old. I am, at least.

    An old MU*ing friend of mine was posting last night about the 10-year anniversary of a game we used to play on. Brought back a lot of very fond memories, which I think says something about how meaningful these games can be, even if they are also deeply silly. I've made a lot of long-term connections with some very cool people, even if I've also encountered some I'd rather never deal with again. It's a net positive, and cheaper than most other time-wasters.

    I do go back to the post now and then. It describes the feed-back loop petty game drama balloons into in your own brain well enough, and we all need to be conscious of our own culpability to be THAT GUY sometimes. I think it's best used as a mirror, though. If you're citing it at somebody else, you're probably at least a little bit THAT GUY in that moment, whatever stupid shit they're doing.


  • Coder

    @Coin Yeah, I definitely think that the first part of the post has a lot of good stuff to say, but look at the way we're referring to it now: the post on livejournal is called the 'Internet Drama and You' post, with Pretendy Fun Time Games being point 3, and points 1 and 2 being Perspective (Have It) and Passive Aggression (Don't Do It). (Both good ideas.)

    It's point 3 that lingers, and point 3 that I often see referred to most. It's point 3 that's the title of this thread.

    I'm with @mietze and @Three-Eyed-Crow: it's a good mirror to examine our own behavior, and a terrible excuse to hide behind when dealing with others.


  • Politics

    You know, I've found it's very hard to know when someone is actually being a dick to you, versus when you're making a mountain out of a molehill. Anyone else have this issue? Not too many people come right out and say "Oh yeah, I'm doing x because I just don't like you" versus "I'm doing x because I don't think it's a big deal". Sometimes, the simple act of asking which of these two it is or expressing how you feel 'Hey, when you do this, I feel x' is met with the 'chill out it's just a game' spiel.

    Where do you draw the line?


  • Politics

    There are two things to consider, and they are not minor:

    1. While the post is structured as an instructive piece of "how to avoid Internet Drama", it's actually very much a rant. It was not, in my opinion, meant to be gospel nor the quotable piece of internet that it has become. It's a rant. Someone got up Wade's butt and he ranted. is it unfortunate that people take it as gospel? Sure. Does that mean it doesn't have solid ideas? Nope. But looking back at it, Wade is not being nice because he's fed up. He ranted, and many, many people identified with his rant. It happens.
    2. Keeping the above in mind, let's remember that there is a distinct difference between the people the post is directed to (i.e. people who are otherwise pretty decent and who just get up in arms and are maybe a little too paranoid and easily riled up) and the assholes who would use "it's just a game" to justify their behavior. The difference, I believe, is that the former group can be reached by a post like this one--or other, similar discussion strategies--and it may help them create a barrier between their hobby and themselves that will help them enjoy it without falling into a spiral of drama; meanwhile, the latter group is composed of assholes. And assholes are assholes, and while some assholes do eventually stop being assholes, it's nev er because some wordy fucker on the internet decided to be snarky about it. He doesn't mention the assholes who would use PFG to justify themselves because there's no point, other than to say, "hey, if any assholes are out there reading this, don't use PFG as an excuse to be an asshole," which would have been fine, but is hardly a requirement on Wade's part, given point 1. ETA: The PFG defense is a personal defense, in this instance, to keep yourself inured to the ravishes of assholedom; it's a way for you to put up a wall and be able to continue enjoying a game despite assholes and other undesirable situations. That assholes use it for other means is the equivalent of people using cars to kill people. Yeah, they can. But ... that's not the purpose of an automobile.


  • @VulgarKitten said in Pretendy Fun Time Games:

    You know, I've found it's very hard to know when someone is actually being a dick to you, versus when you're making a mountain out of a molehill. Anyone else have this issue? Not too many people come right out and say "Oh yeah, I'm doing x because I just don't like you" versus "I'm doing x because I don't think it's a big deal". Sometimes, the simple act of asking which of these two it is or expressing how you feel 'Hey, when you do this, I feel x' is met with the 'chill out it's just a game' spiel.

    Where do you draw the line?

    I know I troll on here, but this is the realest of real talk.

    If you want to have a life as stress-free as is possible, do not EVER assume that people are doing things out of spite, or because they don't like you, or because they are trying to make you question yourself and your personality and your choices. This is a foolproof plan to happiness.

    A. if you are right, and they are not trying to be-bitch you, then great. You dismiss anything a little questionable as their issue, it is, and you are able to bliss right along.

    B. You are wrong, they are trying to be-bitch you, and your blissful lack of give a damn will both rankle and force them to be way more explicit if they want to be mean to you. Great, make them show their true colors.

    But I have to say, my life experiences teach me that A is true a lot more often than B. Don't waste your time worrying what other people think of you, because . . .they don't. They think of themselves, and their lives, and their moment to moment issues, and how things affect THEM.



  • @VulgarKitten said in Pretendy Fun Time Games:

    You know, I've found it's very hard to know when someone is actually being a dick to you, versus when you're making a mountain out of a molehill. Anyone else have this issue?

    I don't find passive-aggression difficult to pick up on. The person doing it usually thinks it is, but it's not (which is why I find Wade's post valuable, as this is what creates so many problems).

    Whether that's always intentionally being a dick is something else. Some people just don't express themselves well online, or come off differently than they think they're projecting, or are engaged in their own drama feedback loop of misinterpreting something I've done...and so on. I try to be respectful even if I don't love dealing with someone OOCly. There are trolls and manipulators and genuinely toxic people in this hobby, like in everything, but I've found they're (thankfully) rare.

    Sometimes someone is just a dick for a day for reasons that have nothing to do with you (this is a solid 85% of Internet drama, I think). Sometimes it's more than that, and I either need to examine my own behavior or disengage from someone (or both). Only person I have any control over is me, which has always been a liberating thing to keep in mind for me, even if it's also frustrating.


  • Admin

    @Kanye-Qwest said in Pretendy Fun Time Games:

    If you want to have a life as stress-free as is possible, do not EVER assume that people are doing things out of spite, or because they don't like you, or because they are trying to make you question yourself and your personality and your choices. This is a foolproof plan to happiness.

    Yeah, basically. The safest assumption one can probably make is that other people won't even think of you at all, either way.


  • Politics

    @Three-Eyed-Crow said in Pretendy Fun Time Games:

    Only person I have any control over is me, which has always been a liberating thing to keep in mind for me, even if it's also frustrating.

    I think this is essentially what Wade's "PFG" diatribe at the end of the post is about.

    The only person you can control, is you. So isn't it better if you don't put enough weight on this hobby that it rules your emotions, and instead treat it with the detachment that you need while still being able to enjoy it?


  • Admin

    @Coin A guy today asked me for permission to write a story in which he's using one of my 20-year old characters. When I explained I didn't care he said it'd have bugged him if someone had done it to his characters.

    The thing is though, letting what we have no control over affect us is giving a lot of power over us to other people. And a lot of the drama generated in games like ours could have been broken down to "stuff that doesn't affect us in any measurable way" if not for the fact we allow it to.


  • Politics

    @Arkandel said in Pretendy Fun Time Games:

    @Coin A guy today asked me for permission to write a story in which he's using one of my 20-year old characters. When I explained I didn't care he said it'd have bugged him if someone had done it to his characters.

    The thing is though, letting what we have no control over affect us is giving a lot of power over us to other people. And a lot of the drama generated in games like ours could have been broken down to "stuff that doesn't affect us in any measurable way" if not for the fact we allow it to.

    Maybe he meant if someone had done it without asking.

    It would bug me if someone used my character for a story without asking, but only inasmuch as it would feel pretty personal. It probably wouldn't be the same if I published some novel and people went out and wrote fanfiction. There's a different level of attachment and connection.

    Then again, I'd only say "no" if it was someone I thought was a douche. >.>


  • Pitcrew

    I do my best to not take anything personally. However I don't really care to invest as much time in selfish people either (which is why I walk pretty easily or don't get involved anymore). I think probably as a hobby we want to encourage less selfishness overall, but eh. I'm wrong perhaps. Telling people to suck it up feels great, but I'm not sure it encourages the type of community/environment that's good for the long run. Perhaps that too is kind of meh who cares though.


  • Politics

    @mietze said in Pretendy Fun Time Games:

    I do my best to not take anything personally. However I don't really care to invest as much time in selfish people either (which is why I walk pretty easily or don't get involved anymore). I think probably as a hobby we want to encourage less selfishness overall, but eh. I'm wrong perhaps. Telling people to suck it up feels great, but I'm not sure it encourages the type of community/environment that's good for the long run. Perhaps that too is kind of meh who cares though.

    No one said it was a complete solution, nor that it was easy.

    Going back to my car analogy: just because cars aren't meant to be used for killing doesn't mean we don't have laws against using them for that. So having a community that bucks against asshole behavior and having rules to prevent assholes from being abusive is perfectly reasonable even within the paradigm of "it's just Pretendy Funtime Games". It's not a solution, it's a defensive tactic. Nothing about it prevents us from also exploring a change in the social make-up of the hobby.


  • Admin

    @mietze I mean we can't turn emotions off since we're not machines (sorry @Ganymede) but I hate giving other people - especially ones I don't care for much - that kind of power over me. If they can annoy me by doing something I have zero control over then I'm not in a healthy situation, you know?


  • Pitcrew

    My whole take on it was always, if something bothers you, go to the source. If they're a dick OOCly, ignore them. The rant seems to be from Wade being caught in the middle of OOC drama between two or more people he may like. More like don't bring it to me, go to the source, make up your own mind, I'm still gonna play with them. Still agree with talking to someone before talking about someone.


  • Pitcrew

    Funny enough, I just sidebar'd a bit in another thread about how much I hate how often 'my fun' is used these days. And 9 times out of 10 (in my own personal experience), it's used to excuse really shitty behavior. Sure, it's your fun, but this is a shared environment, yo. You don't go to a fancy restaurant and begin shouting your entire conversation (at least I hope not) because hey, other people.

    The biggest reminder I always have, on a personal scale, of a 'my fun' person was someone who would mentally calculate out her char's future path... including how other characters are involved. Except she'd never tell those people. So when Bob would end up dating Suzie, she'd flip out at both Bob and Suzie OOCly because 'THAT'S NOT WHAT WAS SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN' and go off and tell everyone else how Bob and Suzie ruined her fun because Bob was supposed to date HER... except she never told him any of this and just made assumptions.

    My fun is all well and good... until it's negatively affecting other people. At which point: just write some damn fanfic. ;)



  • @Auspice said in Pretendy Fun Time Games:

    Funny enough, I just sidebar'd a bit in another thread about how much I hate how often 'my fun' is used these days. And 9 times out of 10 (in my own personal experience), it's used to excuse really shitty behavior. Sure, it's your fun, but this is a shared environment, yo. You don't go to a fancy restaurant and begin shouting your entire conversation (at least I hope not) because hey, other people.

    The biggest reminder I always have, on a personal scale, of a 'my fun' person was someone who would mentally calculate out her char's future path... including how other characters are involved. Except she'd never tell those people. So when Bob would end up dating Suzie, she'd flip out at both Bob and Suzie OOCly because 'THAT'S NOT WHAT WAS SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN' and go off and tell everyone else how Bob and Suzie ruined her fun because Bob was supposed to date HER... except she never told him any of this and just made assumptions.

    My fun is all well and good... until it's negatively affecting other people. At which point: just write some damn fanfic. ;)

    The type you're describing seems to forget that once other people become involved, 'my fun' must necessarily morph into 'our fun', which is a partnership, not a dictatorship.


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