Tactfully put beneath a cut so people don’t have to read if they’re not up for a bit of a rant.
Why is it, I wonder, that some people really can’t just leave well enough alone?
Let’s do a little history, shall we?
I’ve been going to LRP for… what, coming up ten years now. In that ten years, I’ve gone through ups and downs. There have been times when I have just wanted to walk away from what seems – at times – like nothing more than an utter constant bitch fest. Role players, for the most part, are a histrionic bunch (and yes, as I may have noted before, I DO count myself in that number). But there’s attention whoring and then there’s downright spite and quite frankly, horrific behaviour.
But I rode it out. I enjoyed playing, offered my services as a member of the plot team and had great fun creating stories for people to interact with. It was a double-edged sword, though – because I suddenly became privy to the sheer childishness of people – adults, for crying out loud – when things didn’t go their way.
‘Just ignore it,’ people would tell me. ‘They’re not worth bothering about.’
But I’m not constructed that way. If someone is unhappy, I try to make it better. I can’t help myself, it’s a totallly gut instinct. I’m not some sort of saint – far from it. I just get a genuine kick out of making people happy. I used to get a kick out of seeing people engage and react with plot that I’d written for them.
About – oh, gosh, what was it – about four years back, I was witness to what was effectively the complete deconstruction of someone’s personality. A sly, clever manipulation by a number of people who were unhappy with a choice made by the company who run the games which ultimately ended in that person’s confidence, their faith in themselves and very probably their faith in people who called themselves ‘friends’. It was shocking behaviour. I should have walked away then, but I didn’t.
What people in the faction I play in maybe don’t realise is that I have worked my fucking arse off for them. I have lost sleep over people who have had grumbles and problems, have stayed up until all hours just to hammer out that ‘last plot encounter’. I have fought their corner when the company was on the verge of just disbanding them as a faction and I have always stuck up for them.
But now it’s happening all over again. Something has happened that one or two people don’t like and it’s all started again. It starts slowly, insidiously – maybe even innocuously. A spiteful word here, an untruth there… and the weak-willed people who hang on the manipulator’s every words are swayed to their ‘side’.
This time, when it all goes pear-shaped, they can fight their own corner. I no longer care to keep up a united front for a bunch of spiteful, childish people to whom being centre of attention is all that matters to them. In fact, and if I’m brutally honest, I may even just bow out now. Yes, that would be unfair to the poor bloke who’s coming in to handle this mess – but I can’t go through this shit again. I fear I am being selfish. It’s a new sensation and I’m not entirely sure I like it. But I don’t want to feel like this about what’s supposed to be a hobby any more.
The best bit of LRP advice I ever got was so true. And it’s easy to dish it out to other people – less easy to take yourself.
‘If you’re not enjoying something, change it. If you’re still not enjoying it, stop doing it.’