Saturday, 21 April 2012

Identity Crisis

Roleplaying had always been a very large part of who I am. I've been playing those games since I was twelve years old. I've even considered writing a more-or-less detailed history of how I went through the games. Even now I have notes to write a few blog posts within the subject of roleplaying games, I once had an idea to write a whole series of posts on how to run games on a forum and I still have those plans for articles to be submitted to Asylum which I really should work on.

Throughout most of my life I didn't have a group of people dedicated enough to sit down and play some games with me regularly. When I was a teenager, the greatest thing ever was to get so drunk you woke up the next day. It is perhaps suffice to say that I tried and failed to see the attraction. Roleplaying games, on the other hand, provided me with enough mental stimulation and an outlet for my rampant imagination that I played them more and more. Alas, it is rather difficult to play them without anyone to play them with. So I tried playing online. First with chats, then on a forum and in the end I landed on RPoL.

I liked it for many reason and I've both ran and played in many games over there. Some were good, others died a slow and painful death. At present I'm running one game with people that proved to be very patient when I was going through some very harsh times. They stayed for months when I was homeless or (even worse!) internetless. Yet now, after all these years, I find myself at a point in time I thought was impossible to appear on my path. I come to the conclusion that I've lost enthusiasm for roleplaying.

I'm not really sure as for the whys or hows. Truth is, running a game on a forum requires commitment. It doesn't matter how you feel, sometimes you just have to sit down and write what you have to write. It's a very similar process as with writing anything. When you have deadlines, you work on meeting them whether you like it or not... and for a long time, that's what I did. I ran several other games before and I did actually have a time set up in the day to write what needed to be written. I kept to that time and there were days when I cursed myself for it and there were days when I was more than happy to see what came out of my, and my players', writing.

This is not how I feel today...

What I've described may seem tedious. That's because it is tedious. Roleplaying has become as much work as it was a fun past time. While this may seem like it was a problem, it wasn't a problem at all. I revelled in it and I was happy. Alas, today my feelings are much different.

I find myself waking up and I have some time to kill before work. I see there's work to be done on this game I'm running. I don't do it. Later on, I come back from work and while tired, I feel obliged to do some work on this game I'm running. I open the web-address and look at it. I don't do it. This is not to say I didn't do anything at all. I did update and clean up the game a few times but this is the worst part. When I actually did some work on it, I felt nothing... no frustration, no enthusiasm...

I don't think I burned myself out. I did a few times in the past when I had no idea what to do next and needed to take two weeks off to clear my head. No, I know what I want to do and I am sure I have the time to do it. What I think is happening is that I simply no longer care enough...

I have a theory that it's all because of a previous game I ran. It was an Exalted game, a system that is perhaps the closest I would say to being my favourite. I've been running that game for nearly three years and I was very proud of how it all went. The plots and the characters were marvellous. It was a real shame that I didn't manage to save all the data from it before it got deleted due to inactivity... but that's entirely my fault...

Thing is that now it seems like all the games I'm running just pale in comparison and I just can't get myself to create another game that would be as great and as fun as that one. So I'm left feeling inadequate for now and thus this feeling of mellowness is given rise.

In the end, I decided to make the hard choice of leaving forum roleplaying for the time being. I think I may see if the club I used to go to has any spaces in any games... maybe that will help me rekindle my gaming problems...

2 comments:

Renfield286 said...

ST Burnout is common enough, Its the main reason I dont do much live action stuff any more. lost an aweful lot of enthusiasm for it after being involved in running all the local games.
each time i go back I cant quite get the same enthusiasm for it, and a good tabletop group is hard to find.

Krzysztof Dąbrowski said...

maybe that's what I'm experiencing... the most confusing part is that I still want to run games and geek out... maybe my standards just went up too high...