Top Ten Things Anti-gamers Say To Gamers That Wind Me Up!

10) You'd Be Better Off Reading A Book.
Ok, we can go easier on this one. I like a good book as much as anyone. And indeed many RPG settings started as books, and vice versa. But reading is a solitary pastime, and somewhat linear, as well as unchanging. If you read LotR and reread it later, (spoiler alert) Frodo still dies at the end. (not really, just checking if you're paying attention.) But if you play the same scenario twice, it can be quite different each time. I also think TRPGs expand your mind more than books, as they increase your vocabulary, and make you find solutions to problems you wouldn't normally encounter.

9) It's Expensive, With All Those Books And Dice And Figures And Stuff
Much like anything else, TRPGing can be expensive, but it can also be very good value. If you buy every system that comes out, every figurine of every monster, and go to international conventions, (lucky you!) then yes it will cost a lot of money. But I remember getting literally years of play out of the 2nd edition DMG, PHB and the MM. Once I had those and a set of dice, all I needed was some paper and pencils, and a horde of second-hand goblin miniatures that stood in for pretty much every creature I threw at the party.

8) Girls Don't Play Games
This can be aimed at male gamers, as if it’s some kind of slur on their masculinity, or female gamers, as a slur on their femininity. It’s wrong in both cases. I don't think this one was ever true, and it certainly isn't now. Some games appeal more to different genders, and yes, the majority of gamers in certain games are male, but there are no hard and fast rules. The reason for the rapid increase in the games market is because of the influx of female players. Yes, many female characters are played by men, but some of the male characters are played by women.

7) It's Just A Bunch of Teenagers Dressed as Wizards
I've been gaming for several decades now, with many groups in houses and meeting halls, and I've never seen a single person dressed as a wizard, or anything else, at the game table. Yes, there's cosplay at conventions, and maybe at the demo sessions of games, but not during a normal session. And of course, so what? Don't sports fans paint their faces, wear their team's colours and buy enormous sponge fingers to wave around?

6) I Watch Sport
So they pay an extortionate amount of money to stand in a cold/rainy/hot stadium to watch a bunch of young men in tight shorts run around a field. And every one of them is an expert, who will tell you, at length, what's going to happen, and then tell you why it didn't happen, at length, after the game. They'll tell you what they would have done if they were a player/manager/referee, and how everything would have been so different. And don't get me started on those who watch sport on the tele.

5) Don't Take it So Seriously, It's Only a Game!
Anyone who's passionate about something can get emotional when things don't go their way. These people should also understand how other people can get serious about something even if they don't understand it. For instance, I knew someone who flew to Japan to buy some Koi Carp. It's not something I'd ever do, but I understand the passion behind it. If I said to a sports fan whose favourite team had just lost, “It's only a game!” they'd be upset, so why is it ok to say this about other pastimes?

Well, first of all it isn't. There are many kinds of games, including educational games for children, games where you build things, racing games, exploration and adventure. Just as wide a choice as there are for films. Just because the most popular ones are based on war, doesn't mean they're all like it. And of course, even the violent ones are only games, no one actually dies, which is more than can be said for drink-drivers. It's also been proved, more than once, that violent games attract violent people, not make them.

3) I Don't Know Why You Waste Your Time
As opposed to what you do, which makes the world shift on its axis? Your team got one more of the thing the other team got, and world poverty decreased? You sat in front of a screen for four hours being force fed commercials and that took us one step closer to world peace? Or you sat drinking with your 'mates' all night and suddenly racial inequality is a thing of the past? Any hobby or pastime can be considered a waste of time, it's about having fun and taking your mind off things for a while.

2) I Go Out Socialising and Talk to Real People
When you ask them where they go to socialise, most will answer to a bar or club somewhere. So they spend their free time drinking too much and talking crap to a bunch of people they can only stand when they're drunk. Then stagger home, or worse drive, to the family they left behind and the next day forget what they even did the night before.

1) I'd Sooner Live in the Real World
This one really winds me up! Maybe if you're a millionaire or a famous personality, or have an action-packed job, life is great for you. For many people life is an unexciting 9 - 5 grind, and for most it's not exactly exciting. If you're standing gutting fish all day or putting toppings on a thousand pizzas an hour for minimum wage, it's great to come home and live life as a rich elven adventurer, even for a few hours.