Thursday, April 17, 2014

The House Always Wins

Back in the day, I used to work at a casino as a cage cashier. I always wanted to be a dealer, though. I had chances to switch over, but I turned them down because they work crazy hours, their pay is dependent on tips, and they have to stand still for long stretches of time (when standing, I am an incessant pacer, very uncomfortable just standing still).

Despite all that, though, I felt like being a dealer would be the closest I could ever get to having a job where I could run a game for money. As it is now, I just do it for free, whether GMing a role-playing game or teaching everyone at a table how to play a boardgame. I hear all the time about how people hate doing that. How GMing is too much work, and how people would rather play a game and consider it a drag teaching to others. Yet it is my preferred way to game. Why is that?

I think there's something wrong with me. Well, maybe not something wrong, like broken in my head...but I think I'm a deeply flawed character who tries to turn his weaknesses into strengths. I have this constant, self-destructive need to stand apart from things. Not above things, as if I thought I was better; not outside of things, like always wanting to lead the trend instead of follow it; but apart from things, connected, but in a different capacity. For me, the best part about teaching a tabletop game to others is that I'm an active participant in the game, but I'm not actually playing it with them.

I feel like I keep people at arm's length. It has little to do with trust...I'm very trusting, probably to a fault...I just somehow can't help myself but to put up walls and distance between myself and everyone else. I wish that weren't true. I wish I wasn't like that. But I am. I don't know how to change. I don't even know if it's possible.

That's not to say I don't have fun in my roles in gaming. Quite the contrary; there's nothing better in my little world than when I manage to put a good RPG adventure together. There's nothing more satisfying to me than watching people's eyes light up when they understand the game I'm teaching them, and they start talking about how great it is, and then I find out next week that they bought the game for themselves. But after that moment passes, the next natural step would be to build on it, right? To have the next adventure. To play the game harder, now that everyone knows how to play. But me? I just move onto the next game. Sometimes even with different people. Am I afraid of intimacy? Or am I just somekind of asshole with bizzare ways of drawing satisfaction from people, moving on once I've gotten it?

Either way, it leaves me wondering if I'm a good person. Sometimes I think I am. Other times, I think I'm not.

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