I've enjoyed these two recent posts from Oddysey over at How to Start a Revolution in 21 Days or Less. She discusses several things that I've been curious about and that I share her concerns with, such as gaming using Skype, Wave or some similar situation where I can't see my players faces (personally I don't think I could run that but more on that in a moment) and playing when you're usually the GM.
Personally, I've been a player more over the past year or so than I have in the last fifteen and I must say...I despise it. I'm just not cut out to play one character and not doing what I prefer to be doing, which is basically constructing a universe. I find running a PC a little like being a kid with a small box of crayons when I used to being one of the art directors for a major motion picture studio. Where are all my tools?! Given the chance I'd much rather GM than play on a ratio of a thousand to one.
Now running a game and not being able to see my players or them me, well, frightens me a little. Part of what makes me a good GM (and I am a good GM damn it) is my body language. I talk with my hands, make weird faces, jump around and reference things in the real world area we're playing in. As a matter of fact, during a 6-8 hour game I rarely sit for more than two or three minutes at a time and I only do that three or four times during a game. On Skype or the like, all that is lost.
I'm a very visual person and I can also gage how well the game is going by the look in my players' eyes. If I can't see they're eyes, or any other part of their faces for that matter, I think I'd be at a major disadvantage.
One of the elements that struck home and gave me quite a chuckle was this line, right at the start of the first post...
"On Thursday night Tim Jensen succeeded in his long-running attempt to get me to play some kind of hippy indie game with a session of In A Wicked Age on Wave."
So yeah, I guess I'm a hippie. Feels like with the whole OSR thing I've missed the boat. I'm 41 and I've been gaming since I was 8 years old. That means I started in 1977. One would assume that would place me in the 'old school' but I lost interest in the games that make up this renaissance back in the mid-to-late eighties. I'm all about the new and the different. I'm also all about no-prep pick up games and trying to see if I game I haven't tried might just replace one of my favorites as...well...a new favorite I guess. Faery's Tale Deluxe sort of did that (houseruled a bit of course).
Anyway, great posts Oddysey. Keep on truckin'.