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Portrait of a Goob

 

We all know what a gaming goob is. They are obsessed with gaming and make it a central part of their lives (but not like us, we tell ourselves. the goob takes it a little farther) and has fun doing it. You've seen them at conventions in crazy dark elf costumes or frothing over the latest White Wolf splatbook telling any who will listen their views on who's "really" in control of the Camarilla. This leads me to my first portrait of a goob.

This is an interview I did with my friend Richard who will be referred to as Goob X to protect his privacy. Read on as Goob X defends the practice of picking up girls at LARPs...

Bailey
So, Rich, let's talk about larping.
Goob X
Well, it's a form of roleplaying that breaks the barrier between the player and the character by requiring you to be fully in character, thus providing for a more rewarding RP experience.
Bailey
Right.
Goob X
Also not relying on dice means there is more room for real role playing, and the problems with real life violence prevent things bogging down in combat.
Bailey
Are you sure there isn't some... other reason to larp rather than play table top.
Goob X
Well, there's the hygiene thing.
Bailey
Explain.
Goob X
A lot of the table top games I've played in took place in basements that reek of cigarette smoke and are filled with guys who don't take cleanliness during game seriously because, hey, it's just the guys hanging out. No need to impress anyone. It's not like that at larp. People are always bringing friends from outside to play bit characters, and you don't wanna look like a big slob.
Bailey
baiting Goob X into making the interview interesting Plus there's the factor that there's women at larp who are a bit more sensitive in the olfactory department.
Goob X
Exactly. Girls aren't willing to put up with that shit and they leave if someone reeks. And since some of them are drop ins playing NPCs they may not know you. It's a lot harder to tell a friend "Hey, you stink!" than it is to tell someone you don't know whose a part of your chosen means of fun. I'm glad that someone's there to keep the slobs in line.
Bailey
You mention drop ins playing NPCs. Are there a lot of people who you wouldn't otherwise know showing up a few sessions.
Goob X
Yeah. You know the "friend-type" described in the back of Champions...
Bailey
The kind of player who shows up because a buddy is gaming.
Goob X
Right. Well, during table top they can be a problem because they socialize instead of playing, but larp is social so they don't really get in the way. They can come and enjoy themselves. Plus it's a great way to meet people.
Bailey
So you use larp as a way of meeting people?
Goob X
Geez, you make that sound manipulative. I don't *USE* larp, but larp lets me broaden my social circle better than table top does. Don't get me wrong I still enjoy playing GURPS or Everway around the dining table. It [larp] just has a bigger social aspect while table top gaming has a more comedic aspect.
Bailey
Explain the comedic aspect of table top gaming.
Goob X
You can make brief asides in table top and that's just not allowed in larp.
Bailey
Back to the social aspect, what sort of people do you meet at larp?
Goob X
Genre fiends mainly. Frothing vampire goobs who would pay five buck for little sheets of paper that say "Anne Rice" on them... Naw, I'm just kidding they're good folk. I met my current girlfriend through larp.
Bailey
Ah ha!
Goob X
Why are you saying ah ha? We hang out together. You know Jennifer.
Bailey
Indeed I do. Next question, how do you meet potential mates at larp?
Goob X
defensive I don't know just like anywhere else I guess. It's just easier at larp than on the bar scene.
Bailey
Why do you suppose that is?
Goob X
People respect conversations at larp. No one is going to try and cut in on you talking to somebody just so they can mack. There's more respect. The whole thing is more relaxed.
Bailey
Is it being more relaxed have to do with the respect at larp.
Goob X
No it's that gamers are generally considered geeks and losers. At larp it's safe to assume that the person you talk to won't think that because if they do why would they come to a larp?
Bailey
Just to mack on the girls into vampires.
Goob X
Those tend to get weeded out. If someone shows up and it's clear they have no interest in the game aspect they are politely asked not to come back. Most never show up to more than one session.
Bailey
How do the ones that are just interested in tricks escape scrutiny?
Goob X
They have a friend they show up with and they play paper rock scissors when a ref is looking. Even if they escape scrutiny they don't usually come to more than three sessions.
Bailey
Why's that?
Goob X
They try their pick up lines where they say that they're the best thing there. Gamer girls don't dig guys who dis gamers, even if they're just dissing the gamer boys. Once they realize they don't belong they stop coming.
Bailey
Or they get sucked into the world of gaming just like us.
Goob X
Stranger things have happened. The world's full of vampire nuts just a heartbeat away from being gamers anyway.

Bailey Watts
bailey@rpg.net

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