Have you heard? It’s Read an RPG Book in Public Week! Apparently this is a thrice-a-year event organized by The Escapist to promote awareness of the hobby and to get it “out of the basement.” I don’t know how widespread this event is, but I hope it catches on if it hasn’t already. I’m really tired of the stigma associated with playing tabletop RPGs. And I have to admit, it weighs over me when I wonder if I should tell a non-geek friend or a coworker that I played D&D when they ask me about my weekend. The way I see it, there are 3 levels of nerd stigma that a lot of people buy into when it comes to games. This is all gleaned from my completely subjective experiences of course.
1) Consoles: Playing XBox and PS3 is a minor blip on the nerd radar. Wii doesn’t even register. Maybe I’m too embedded in the geeky lifestyle, but it seems like consoles are pretty mainstream these days. Still, an Xbox-playing dude seems more accepted than an Xbox-playing girl.
2) MMOs: Nerd flags start waving. Telling certain people I play World of Warcraft can be harrowing. I often feel I have to preface it with an eye roll and “I know it’s really nerdy” comment. We even have a closet WoW-player reading the comic, as evidenced in the comments on a recent post.
3) Tabletop RPGs like D&D: Major Nerd Alert. And not “affectionate cute nerd.” More like “off-her-rocker loser nerd.” It would be really difficult for me to tell a non-geek outside of my close circle of friends that I play D&D.
So it’s great to see an event like Read an RPG Book in Public Week. And I’m going to try, although I don’t actually read RPG books… I’m new to D&D, and we’ve figured out everything while we’re playing. But John recently ordered the book for a really cool story-heavy sci-fi RPG called Diaspora. So I’m going to try that on the subway this week.
If you want more info about Read an RPG Book in Public, check out the info over on The Escapist. It occurs February 28 – March 6, July 25-31, and September 26 – October 2.