|Playing Makeup Moments in 2019|
This was supposed to be the second part of three articles on my gaming time in 2019. The first was about events I went to, about my design and community activities. This article is purely on gaming - though some community related thoughts are unavoidable to have when it comes to topics such as diversity at the table, where to recruit players etc. As I tried to put to each statistic one relevant at least going beyond pure data, I decided to split the statistics part into several pieces, published one by one and hopefully making this more digestible.
Let's start with the basics. I played a total of 210 hours in 2019, distributed over 87 sessions. That is less playtime than in any other year since 2015. And still quite a lot. I played with 135 different people which means having had at least one meaningful interaction in play (i.e. in large larps I didn't count everybody in). That is a new record for me since I started tracking. I played 52 different games which were facilitated by 25 different people though a majority of 57% of the sessions, I was the facilitator. These numbers are all well within the same range since 2016. In 2016, I started to explore the Nordic larp scene, since 2017 I play with the Gauntlet. These two communities were the major influence for my gaming and still are.
For this year, I expect to game much less. I have started a new job and my interest in gaming has shifted away from TTRPG a bit it seems. I will hardly drop the 200 hours mark this year. But 200 hours would still mean to play a normal session once per week or more often.
This year, I have a plan about running times: I want to play 1.5 to 2 hours sessions online - being at the ready right at the start and finishing tightly.
meet.jit.si and Streamyard. meet.jit.si is a free, privacy focused and open source platform. It can record straight to your Youtube channel but at a maximum length of 2 hours. Streamyard has a freemium model with a maximum recording time of 10 hours or so per month in the free version. Finally, who can afford as it's a paid service, uses Zoom. In terms of features, all services have their individual benefits. I mostly use Streamyard at the moment but would prefer meet.jit.si because of the corporate-free nature of the software.
Here is my Youtube channel if you want to take a look at my recorded sessions.
The standard group size I play with is decreasing slowly towards my preferred number of players in GMed games: one GM and three players. Same goes for GMless games - four players is just a decent conversation with sufficient time for everybody to contribute and still have a good web of relationships. Playing more duet games is something I would push for again for myself as I have really enjoyed the intimacy and that everything what is said by somebody in a game is directed 100% towards me. Fortunately, Robert Angus from the Gauntlet has made this list of all duet games currently available on itch.io. That is such a great treasure. He has also made a similar list for solo games.
Before I will close this article, let me talk a bit more about with whom I played and especially about diversity at the table. This statistic needs a more careful interpretation since it's based a lot on assumption I made and biased through my personal perception. It also smells like tokenization. But I would say it is worth putting it out here and leave it to the reader how much this is problematic and / or relevant. I'm ready to listen. The bottom line for my gaming table is: in most of my games I'm dominantly surrounded by people like me: white, middle-aged, cis-men. And this hasn't become better in 2019 compared to 2018. I played with more women and that is mostly because of larp events I went to. I played less with queer folks as the German scene I interact with since my move back to Germany is less queer than the North American scene I found players in the year before. Is my table not welcoming enough for more diverse folks? Do I have a bias towards playing games not inviting in diverse people? What systemic factors are in play I seem not to fight back against strongly enough? That my play will probably concentrate a lot on my long standing high school friends f2f group which is only white cis male won't improve the statistic for 2020.
[I should mention that I count myself in, in these numbers, i.e. in a two-player game there could only be 50% rate of non-cis-men.]
Every new person, no matter how experienced they are, if they are into OSR, Trad, Indie, Boffer Larp or Nordic Larp or fresh to roleplaying, brought new perspectives into my life and gave me a chance to learn and grow. Most of these new people I met at conventions. But the Gauntlet still was the second biggest source of new people. It's a fascinating community and whenever I play elsewhere, I see how much I appreciate the playing culture nurtured on the Gauntlet.
The next statistics part will follow soon.