Thursday, May 7, 2015
How Walking the Dog Made Me Think About Gaming
Sunday was the first time we let my niece walk the dog on her own. Normally, Rach or I would hold part of the leash along with Shannon. On Sunday, I figured it was time to take of the training wheels.
When I told Shannon what the plan was, she was beaming (she is 4 1/2 after all) but suddenly got a very serious face: "Someone has to show me how to do it right, Uncle."
Do It Right. Is there a right was to play an RPG? Probably not. Is there a right way to introduce someone to roleplaying? Probably.
+Tim Snider did a great job handling Rach in her first group RPG session at last year's NTRPG Con. He explained the basics of the system (TimeMaster) and then said (I'm parphrasing here) "just explain your actions and I'll interpret how it fits into the mechanics of the game." After the initial instructions it was "just do it and learn from there."
With Shannon, doing it right meant wrapping the leash around her wrist multiple times so it wouldn't slip. Danke (our dog) tested her in the first few minutes before settling in to a good pace. Shannon handled the dangers of dogs, kids, kids on bikes, skateboards and such like a pro. She just did it and learned from there.
Although RPGs are in book form, it's damn hard to learn RPGs from a book. I suspect it would be hard to learn how to walk a dog for the first time from a book too.