There is no welcoming committee

On his personal blog, Castalia House blogger Jeffro observes that the younger generation is learning, often to its dismay, that life isn’t quite as simple or welcoming as they were taught it would be by their SJW indoctrinators:

I found out about this sort of thing the hard way talking to a younger dude that was like this. He was edgy and cool, but his brain was somewhat colonized. He somehow got to talking about this thing that happened at his high school… some kid had worn a shirt that was deemed to be across the line by his type and they’d rallied and made it clear that nobody could do that there. I was surprised that he could be so positive about doing something like that. I said, “that’s the difference between my generation and your generation. People like you at least had the sense not to attack free speech back when I was in school….” This assertion that he was basically a product of his times rather than some stripe of free thinker put him into a rage. He started screaming and cursing at me for several minutes. (Yes, he thought himself the voice of tolerance and reason, of course.) It was then that I realized that this “flaming” stuff you see online… it’s not just a product of anonymity and technology. No, some people really are like that….! They actually can’t respond to a difference of opinion with anything but rage.

On being “welcomed” into the hobby — No no no no no! You have no idea how clueless you are. Honestly. It just isn’t like that at all. If you think anyone is going to roll out the red carpet for you then you don’t know anything about gaming. Do you have any idea how merciless competitive chess is? How hard it is to find an opponent for a wargame? Have you ever interviewed people to see if they’d be a good fit for a wacky roleplaying campaign concept you want to try out? Have you ever run a demo at a con and felt the pressure of having to be at least as interesting as the people running a dozen other tables…? Have you played games that other people want to play and then been disappointed that they never reciprocate and play the stuff that you are into…? There is no welcoming committee.

I have to laugh at the idea of being “welcomed” into Advanced Squad Leader. To put it into perspective, the vastly simplified Starter Kit rules are still 12 pages, which doesn’t even count the various charts and tables. A lawyer friend once perused the ASLRB and declared that a law degree should be automatically conferred on anyone who demonstrates competence at the game. There is simply no amount of warm fuzzies that is ever going to compensate for having that volume of information thrown at you, and that doesn’t begin to take into account that you’ll find yourself facing some of the most viciously competitive hardcore gamers once you do command a basic grasp of the rules.

In any activity where the difficulty is part of the enjoyment derived, the very concept of a “welcoming committee” is not so much irrelevant as completely backwards.