Way back in 2003, we first learned about the Five Geek Social Fallacies.
When I read it for the first time, it really hit home, especially #3: friendship before all. I used to put up with some pretty crappy behavior at the tabletop just for the sake of maintaining friendships. But I know I’ve been a carrier, at one time or another, of all five geek social fallacies.
As the article states, there’s probably more. And, after some thought, I’ve identified a sixth fallacy:
Assuming People Will Like Your Favorite Thing.
This “thing” can be your favorite RPG, wargame, character, or a set of miniatures… or whatever flips your fancy in the realms geekdom and nerddom.
It can apply to when you talk to gamers or non-gamers about the hobby.
It begins innocently enough. You get excited about your favorite thing. Or you’re already excited and somebody asks: “Hey, what’s that you’ve got there?”
And next thing you know you’ve cornered the inquirer and keep going on and on about your favorite thing. This can go one of two ways: a) the person will get excited, too, (which rarely happens); or b) the person will find the first opportunity to flee (but if they’d only listen to you explain your favorite thing further they’d understand…).
I’ve been guilty of doing this, and I’ve had this done to me. I don’t know how many times gamers have tried to corner me to talk about their favorite character.
I don’t know I how many times I’ve cornered non-gamers to talk about my favorite character when pitching D&D. I honestly don’t know, because it was long time ago and I figured out and some point few people like hearing about your favorite character.
It gets worse when Geek Social Fallacy #1: Ostracizers are Evil kicks in and the listener doesn’t say anything.
With severe cases of GSF6, telling the person “I’m not interested” doesn’t faze him or her. They’ll somehow figure you’re not listening or your wrong. Or they might pause for a bit, but somehow swing the conversation back to their favorite thing.
In retrospect: Isn’t this how edition wars start?
Can you think of any more social fallacies?