The Beleaguered GM: Too Common of a Portrayal?


Television


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With the Gamers from Dead Gentlemen Productions and various web shows, is the portrayal of the beleaguered possible OCD GM too common of a portrayal?


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First note I personally don't like the Gamers, I just find alot of it's situations cringe worthy and I'm not a fan of cringe comedy. That said:

There are two depictions I've seen of GMs in media. The first is the beleaguered, put upon sap whos players run roughshod over him. The second is the dominating "railroad engineer" whos main trait is his iron bound adherence to "his story".

The problem is I'm not sure how you would portray a different sort. The name of the game in this is conflict, and a good depiction of a good GM would negate the conflict aspect. Most of those stories depict the games as GM Vs Players setting one side as an antagonist against the other. I would like to see it be otherwise but I'm unsure as to how it would work.

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I'd love to see myself represented in such media, the happy go lucky GM that encourages player ideas and is apologetic but firm when he has to veto them.


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TriOmegaZero wrote:
I'd love to see myself represented in such media, the happy go lucky GM that encourages player ideas and is apologetic but firm when he has to veto them.

Only if it includes good segments of messageboard snark when needed TOZ

Shadow Lodge

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Good-natured snark!


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Well you got to have snark. Almost goes without saying.

You make a good point there Atheral.


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Comedy shows rely heavily on caricature archetypes. Most husbands are idiots, at least one of the kids will be a sarcastic back-talker, they all have a 'friend' who does nothing to deserve the title, and so on. Why should GMs be any different?


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atheral wrote:

First note I personally don't like the Gamers, I just find alot of it's situations cringe worthy and I'm not a fan of cringe comedy. That said:

There are two depictions I've seen of GMs in media. The first is the beleaguered, put upon sap whos players run roughshod over him. The second is the dominating "railroad engineer" whos main trait is his iron bound adherence to "his story".

The problem is I'm not sure how you would portray a different sort. The name of the game in this is conflict, and a good depiction of a good GM would negate the conflict aspect. Most of those stories depict the games as GM Vs Players setting one side as an antagonist against the other. I would like to see it be otherwise but I'm unsure as to how it would work.

How about Darths and Droids?

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atheral wrote:
The problem is I'm not sure how you would portray a different sort. The name of the game in this is conflict, and a good depiction of a good GM would negate the conflict aspect. Most of those stories depict the games as GM Vs Players setting one side as an antagonist against the other. I would like to see it be otherwise but I'm unsure as to how it would work.

In an episode of Big Bang Theory, the GM is depicted as just a guy trying to have fun with his friends for an evening; the conflict comes from one of the players having an issue with some of the subject matter in the game.

In an episode of The IT Crowd(?), the GM is depicted as wise and benevolent, using a positive game experience to resolve two other conflicts in the episode (visiting VIPs needing entertainment, and a coworker finding cathartic release for a personal struggle).


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In both episodes of Community where they played D&D, the DM was a strict adherent to the rules, only telling the story as results of the players choices and die rolls created them.


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Snowblind wrote:
atheral wrote:

First note I personally don't like the Gamers, I just find alot of it's situations cringe worthy and I'm not a fan of cringe comedy. That said:

There are two depictions I've seen of GMs in media. The first is the beleaguered, put upon sap whos players run roughshod over him. The second is the dominating "railroad engineer" whos main trait is his iron bound adherence to "his story".

The problem is I'm not sure how you would portray a different sort. The name of the game in this is conflict, and a good depiction of a good GM would negate the conflict aspect. Most of those stories depict the games as GM Vs Players setting one side as an antagonist against the other. I would like to see it be otherwise but I'm unsure as to how it would work.

How about Darths and Droids?

I fully admit to not being familiar with that one, so I can't comment on it.

Jiggy wrote:

In an episode of Big Bang Theory, the GM is depicted as just a guy trying to have fun with his friends for an evening; the conflict comes from one of the players having an issue with some of the subject matter in the game.

In an episode of The IT Crowd(?), the GM is depicted as wise and benevolent, using a positive game experience to resolve two other conflicts in the episode (visiting VIPs needing entertainment, and a coworker finding cathartic release for a personal struggle).

Moss in the IT Crowd (which is one of the best britcomms I've seen a long time) would probably the best example of a good GM I could think of.

I haven't seen much of Big Bang Theory, only enough to know it's not really my cup of tea, so I haven't seen that episode.

But I think the fact that folks can readily find exceptions to my point is a good thing.

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