This past weekend I attended the end of year Cub Scout family camp out for my middle son’s Cub Scout pack. One of the nights the Pack leader presented an award to the Committee Chair for all the hard work she does for the Pack. And in accepting it she said something that really resonated with me. She said that Scouting was her passion, that she loves it and learns so much from the kids and Scouting in general. So that was stuck in my mind.
Then yesterday I was reading an article where the author was talking about how his younger cousins could not get into role playing, because they could not figure out how to play from what is in the books. And that is when both of these points crystallized for me.
I have read an awful lot of articles lamenting how my generation of role players is falling down. And that there is not a new generation of players ready to take up the slack. In most cases the blame is placed at the foot of the game makers, for writing great games but not telling players how to run a game. So when young people pick up their first Players Handbook, or rule book, they still have no idea how to run the game.
Well you know what? I don’t think the blame can be placed there. I think that if there is blame to be placed, it is at the feet of those who run the games. Why don’t they teach the young players how to play? Who is out there running games for the kids? Who is teaching them how to play D&D?
I love role playing games. I love playing them. I love reading about them and reading the rules settings. I love reading the books set in the role playing worlds. And, after almost a year of running a game for some teenagers, I can say I love running the games. This has become my passion.
Because I know that as I run these games for these kids I am teaching the next generation of role players. So I teach them, begin expanding their scope. And then begin teaching them new systems. And sometime I will challenge one of them to run a game. And once that time comes I will know that my work is complete with this group, and it will be time to move on to the next group.
I am not comfortable just throwing open the doors to any group of kids (sadly.) But if I can just run a game for a few kids at a time, I will know that I am doing my part.
And I am having fun doing it. Writing stories and adventures. Challenging the boys and myself. And everyone learns, not just the kids. And that really is the best case scenario. Everyone wins, and learns and follows their passions. That is really why I do this.