It’s been a month since GenCon, far longer than I expected to be writing about it. Life happens though.
After a month, I have to say that one game in particular still leaves me in awe, and not for the game itself, but the people in it. It still makes me smile and shake my head in wonderment. So, frick’in cool. It left me with a deep appreciation and renewed love for the gaming community as a whole.
It was a Geist game, but it could have been any of them. It was just the one that this one player happened to sign up for. This one player, well, she was blind.
A blind gamer, someone who cannot see the character sheet or the rules or the dice when she rolled them. That in itself was cool, but the most awesome part of the experience was twofold: first the level of trust that she had for her fellow players and the Storyteller (me), and second how everyone at the table adapted to having her in the game.
I have been gaming for over 20 years now. There are people that I know will no cheat on rolls or stats or rules, and there are people that I know will do so if it suits them or their story – both players and storytellers. These are people that I know, that I am friends with. Despite friendship, there are some that I would not trust to play it straight.
Now, imagine doing this with perfect strangers. Would you be able to trust perfect strangers to be your eyes for you at a gaming table? I’m not sure if I could without reservation. If this woman had any, they did not show. Her willingness to put her trust in us still makes me shake my head a bit with awe and disbelief.
On the other side of the equation were the other players. No one did not a single one of them complain, but everyone was willing to include her and help her out. Be it helping her with her rolls, explaining a stat or ability, helping her learn what was on her character sheet, or recapping a scene when I had to focus on a different player. I was damn proud of everyone. Each person took her trust and did not abuse it. I wish I could say that for some of my home games in the past.
It was also really interesting to see how people naturally adapted. Even I found myself being more descriptive or make sure that if I nodded or shook my head, I would vocalize it as well. A few times you could see a nod from a player and then actually see the realization on their faces that they needed to speak as well so she could hear them.
On top of it all, she was a damn fine role-player. She got the book.
If you have not been in a Wrecking Crew game, at the end of the session, a vote takes place among the players on who they thought was the best role-player – the one with the most votes gets the main prize: a shiny new White Wolf book.
Did people vote because she was blind but a mediocre role-player? No, not at all. She was clearly the best role-player at the table no matter how you define ‘best’. She played her character and gave it a personality that was clear, she helped along the story, she followed the story, she contributed without dominating, she asked questions when needed, and she helped clarify scenes for those that were at the far end of the table and could not always hear the other end (thanks to those Star Wars guys at the table next to us… grrr!).
In fact, her mad skillz actually helped raise the bar over all. I saw that because of her abilities, other players who started off weak, improved because of the example she was setting.
It was one of the highlights of GenCon for me. It made me proud to be a member of the gaming community, and humble to have been able to experience it.
September 8, 2010 | Categories: Gaming | Tags: blessing, blind, blindness, contracts, games, gaming, geek, Geist, GenCon, grand masquerade, RPGs, social, social contracts, White Wolf, Wrecking Crew | Leave a comment