Thoughts on Saturday at PAX East

I'm struck by how thin the walls are between us gamers. We game. We game in a big honkin' room at PAX. We talk smack to each other, but we know we'll shake hands and be ready to ally with our former competitors in the next game. The game ends, the slate clears, life begins anew every time the pieces come out for a new game.

You'd think this odd if you came from any other tradition. PAX has very few dicks, which is surprising given the tens of thousands of people attending. There's the occasional bad apple, but for the most part, gamers shoot straight with each other. We point out faults, we help teach strategy, we work together to make the rules flow for everyone at the table.

Tonight, we fleshed out the rules to Loot, a card game from Gamewright. It's a fun card game about pirates looting merchant ships, but some of the order of operations were completely unclear. We identified a situation where the rules didn't seem to work. We worked out new rules that worked for everyone at the table, and we got past it. Done. No fuss, no ongoing bitterness, just a problem and a solution in five minutes.

That's the wonder of gamer culture. We work together because if we don't we won't survive. This was the law of the playground, when bullies ruled and ridiculed us because they didn't understand.

Can we organize? Can we apply this unspoken understanding to society and government? Can we help each other change the world? Can we weed out the idiocy inherent in bureaucracy within our lifetimes?

And now I'm off to sleep, and then to head home early to deal with sick family. Sad I'll miss some things tomorrow, but family trumps gaming.

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