I’ll be honest. I had nothing for the word throne. I just kind of talked about gambling a day or so ago, and community is something I’ve talked about a lot. That left include.
Inclusion is one heck of a buzz word and hot topic these days. As for me, when I looked at the word include, it made me think of choice. Role playing games can be very intense, very personal, even if there is no role-play to speak of, people are right in each other’s faces during the activity – Even if they are on opposite sides of the world during the experience. Often we come to these games expecting certain things to be present, or not to be present. There are activities we want to engage in or to not engage in.
One of the great things about this hobby is that we get to choose what and who we will include in our experience. From another perspective, we get to decide if we will include ourselves in a given experience. It’s not unusual for my group to talk about various games that we might want to play. Sometimes just about everybody is on board except one person. So if we play that game we won’t include them. And they will breathe a sigh of relief. Trust me, there are games that my friends are interested in playing that I have no intention of being included in! Far from being a negative thing, when you look around you start to realize that the hobby is enormous and there is something for everybody. Take a premise, an idea, a genre, a mechanic, or a way of playing, and a group of people will assemble around it if we take the time to include each other in the discussion and the experience.
Sometimes we play together and we find that we are looking for different things depending upon the game being played. There are friends of mine that I would play certain games with and not others. We can make the decision to include each other when our interests and intentions overlap. The magic of the Internet has allowed my newer friends and I to include each other in our role-playing experiences which is very cool. As time goes on the makeup of the group changes and we get to include new people. New games. New experiences.
Sometimes games are about a certain thing or it contain certain elements and we decide not to include that game in our repertoire. Other times we are in a group where we decide to include or exclude certain elements. There comes a time when you are no longer playing the original game or genre and that’s not what I’m talking about. Instead, there are elements that we may wish to explore or two emphasize and other ones we may want to deemphasize or not have present. That’s one of the great things about having a session 0 and talking about your expectations for the particular game. We have done that many times in the groups that I have been involved in. Sometimes it takes some fine tuning but as a reasonable adults we can talk about what to include and what not to include.
So for me inclusion and choice go hand-in-hand. Inclusion with intention. Sometimes you have to ask yourself “what’s missing?”And then include it