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Dear Lady Gamer

by Tonya Foust

Dear Lady Gamer,

I come from a non-gamer family. How do I explain to my family that the gaming conventions I attend and the games I play are actually not deviant and not "Satanic"?

Gamer in Indiana

Dear Indiana,

Families are sometimes tough. And perceptions made from media presentations can often be hard to overcome.

My first question to you would be, have you sat down and tried to play any of your games with your family? If not, that may be a very good starting point. Not only will it give them an idea of what it is that intrigues you, it can be a good start to family togetherness. If you have tried to play and they are just not getting it, I would say that patience and communication are the key.

You will have to be strong on your convictions, but have the patience of a saint to help them understand that this is your hobby. Much like people paint pictures or crochet or sew or any number of other pastimes. It then becomes your job to constantly and consistently remind your family that gaming, liking to play games, whether board games, tabletop miniature re-enactments, role-playing games, video games or whatever, and attend conventions is a hobby that you enjoy. Be sure to explain to them why you enjoy it (and remember that “because” is never a good answer).

You will also need to explain to them that the conventions you enjoy attending are places where people, like yourself, from all over the world gather to engage in a favorite hobby – gaming. Perhaps, if there is a small-scale affair near your home, you could take your family there for a day to see what really goes on.

People are afraid of what they don’t know. If you can present them with facts and change the unknown to the known, they may have a better understanding and tolerance for your gaming. In the end, you will either crack their perceptions and they will start to understand your hobbies or they will not. People’s perceptions are their own. All we can do is present our side, our opinions, in hopes that they will understand.

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