It is true that it’s good to play with friends, but as with any geeky activity, the Five Geek Social Fallacies are always a possibility. It is why I do not commit to long-term games with strangers, and games of a few sessions need to be with people vetted by friends first.
That last category is pretty interesting: I once played in a campaign where I liked the other players well enough, but the majority of them were not (and did not become) friends. That’s also kinda liberating: you only have to play with them, and that’s it then. That means that you also never get to develop behavioural patterns outside of the game that carry over into the game, so you get a very ‘clean’ experience. There are no expectations, so you can concentrate on the game itself. It’s also why I enjoyed going to Ambercons: you’re gaming with total strangers (though you get to meet several people again when you go next year!), which means you get to cut through all the mundane things that happen around the game and concentrate on the game itself.
(As an aside: I’m wondering if there is a market for a fully scheduled RPG convention — like Ambercon, but maybe not focused on a single game? I’d certainly be interested.)
That being said, playing RPGs has allowed me to forge the best relationships in my adult life. I hear people complain that it’s hard to make new friends once you’re an adult and kind of ‘set in a trajectory’. My advice is: play RPGs, and use one-shots to feel out who’s a good fit for you! And you get to play a game as an added bonus, too!Crossposted from my blog. Comment here or at the original post.