Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Winter is Coming… and so is Gamer A.D.D.

HBO's Eddard Stark - coming to a game near you?
A few months ago Mrs Beedo decided to switch back to Comcast to save some $$$, and part of the deal was a couple free years of HBO.  :yawn:  And then I see that "A Game of Thrones" will be on HBO in a few short months, and suddenly I am wide awake and paying all sorts of attention.  Winter is Coming, as the tagline says.

And then the dread sets in… you see, I suffer from the G.A.D.D.  - Gamer Attention Deficit Disorder.

Maybe you have the symptoms yourself; you see the "Lord of the Rings" movies, and use your old campaign world to start the fireplace and begin sketching out a faux-Middle Earth for D&D.   You read the "Dark Tower / Gunslinger" comics, and you're thinking what a great mash-up it would be for D&D and Mutant Future or Gamma World.  If only my players suffered a TPK...  Maybe "Spartacus: Blood and Sand" had you thinking about getting that ancient world setting rolling along - or maybe a Hollow World setting.

And now this… "A Game of Thrones".  I'm hoping I've built in enough realpolitik murderous yet killable rulers into Gothic Greyhawk so that when I (inevitably) get caught up in the wonderful carnage and violence of Westeros, I'll be able to scratch the power politics itch without getting all loopy and working on yet another setting (The Black City will be keeping me plenty busy).

I'm calling it the mitigation theory of Gamer ADD - you can' t stop it, so try to contain the damage by lessening the impact when the new shiny idea pops into the brain.  "Squirrel!"  What was I saying?

Following classic risk management strategy, here are some other ideas for controlling your own G.A.D.D. problems:

Mitigation:  You can't stop reading things or watching movies, so new themes *will* pop into your head;  try to incorporate them into your existing campaign and compartmentalize the damage.

Acceptance:  Face it, you can't stick with a campaign, and when a strong new idea comes along, BLAMMO - back to the drawing board.  How many blogs do we see where projects are blown up by newer, better ideas?  Oh the humanity.

Avoidance:  Is it possible to prevent gamer ADD by only reading, watching, and seeing things that reinforce the themes of the game your running or developing?  Hmmm.

Transference:  Let someone else do the work.  Do yourself a favor and get the Green Ronin version of "A Game of Thrones" and run a one-shot or mini-adventure; when "The Hobbit" movie eventually comes out, play in your buddy's Mirkwood game and leave your Sword & Sorcery setting out of it.

How do you deal with your Gamer ADD issues?