The Most Annoying Gamer I’ve Ever Met

We've all met them.  Those socially-inept, obnoxious, possibly smelly people who you just can't believe can operate in normal society. In fact, they probably don't - gaming is likely the only function they regularly leave the house for. As for the worst one, I could go for the easy answer - there was a guy in my playgroup back in high school that rubbed everyone the wrong way. To be fair, he wasn't just annoying in-game: we generally found him a pain to deal with in everyday life.

I've often pondered if this guy was as bad as I remember.  I mean, kids are mean, right?  (He was the paladin in example 4 and the bounty hunter in example 3 from this blog post) Everyone says and does stupid things when they’re young.  But I think I've figured it out. With years of perspective and maturity, I have to admit that it probably wasn't all his fault I found him annoying.

I was a big fucking twat myself.

In all honesty, I am probably the first really annoying gamer I ever encountered. Obviously I didn't realize it at the time, but looking back I was a total dickwad in high school. I looked down on people, belittled them, and generally made an ass of myself. I loved to make snarky remarks and comments about people to get a laugh or make myself look smart. I got in trouble with teachers a few times for it, and I certainly didn't have many friends. I'm kind of amazed I had any.

I don't think I've ever flipped a table.  But I did punch a hole in my parent's ceiling during a particularly heated game of Baseball Stars for NES.

Those friends I did have were my gaming group. And I probably treated them the worst of all. I was the GM 99% of the time, and I know I lorded that power over them, and generally acted like a shit. I would treat certain players that I didn't like with disdain (see the first paragraph). I mocked people who didn't know the rules. I wrote adventures I liked, not that I thought anyone else would enjoy. Plus I did asshole things like borrow books and never return them. (If anyone is still missing their Castle Ravenloft box set or Jedi Academy sourcebook let me know and I'll try to get it back to you.) I have no idea why anyone put up with it. I guess there weren't many games in town.

Fun fact: my wife loves to remind me how much of a jackass I was back in high school. That's why I love her. She keeps me humble.

I am deeply embarrassed by my attitudes and actions when was a teenager. When I see obnoxious gamer nerds these days I shudder because they remind me so much of myself. I just don't understand why I acted like I did. Being an awkward nerd in a small town was bad enough - why did I try so hard to alienate those few people who had common interests to me?

I've got you, babe. Duh, duh. Duh, duh. I've got you babe.

So to anyone reading this who knew me back then (and I suspect there are a couple of you), please accept my heartfelt apology for being a douchetard. I was young, and I was an idiot. I'm not that much smarter these days, but I'd like to think I'm a little more empathic. Or at least polite.

If anyone else has regrets about being an annoying gamer, please share them in the comments so I don’t feel so bad. Or hit me up on Twitter @CDGallantKing and we can ruminate together.  If you forgive me (or feel bad for me) please share this post with those handy buttons below.

(A variation of this question came up in the February D&D Blog challenge.  I didn't get to it at the time but I thought it was an important conversation that should be revisited.)


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  2. Lots of teens are egocentric, and lots of young men respond to insecurity with aggression. Therefore, I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that the disorder you're trying to identify is called "adolescence."

    And I'm sure you're awesome now.

    1. Adolescence is a terrible disease I hope we can cure someday.

      And thank you. :-)

  3. I think the only cure they have for it these days is adulthood and a lot of times it doesn't help at all. We can only hope that they will continue with further testing.

    You did sound like a wank back then. But when I played the population of D&D dudes was small so you had to tolerate the jerks more often if you wanted to get a full game going. I learned how to game with fewer to avoid that problem. Still, it was tough to avoid them.

    1. A research study by Professor Ben Haggerty Macklemore found that:

      "They say thirty is the new twenty
      And twenty is the new thirty shit I guess
      Makes sense, cause fifteen year olds seem twenty
      And twenty five year olds seem ten."

      Sadly, I don't think a cure to adolescence is anywhere on the horizon, and it's actually spreading well into our mid-twenties. They'll figure out how to cure cancer and HIV before they figure out a vaccine for teenage douchebaggery.

      Yeah, I was pretty bad. The only thing I can see is that no one else wanted to DM, so they had to put up with me. Or maybe everyone else were dicks, too, so we were all jerks together.

      Thanks for reading (and for sharing on your blog!)

  4. I had a very weird moment last year when it dawned on me that a number of different people I'd played with over the years were likely to have had Asperger's and I had treated some of them fairly badly. Once you run into the statistic of 1 in 54 boys being somewhere on the spectrum and you start thinking about who was likely to be the type obsessed with or willing to play odd hobbies like wargaming or RPGs, a lot of the arguments people used to have start to make more sense.

    A bit like the ten or twenty year school reunion, where everybody found out who the actual gay people were in their high school.


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