July 4, 2013
We gamers are a superstitious lot. Some of us deny it, others bear it proudly; but no matter what, they are often amusing to behold. While each individual gamer will vary, each having a unique number of gaming quirks, I have noticed a few varying tendencies that several gamers that I know share.
First, creating a new character for a game “just in case” your current character dies. Even I fall into this one, I’ll admit. Personally, I will not make a new character for a game so long as my current character is going strong. Doing so feels like cursing my current character to a gruesome death. More factually, having a “back-up” character tends to make characters not put as much stock into their current character. They lose the sense of connection and personalization that comes with having a long running character, and I think that is a shame. Now, this isn’t to say I don’t plan out other characters from time to time just for fun. I simply refuse to complete them. I will leave their derived values un-calculated or not distribute their skill points or something just to leave them undone. At least to my subconscious, this seems to protect my current characters from the curse.
The second, and perhaps the most common, gaming superstitions revolve around a gamer’s dice. Gamers are proud of their dice, be they owners of only a single set or of massive tubs of various oddly shaped plastic pieces. Either way, there exist many superstitions regarding them. Some gamers refuse to let other people touch them, or they must always place them with the highest number on the dice facing upwards. Some players have unique ways of stacking their dice or simply never let their dice rest on the table, constantly rolling them about in their hands during a game. Some players kiss their dice for luck, some have specific ways of rolling them. A great number of dice-based superstitions exist, and it can be very amusing to watch them in action. I always try to refrain from calling attention to them. However, I know full well that I have my own and we have enough things to tease each other about as it is.
Thirdly, a lot of players have game-day routines that they follow like clockwork. While in some cases, this is merely for efficiency, there are others who seem devoted to their routines so adamantly that it becomes painfully obvious when they are forced to alter their ways. This can be anything from always grabbing food from the same restaurant, always sitting in the exact same place, having a lucky gaming shirt, and so on. Many of these same quirks are practiced by fans of sports, I’ve noticed, and I have always found the comparison amusing, as most gamers feel they have little in common with that demographic, despite their many similarities. After all, Fantasy Footfall is just a football version of Dungeons & Dragons in many regards.
Now, I don’t mean to mock any of these practices. I mention them only because I have always found them interesting. Whenever I think of these many practices, I always keep in mind a simple little saying I remember hearing on some television commercial in regards to superstitions regarding football; “Its only weird if it doesn’t work.”