I’ve written about Puerto Rico Role Players before, many times, and probably will some more. This is one such instance, so humor me if you please (if not there are some excellent posts down the page…)
(Still here? Good, let’s go on…) One of the reasons I became so active in the group was to give back something to the gaming community. Through it I have met innumerable acquaintances, forged lasting friendships both near and far, and enjoyed a hobby where I express my creativity and have fun doing it. I have seen the RPG community shrink and today I thought of us as a graying community. Sure there are younger players coming on board, but the majority of us seem to be at a certain age and precipitously approaching middle age.
Mind you I am not declaring the hobby dead, I think we are changing and have been a niche hobby for a while, but we can certainly continue enjoying what we do; and the new trends in publishing and distribution mean we can do this for a long time. All this doesn’t mean I don’t want to see the hobby grow, one the contrary I want to share the love of role playing with more people and I am a firm believer that when people get to experience an RPG many will like to play again.
That’s why at local conventions and activities we plan we are always playing. Demo games are a great way to show people what RPGs are about. In my opinion that is one of the most difficult things for people to understand, “how do we do this?” Actually showing HOW to play is a great first step. Another way is to create awareness.
Awareness of what RPGs are and what they are all about. How do we do this? Well we hand out fliers, share information and recently decided to get a news article published. Let me give you some context. Our local major newspaper, El Nuevo Día (that hyperlink is to a Spanish language newspaper just in case) debuted a new magazine called Hobbies on their Saturday edition. As the name suggests they cover all sorts of hobbies and pastimes, and in their first number they called for contributors to contact them.
The group of volunteers that runs Puerto Rico Role Players got together and decided to write a letter to the journalist and offer him information about our hobby. Imagine my surprise when I got a call from him the same day we sent the e-mail. He was very much interested and wanted to know all about the hobby. He was unaware of what RPGs were but asked all sorts of questions that I tried to answer as best as I could. He said a piece might be published next Saturday and the waiting began…
Mind you I’ve been interviewed before, on TV (it was not pretty and no I am NOT sharing a link), and published in two college journals, but for some reason I felt terribly excited about this article, looking forward to it all week. I did not show it, and tried to stay calm and collected just in case the article was not published. Then Saturday came around. Before I was even out of bed a friend let me know the article had been published.
Needless to say I got up and raced to get the newspaper. I flipped it open and there was the article (it’s in Spanish mind you)…It was great! It explained what RPGs are clearly, included a lot of nice little tidbits and shared information on just what our hobby is. It also included contact information for the group. I don’t think the mainstream media has ever covered RPGs here in the island. If it has I am unaware. And I know that newspapers are not the only way to spread the word about RPGs but I firmly believe we need to be active in all fronts. It felt like a triumph for the group and well it is nice to read about RPGs in the paper.
So in closing let me encourage you to do something for the hobby. Those of you that blog already do a great service, but even if you don’t feel comfortable sitting at a table during a convention or showing a stranger how to play, there are the little things. Talk to your coworkers and loved ones about your game, strike up a conversation at the FLGS when you see someone hesitantly holding a game book. Invite someone to play at your table. Every little thing we do keeps the hobby going. Make sure you fight the good fight.
I’d sure love to hear what you already do to support the hobby, or other ideas you may have, in the comments section of the post. Thank you all for reading. Now back to our regular posts!