(Part 1 here)
Salt is necessary for water retention, and you are as likely to suffer prolonged dehydration from lack of salt as lack of water: this natural desire for salt is, I assume, why the saltier my posts get, the more they are shared. Wednesday’s post, by measure of sheer view count, must have been salty enough to pickle an entire city’s population.
Time and time again, the criticism I see of my content is that it’s “too salty,” “too angry,” “too generalizing,” and “too acerbic.” And I will point out, as I have before, that just because you do not see a problem, does not mean it isn’t present, either in your LARP or in the hobby as a whole.
Some simple, blunt statements are in order:
“The lady doth protest too much, methinks.”
The incredible reactions my posts generate are always a little worrisome. I talk satirically about extremes, about ludicrously cartoonish tropes, and then I watch social media explode with people accusing me of terrible, damaging generalizations. I create an extreme toxic outlier and call it a “Fabutante” and suddenly I am attacking anyone who costumes nicely and thus “penalizing” people for being proud of their roleplay.
This is not a rational response; it’s a defensive crouch. It says more about the fears of those who react most vehemently, and their concerns about how other people perceive them, than it does about the rational majority. The rest of us can distinguish between a good roleplayer who happens to like collecting items and keeping them organized, and a toxic dragon hoarder. It is the dragon hoarder themselves, or someone who enables this kind of negative gameplay, who is the most offended.
I did not arrive at my conclusions alone.
The most amusing reactions I receive are the ones which accuse me of being some brooding loner, who has come up with all of this salty bitterness on his own, after a bad game. It must be much easier to write me off if I’m a statistical outlier; once my blog is written off, the status quo can resume!
Unfortunately, I am writing about emotions, opinions and experiences that I have shared with many others who have struggled to vocalize them, or discuss them publicly in their respective LARPs. This entire blog is devoted to giving those negative experiences names, and to find an appropriate language and forum for discussing them. The oft repeated criticisms of my salty rhetoric are tone policing, and the resulting enforced positivity doesn’t fix anything; it merely bottles up the problem and delays improvement.
Maybe the message is not for YOU
If you’re on top, if you don’t see a problem, if you’re cool, well-connected, and feel strongly that you’ve succeeded in LARP and earned your success earnestly, maybe my posts aren’t for you.
Rest assured, this blog is for many, many others. They are reading and taking note, and perhaps recognizing patterns that they struggled to make sense of before. They might realize there is more to their bad luck in LARP then they have been told.
There is nothing to fear or loathe here. I want to give you the tools to improve your games, find better ones, or found new ones.
Only those who embody bad practices and defend the indefensible need be concerned with my writing, and their reactions are always very, very telling.
For more terrible photo captioning, extreme-salinity hazards, and excessive preaching about a hobby we all take way too seriously, share this content on social media, and follow me on Twitter @the_larp_cynic.