Say it with me: Gamers and Rules are friends!

Don't let the rules get in the way of the fun.

Say this in a group of gamers and you'll get the sort of slow, thoughtful nodding that you expect from a beat poetry slam. Like you've uttered some sort of deep Zen koan. You "get it" on some level that the novice gamer just can't.

What shite.

First, stop demonizing the rules. Some of us like rules. They're why we choose one system over another. If the rules are really irrelevant, and only serve to get in the way of a good time, like some Poindexter who's unwilling to let you break into his dad's liquor cabinet, why aren't you just sitting around swapping stories instead? Perhaps the problem isn't the rules at all, friend, but your inability to read them correctly. Maybe the problem isn't the rules, but the fact that you keep trying to use them when they're so obviously ill-suited to your pursuits?

Also, when did it become objective fact that rules aren't fun in and of themselves? Look to the number of people out there who never get a chance to play a game in their life, but who spend all of their free time reading rules, writing new rules, using those rules to design worlds, to stat up monsters, to create character after character. Rules are what gives the game structure, after all. Sonnets are almost always more interesting and more precise than free verse - because they provide a structural limitation against which to build.

So, the next time you find yourself about to say something pseudo-intellectual like this, take into consideration - are you conflating your own opinions with facts again? Now, nod slowly and thoughtfully about that.

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