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What Would You Do?

As a GM, my preferred medium is contemporary horror (more specifically, Chill), and one of the things my players used to do was come up with "kits" of stuff they wanted to have handy in case of a supernatural emergency.  Today I found this list of recommended emergency kits, which is perfectly in earnest (and, imho, a pretty good idea). (via Making Light)

This leads to another topic I've been discussing with friends lately, and I'm hoping my occasional readers will chime in with their thoughts.  To wit: Are roleplayers, by virtue of the skills we develop to play the games, better equipped to deal with real-life emergencies and disasters?

I have a penchant for playing characters with a heroic bent, who are the last to stand against the onslaught, often endangering or sacrificing themselves that others might escape/live.  I don't know, though, that I would be so selfless, or that I would even think clearly enough in an emergency to do more than gibber like a goob.

Discuss among yourselves...


( 4 comments — Roll the dice )
Jan. 2nd, 2005 06:15 pm (UTC)
We live on an island in the Pacific Ocean and we're overdue for a big earthquake. When we were discussing our emergency kit a few years ago I certainly drew on my gaming experience when thinking up equipment I'd want to have.

I'm not sure that gamers are necessarily better equipped to deal with emergencies, though. What about people who go camping a lot, or people who get work-related training for this stuff? I'm one of the earthquake wardens for the place I work, and the training that I got for that was almost entirely stuff I didn't already know.

I guess I think that the skills I develop in gaming make me better equipped than if I hadn't done any gaming, but I'm reluctant to say that gamers are generally better equipped than non-gamers.
Jan. 2nd, 2005 09:25 pm (UTC)
I think we're better at planning for extreme situations. After all, the precautions you need for dealing with a full-scale "Dawn of the Dead" will also stand you in good stead against the living. Tara and I routinely grade houses for zombie defensibility, which also works against burglars. That doesn't necessarily mean we're better at coping with emergency situations; most of us aren't in the peak of health. That said, in my D&D group, we have people who can use firearms and melee weapons, we have a doctor, everyone knows first aid, I'm a champion sprinter, we all have some martial arts experience, most of us can drive and have survival knowledge. If the crap hit the fan during a gaming session, most of us would have a pretty good chance.
Jan. 3rd, 2005 01:06 am (UTC)

In my experience, the vast majority of gamers have no idea what it means to be a hero. Instead, the characters they play are self-centred, often cowards who refuse to do anything unless there's an obvious pay off for them involved.

A hero isn't like that. He or she is willing to put their own lives on the line in order to help other people, even if there is no reward on offer. They do it because they care.

Call me cynical. But that's part of the reason why I don't play D&D any more (ok, admittedly a very small part, but a part nonetheless).

However, I have in real life faced down a seriously pissed-off drunk guy wielding a broken bottle when there were women and children about. I'll admit to being scared shitless, but I at least put myself between him and them and tried to calm him down. I figured that if anyone was going to get stabbed, I'd rather it was me than them. Fortunately, the guy backed down before things got really nasty and everyone else was able to get to safety.
Jan. 6th, 2005 06:20 pm (UTC)
10 years ago I'd have said no way. Gamers are fat, lazy and, as enoywd says, selfish.

But, people grow up. I've watched the people I game with go from snotty kids to functional adults. Are they, as a result of their gaming experiences, better prepared for emergencies? Possibly, but I'd argue that if that gaming happens in a vacuum, it's meaningless. Most of the gamers I know are also parents and/or professionals, and I think the skills learned there are just as helpful (probably more so). The gamers that I know that do nothing but game are completely useless in most situations, and probably would be just as useless in a real emergency. Unless it involved rolling dice and whining. :)
( 4 comments — Roll the dice )

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