Awkward RPG Sessions - Should This Girl Gamer Find Another Group?
October 18, 2012 7:11 AM Subscribe
I joined a gaming group about 6 months ago - and, well, things are awkward. I am wondering if I should keep going or if I should just chalk this up to experience (no pun intended)?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (61 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
I have been tabletop RPGing since the mid-1990s but had to give up regular sessions when I moved to a new city a couple of years ago. It took me a long time to find a replacement group thanks to my erratic work schedule, so I was really happy when I finally found a group in April.
However, I feel really awkward at our gaming sessions.
I am a female in my late 30s and I have always been used to playing in mixed-gender groups. This group is all-male and I am the first female gamer they've ever had on board. I game with five guys all in their late 30s and early 40s - two are married, the rest are divorced. I am in a very happy long-term relationship.
It started out okay. In our first campaign I took over a male fighter someone had left behind and I enjoyed myself. I felt at home - I finally had somewhere to be geeky.
Then the new campaign started about a month later - the new GM set the campaign in a setting meant to evoke my family background and I was asked to play a female cleric ("because, well, it won't be difficult for you to play a smart girl with high Charisma"). Alarm bells went off and they have not stopped ringing, really.
As I am sitting here and trying to write this succinctly, I get even more uneasy. The GM frequently brushes his arm against mine, he's using in-game characters to flirt with my character, and he's made my character the central figure in the big plot we are unravelling. I get a lot of subtle compliments too - I am clever, I am a good leader, I played that instance really well .. I am uncomfortable and I have tried every trick in the book: talking about my boyfriend incessantly, not going along with the in-game flirting and generally shying away from interaction. I have even begun taking a different train to our gaming sessions as the GM usually takes the same train as me.
The other guys have also changed their behaviour around me - they are simultaneously more reverent towards anything I say and more innuendo-laden, if that makes sense. The two married guys are the only ones who have not changed their behaviours, thank heavens.
And it is spilling over into non-gaming life. When I joined the group, I also joined their FB page and friended everyone. The GM leaves remarks on posts and pictures calling me "a minx" in one instance. He's also befriended people (girls) from my old RPG group. Tellingly, he's not befriended my boyfriend. Likewise, the group has suggested I join them on cinema outings but when I say that my boyfriend might want to see the film too, it's made clear it's not a good idea.
I've spoken about all this with my non-gaming boyfriend who thinks the group just needs to get used to having a girl there. I have not mentioned the extra dollop of flirting though, because I want to handle this on my own. I am pretty miserable because I love tabletop gaming and I never asked for any extra attention - I just needed a place to get away from my busy work life.
So, should I keep going to these gaming sessions, rebuffing awkward advances and keep killing those orcs.. or do I need to find another gaming group (which will probably take me ages)?
(I realise I must have been lucky with my old RPG group because this sort of thing never came up.. is it usually difficult to be a girl gamer and not be treated weirdly?)