Friday, January 4, 2013
Be A Better Player 15 - Hygiene, please be clean.
Player 1 – Sorry I'm late guys, had to some things to take care of before I came over.
GM – No worries, it's only a few minutes and I think we all know how it is sometimes.
Player 2 – Now sit down and pull out your fighter we have goblins to kill!
Player 1 – Damn Straight! Alright lets get the metal swinging. Um... what's wrong with you?
Player 3 – Nothing. Just moving over a bit so I can... stretch my legs out a bit better.
Player 1 – Oh okay. So let's... what are you doing.
Player 4 – Moving over a bit also, just to get the fresh air coming in from the door.
Player 1 – What are you trying to say man?
Player 3 – You aren't exactly smelling to fresh y'know.
Player 4 – Fresh hell, dude you stink.
Player 1 – Oh bullshit I do not.
Player 3 – When is the last time you showered?
Player 1 – Okay it's been a few days alright, it's not that bad.
Player 4 – Those clothes, when was the last time they were 'showered'?
Player 1 – Yeah okay I haven't done laundry in a while so I picked out something that was least dirty. Alright it's not that bad. Hey where are you going?
Eventually I knew I was going to do an article for players over this. Although in all honestly it can be applied to a few Gamemasters that I have met over the years as well. Because personal hygiene is a issue of discussion among many various groups of gamers and people outside of the gaming community when talking about gamers. It's become the stereotype even though it's not nearly as common as people make it out to be. However when you encounter it... it is an occurrence that you will not easily forget as it usually burns a pretty big mark into your memory that can't be undone.
I'm not talking about the big scraggly beards, disheveled clothing or ratty Miskatonic University ball cap you've had for years. Those things are nothing when measured up against an offense against anothers olfactory senses. This will drive people away from you, they will talk about you behind your back about for years to come, you will be known as 'that smelly gamer' and you help continue to spread the idea that gamers are unclean which so many of the rest of us are trying desperately to disprove.
Sometimes it's the occasional problem, you don't want to be late after doing something that causes you to sweat a lot, or even spent some time in a pretty smelly place. But trust me if you call up the GM and tell them you will be a few minutes late because you need to grab a shower after hitting the gym or flipping burgers at a crappy job I'm pretty sure they will be cool with. I mean what's worse? Waiting and extra ten to fifteen minutes to start a game up or having to sit right next to somebody who is a constant source of not so good fumes for three to four hours? I know what my choice on this would be.
For others this seems to be a constant persistent problem. They just refuse to bathe often (once a week doesn't cut it), don't buy deodorant and wear the same clothes for days on end. Please for the love of God stop doing this. It's fucking gross. I know the gaming community is quite open to people with a lot of issues, social problems and other such things. But there is nothing that says they have to be open to punishing themselves by allowing you at their table. If I'm running the game I will point out the issue and ask you to leave. I wish more folks would do this so you would get the hint. Shower, clean clothes, deodorant... should be just as essential as having dice when going to game.
Then there are the hardcore convention folks. They hit the con and don't stop gaming except to throw some food down their throats or catch a couple hours of sleep. Crawling from table to table nonstop. I can understand the obsession but trust me a few minutes back the hotel room, or a friends hotel room, in the shower actually makes the experience better. You don't feel grimy, you don't look grimy, people aren't talking about you and you are generally feeling more comfortable at the gaming table. Pack an extra can of spray on deodorant at least, maybe change that shirt in the bathroom and get a hooker shower if you have to. At least try and to do something.
So please if others smell you coming and then continue to smell the funk after you leave.... then something is wrong and it's not everybody else.