It’s time to face up to something. It’s been on my mind for some time, but I’ve been avoiding any discussion of it here or at my job, for fear of game-based reprisals and jeering. But I’m not afraid anymore. As some of my colleagues might point out, being in the closet about anything is a terrible place to be in one’s life. I might as well come out about it.
I’m a teacher. I enjoy what I do, and I take that part of my life into the games I play.
There, I said it. It wasn’t easy, but there you go. Sometimes, a man’s got to be honest with himself (and, as Dirty Harry would point out, know his limitations, but that’s a discussion for another time).
See, I didn’t really know just how invested I was in teaching until I realized the other day that I probably have about 25-30 memorized and prepped lectures on how to run instances in LOTRO. I spend a lot of time in PUGs, so I end up running new players through existing content. It wasn’t until I gave the Great Barrow Maze lecture for the billionth time that it finally dawned on me that I had come home from a long day of teaching at work only to start teaching in my spare time. Of course, the material is radically different; Ost Elendil has quite a different story from the revenge machinations to be found in The Spanish Tragedy (The Spanish Tragedy is a bit bloodier than the Ost Elendil instance, for one). But sound pedagogy (that’s a fancy term for the study of teaching, you knuckleheads) applies in both cases. If you want your group to be successful in an instance, you’ve got to teach them everything they need to know and make it relevant to them. You can’t just blab mindlessly about specific tasks without telling them the why of it all; you have to explain it well. Otherwise, players go into an instance mindlessly doing some random fellowship maneuver that has effect X, rather than understanding something important, like “hey, the boss wipes all bleeds every 20k, so a yellow CJ is pointless, along with all of your other long-term bleed skills that I see you like to use.”
This is not meant as a direct counter-point to Simon’s recent blog post (although Simon is quite free to hijack my comments section to suit his own nefarious agenda should he so choose; his nefarious schemes do not conflict with my own at the moment). I am simply observing that in a genial multiplayer environment, one that refrains from castigating newer players as noobs, I find that no matter what role-playing scenario I am in, the multiplayer aspect causes me to revert to type… whatever type that is.