Bonding (not bondage) through Dungeons

Real friends help you feed the body to the pigs.

Game Group As Support System

Berin Kinsman is the chief cat wrangler at Asparagus Jumpsuit. He’s a old, old roleplaying gamer, and blogs about creativity at BerinKinsman.com

To be clear, I don’t want the title of this post to mislead anyone. Your game group is not a 12-step program, and your game night is not a group therapy session. You should not walk into a room full of people prepared to have some light-hearted fun and unload all of your problems upon them. However, there are many benefits to be gained from the simple fact that you are a member of a social group, and have regularly scheduled fun time planned.

Social Life As Escapism
The mere fact that you’re at game night means you’re not at work, you’re not at school, and you’re not at home. You’re away from whatever situation is causing you stress, and hopefully away from people causing you problems. Even if you’re not talking to your fellow gamers about your issues, you’ve given yourself a break. Take some time to get distracted, not think about it, and gain some perspective. You can deal with whatever is weighing on your mind later.

These People Like You
You may not be close friends with people in your game group, you may only get together to play, but they like you enough to hang out with you. You’ve all got at least one thing in common, the game. It may not seem like much, but it’s something. It’s an opportunity to make some closer friends, network, and maybe expand your social contacts beyond the game. It’s human contact, which is something a lot of people lack in their lives.

A Network Equals Options

Odds are, if someone in your group isn’t going through things similar to what you’re going through, they know someone who is, or has. They know someone they can refer you to for help. They may even be able to provide you some help, even if it’s just an ear willing to listen. I know there are risks, that’ you’re afraid of being made fun of, that you’ll be ejected from the group, that things will end up worse. Use your best judgment, and approach a group member you trust one-on-one. You might be pleasantly surprised at the results.

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