raging_swan (raging_swan) wrote,

Gaming Advice: What to do When it’s Not Fun

Gaming is awesome fun. It's the high point of your week. Except when it isn't...


(Art: William McAusland [Outland Arts])

I know it seems a bit mad, but sometimes you don't have fun when you are gaming. You turn up and go through the motions, but you just don't have fun. Sometimes it's hard to believe you aren't enjoying yourself. Luckily, there are some warning signs:

  • You don't really care about your character.

  • You don't really care about the quest, adventure or campaign.

  • You can't seem to find the time to update your character between sessions.

  • Other stuff seems to come up with surprising regularity that clashes with the game session.

If you are beset by one or more of the above warning signs, it's likely you are not enjoying yourself.

Questions to Ask

Fear not, though! Working out why you are not having fun is the first step to fixing the problem.

  • Why you aren't having fun? Be honest with yourself. Is it the game system? The adventure? One of the other people at the table? Some of these things are relatively easy to resolve while others are much harder.

  • Is this a temporary problem? Perhaps it’s the particular adventure you are on at the moment you don't enjoy.

  • What's the best case scenario? How would you like the problem to be resolved? Is this a realistic solution?

  • What solution can you live with? Is there a middle ground solution that will work for you?

What to do About It

Once you've worked out why you aren't enjoying the game, you need to do something about it.

  • Talk to the GM. Let the GM know how you are feeling and what the problem is. The GM has the most control over the game and so he is the mostly likeliest to be able to help. Try not to be judgemental and put the blame at his feet (even if it is his fault). GMing is a very personal thing and telling the GM you don't like his style or that his campaign world is crap is not going to end well. If the issue is something else - the adventure, another player etc. chances are the GM can help.

  • Tough it Out: If the problem is a temporary one, tough it out. For example, if you don't like the adventure it will likely finish soon anyway. Alternatively, take a short break from the game so you return rejuvenated and ready for action!

  • Find another game. If you can't revive your enthusiasm or your concerns have fallen on deaf ears, you should strongly consider finding another game. After all, a game session is a substantial investment in time. The amount of time you invest in an adventure or an entire campaign is even greater. For example, as I write this we've played 73 sessions of my Borderland of Adventure campaign. At roughly four hours a session this means we've played for 292 hours. If we weren't enjoy it, that's a staggering amount of time wasted.

Have you not had fun gaming recently? How did you deal with the situation? Let us know in the comments below and remember you can download this – and every other advice article – for free at ragingswan.com/articles.

Tags: advice article, gaming advice

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