Last month, I got the chance to game with what I still consider my weekly group. Most of the time, I’m approximately 12 time zones away from them while they’re gaming. This makes it very difficult to join in to the weekly gaming sessions. Yet I still consider myself part of the group, and they welcomed me back. Getting this rare chance to game with them again was like a breath of very comfortable air. The same goofy banter, the same great roleplaying, the same joy of knowing you’re gaming with people who are on the same wavelength. It was great, and now that I’m far away from them again, I miss that gaming a lot.
Luckily, my other group, the ongoing Blade & Crown campaign, has continued via videochat. If we couldn’t do that, I would be suffering a real dearth of gaming.
A good gaming group is a precious thing. I’ve often seen the mantra “No gaming is worse than bad gaming”, and I agree with some of the ideas behind it. If people in your group are actually being abusive, that is definitely something to extricate yourself from. But I totally understand the desire to stay with a group, any group, if you’ve been deprived too long. Building a group you can at least marginally tolerate is hard enough; finding a group where you and the other players click, have compatible politics, similar taste in games, workable schedules, can talk through problems as reasonable adults, agree on the right amount of Monty Python references, etc. etc. — that is a truly rare thing. So I well understand the desire to want to preserve gaming groups, come hell or high water. It’s important to not just say “this isn’t working out” the first moment things are less than ideal. If it’s outright bad, that’s a different story; but it’s also important to work through problems when possible, and to try to turn not-so-great gaming into better gaming. And then, when you find — or work together to create — a group of people you really click with, it’s worth working to preserve that.