[03/02/2006] [Some Tennessee Guy]
APATHY: 1 lack of emotion 2 indifference; listlessness (taken from Webster’s New World Dictionary)
After reading “Bad Becoming Normal”, I began thinking of things in Amtgard. I looked at all the areas that there are problems with both where I play and all those places that I travel to. Everywhere that I go in the Amtworld, there are problems with garb, sloughing shots, constantly broken rules, abuse of gray areas and loopholes and a plethora of other problems that take away from what I believe Amtgard was meant to be. Now I’ve been told that the groups in my area exist in an “Amt Void”, but that is another problem that stems from one common disease to this game. That disease is called apathy.
Everywhere that there is a group of Amtgarders, you will find apathy. One easy way to spot it is by looking at garb. How many times have you looked at a field of Amtgarders and seen weird prints on tunics or tabards? Or seen a guy running around with chain maille over a t-shirt and fatigues? Or seen a 6th level druid calling for someone’s death wearing Nike tennis shoes, shorts, t-shirt and Ray Bans? One of the basic rules to creating a character is “Making a costume for yourself that is fitting to your persona.” It takes about $20 and a couple of hours to create garb that will last years with only minor repairs. The only reason that people get away with this stuff is apathy. No one is willing to care enough to step up and tell that veteran of the game that he has to play a peasant because he didn’t care enough to put on his garb that day.
We all do it to others and have all had it done to us. It is the one thing that will take the brightness from a newbie’s smile and makes them jaded. It’s sloughing. Whether it be a veteran not taking a shot because it was “ugly” or a newbie blowing a shot so they can play a little longer, it’s still sloughing. We don’t play SCA where you must determine if a shot would penetrate a chain maille halberk. We don’t play Dagohir where you throw shots as hard as you can. We play Amtgard, where if it touches you, it was more than likely a good shot. Players and reeves however are apathetic to what it does to the battlegame and to the game as a whole. We allow it to happen because we want to win. We want to be the best at all costs.
How many times have you seen someone not go back to their base to call alive? Or seen a hardened spellbook be used to block shots? Or any of the number of things that have been used and abused that is a gray area in our game? We have become so apathetic that we no longer care that it is bending or breaking a rule, we just want it our way. Eventually people get tired of it. They leave this game to go play a more structured game where people care about the rules.
I play at a group in East Tennessee. This area has been called an Amt Void for as long as I have been in this game. People constantly say that we have no veterans here, and no kingdoms, so we don’t have direction. But when we ask questions, we get responses like “Go ask your monarch,” when our monarch is just as clueless as we are. Everyone wants to complain about the way that we do things, but no one wants to put in the effort to help get things going the way that they should. It all stems from apathy. It’s apathy that makes reeves not do their job. It’s apathy that causes knights that get their belts to not give a damn about everyone else. It’s apathy that causes veterans, when asked to declare enchantments to answer “me” and then not take their shots due to their enchantments. It’s apathy that causes shady deals for power to be allowed. It’s apathy that jades a new player, and it’s apathy that will destroy the game that we all love.
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