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Gamer Famous

There's a term that always goes around the game industry at the conventions: "gamer famous". It came to mind as I was reading Stephen Fry's brilliant (but looooong) entry on fame.

The thing about gamer famous is, you're really only famous in a tiny, tiny little world. Say "Gary Gygax" to 1,000 people at the supermarket, and maybe 25 will know what you are talking about. Maybe. Say "Monte Cook", and maybe 5 know the name, in a game-crazy town like Seattle.

Say my name, and I'll be thrilled if one does ("Hi Mom, thanks for shopping!").

Change the venue to a supermarket in Japan, and no one knows any of those names. Fame depends on location, on the society around you. And so "gamer famous" just means you're a game designer who happens to be at a game convention, where people know your work. It's odd, but in a pleasant way, because at the end of the con you can go back to your anonymity.

I have a certain amount of pity for those famous people who are too well known to go anywhere in their native country without being recognized. And Fry does a nice job of dissecting why perhaps pity is the right response for some of these folks.


( 14 sutras — Your wisdom )
Oct. 3rd, 2007 06:08 am (UTC)
I was 'gamer famous' at Origins and Gen Con when I was working for WK. It actually creeped me out.

Oct. 3rd, 2007 07:54 am (UTC)
Art is much the same way, in my opinion - there are a handful of people who are very well known in the field, but their names would be meaningless to anyone outside it.
Oct. 3rd, 2007 04:32 pm (UTC)
Heh. Yes, I have mulled over this many times. I too, am glad to ot have the kind of fame that makes one paparazzi-bait because that just seems like living under seige.

Still, wouldn't mind if the industry paid us more. Really, I'm not asking much.


Oct. 3rd, 2007 08:16 pm (UTC)
Yeah, but fame and finances are two different tracks. Writers and artists can be plenty famous but poor as church mice. Which seems a shame.
(Deleted comment)
Oct. 3rd, 2007 08:17 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I'm always pleasantly surprised when anyone at a con makes the connection between an RPG book on their shelf and a person in front of them.

Not sure where the attitude comes from, other than rampant egotism. Or too much time living in small internet ponds.
(Deleted comment)
Oct. 3rd, 2007 11:31 pm (UTC)
True enough, but I ran into Richard Garfield at the store once. So, you know, I'm not the only one shopping there.
Oct. 11th, 2007 09:48 am (UTC)
Oh you are known all right :)
Wolfgang, you are known all right... albeit as you say, to a restricted group of people.

With Monte moving on to other things and you working on so many projects in the hobby, D&D players know more and more about you. Your work on Pathfinder is superb!

You even became someone's (i.e me) nemesis! :)


Keep up the good work!!
Oct. 11th, 2007 04:08 pm (UTC)
Re: Oh you are known all right :)
Hurray! I've always wanted a nemesis!

I look forward to a long and difficult working relationship, filled with villainous monologues and cliff-top duels. Should be fun. :)
Oct. 11th, 2007 04:30 pm (UTC)
Re: Oh you are known all right :)
Oh you're so on man!

Me and my army of Crunch Golems on Mechanical Pegasuses are storming your Cloud Castle as we speak! :)
Oct. 11th, 2007 04:42 pm (UTC)
Re: Oh you are known all right :)
Crunch golems!? You mad fool, you play directly into my hands!

Unleash the vats of dire acid flavor! Fire the Electro-fluff Cannons!

::meanwhile, inn jagdell's hidden Mechanical Fortress, a shadowy figure slinks toward his treasury, certain in its knowledge of his preference for mathematics and straightforward engineering....[cue musical sting]::
Oct. 11th, 2007 04:48 pm (UTC)
Re: Oh you are known all right :)
Arghhhhhhhhh !!!! I'll get you for this Monkey King this I swear on my pet NPC's grave

(he should have moved when I stomped it with my.... nooo you'll find out soon enough)

Mwa Ha Ha HA!!!!
Oct. 11th, 2007 10:21 pm (UTC)
My Plan is unfolding!
Part 2 of my plan is right on Schedule Mr. Baur (god, even your name fits the Trope).

Oct. 12th, 2007 03:20 am (UTC)
Re: My Plan is unfolding!
Prepare for retaliation in a future thread, varlet!

My plans are for the good of All Mankind — stand down, or be destroyed!
Oct. 12th, 2007 08:10 am (UTC)
Re: My Plan is unfolding!
For All Mankind? Feh to Mankind! What about us kobolds? We deserve to live! We deserve to love! Like our cousins the goblins, we are mistreated and misunderstood.

Avast, ye scurvy Hun! We shall overrun your fiddly human stronghold of lies and burn your paltry IT networks to their component molecules! And then we shall return to our humble earthen abodes and dream longingly of one day building our own IT networks and strongholds. Which we shall never actually possess, 'cuz, y'know, we're kobolds.

( 14 sutras — Your wisdom )

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