As a hobby, role-playing is definitely very inclusive. Through my own experiences, I’ve met many kinds of people from different walks of life with varied interests. All of them, of course, shared an interest in rolling dice and telling stories, as well as, hopefully, having fun.
But, despite the fact it is an inclusive hobby, role-playing is still maligned and portrayed in a negative light by some areas of society and some groups of people. It is presented as daemon-worship, something to be feared, reviled and shunned, as are role-players themselves (please note, this is a sweeping statement made to serve a point and presents an extreme view). This, I feel, is distinctly unfair. Just because a hobby can be viewed as ‘anti-social’ (an opinion I do NOT agree with), doesn’t make it alright to marginalise those who enjoy it.
Several films and TV episodes have been made in recent years that portray role-playing (whether pen and paper or live action) in a variety of different scenarios, all, to some greater or lesser extent, clearing up some of the mythos and ideas surrounding it as a hobby. The fact that these have happened at all is commendable, as are the actors who admit to roleplaying (Vin Diesel reportedly enjoys it) and anyone else who admits to society as a whole that they enjoy it as a hobby.
As inclusive as it is therefore, it is not surprising that some role-players can be termed ‘disabled’ and it is my hope that this blog/site/whatever can help to shed some light on the relationship between role-playing and ‘disability’, whether physical or mental. I personally cope with challenges every day due to my ‘disability’ (which makes everything sound worse than it actually is) and I plan on writing a future post detailing the ways in which my hobby have helped me to overcome my challenge (as the nice man at Remploy told me to think about).
The purpose of this post, however, is twofold; one) It is a sounding board just to see if there is interest in this kind of thing and two) a call to all of you out there who are ‘disabled’ or know someone who is. I’d be interested and appreciative if you could write something to be posted on this site concerning role-playing and how it helps you cope, or how it influences your role-playing, or how you deal with it at the table etc. It can be of any length, testimonial or full length article, as long as you are happy with people reading it. If you do write anything, please send it to; firstname.lastname@example.org. I will try and present it with the respect and seriousness that it deserves (despite my somewhat whimsical style of writing). Even if nothing is written, I’ll still go ahead and write my own tuppence.
Anyway, thanks for reading.