Years ago, I read the Cyberpunk Manifesto, and was inspired. Sadly, my career in cybersecurity was the bland corporate variety, but the same energy from that piece has stuck with me for years. On a whim, I've decided to transcribe an Applied GM's Manifesto.
Applied GM's Manifesto
I will always remember you saying
"Dungeons and Dragons, that's the satanic game!"
"Only nerds play that!"
"If I'm 30 and playing those stupid games, please shoot me."
You saw this game as a threat, a waste of time, an isolating and useless endeavor. In your eyes, playing this game made us losers.
You saw us pretending to be an elf
We were finding an escape to survive bullying.
You saw us rolling dice and checking charts
We were mastering complex skills.
You saw the nerds sitting around a table
We were forging lifelong friendships.
You saw RPGs as a childish game
We saw RPGs as a lifeline.
A piece of driftwood that we clung to in a storm, keeping us afloat in a world that was hostile.
And through the storm, we learned that RPGs are a tool. A tool that we used to survive, but once we were on steady ground, do so much more.
Now, look at us- we are healers, teachers, mentors, specialists, scholars, theologians, artists, and ultimately, leaders, facilitating the growth of others using this tool we have mastered. We run groups to educate, to heal mental wounds, to teach communication, to craft skills, to build community, and ultimately, to foster growth.
You once looked at us as fools wasting our lives on a game, but the people we help are testament to our work.
You now look at our successes, and lament that we are now making money and helping others through that game you thought was useless.
But some day, when you are willing and looking to grow, we will welcome you to our table, and you will see what we've known all along.
That this game is so much more.
And in spite of everything, we are happy to take you on a journey with us.