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Gamers for Personal Hygiene
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TOPIC: Gamers for Personal Hygiene
#15930
Gamers for Personal Hygiene 7 Years, 9 Months ago  
John Kovalic, the brain behind Dork Tower, has come up with a new crusade, ostensibly for the character Igor. It's called Gamers for Personal Hygiene, and I think it's an idea whose time has come.

Sadly, we've all known that individual that could gag a maggot at fifty paces, and have probably had to sit down next to him during a convention. When Dork Tower started this thread, I had to send him a tale of a fellow gamer that I had known that required the most direct language possible in telling him that he stank to high heaven. You'll see the letter posted in the thread as a "cautionary tale."

I fully support this campaign, and would love to see the posters in every game store I enter. For those gamers for whom this campaign is directed, please take notice! And for the rest of us, I think we'd all happily chip in for a bar of soap for any gamey gamer that needs it.

The Dork Tower thread begins here: archive.gamespy.com/comics/dorktower/archive.asp?nextform=viewcomic&id=1143

The thread with the letter is here: archive.gamespy.com/comics/dorktower/archive.asp?nextform=viewrambling&id=399

I think I'll pick up the t-shirt at GenCon.
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#15931
Gamers for Personal Hygiene 7 Years, 9 Months ago  
I fully support this campaign, and would love to see the posters in every game store I enter. For those gamers for whom this campaign is directed, please take notice! And for the rest of us, I think we'd all happily chip in for a bar of soap for any gamey gamer that needs it.
If you do buy soap maybe it should be one of these I just stummbled across - Natural 20 Soaps, each with an embeded d20 - www.seankreynolds.com/soapsbywillow/index.html
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#15932
Gamers for Personal Hygiene 7 Years, 8 Months ago  
Why do gamers tend to have a higher percentage of stinkage compared to other social groups? Seriously, this is weird. I had to make a house-rule about it in one of my campaigns.
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#15933
Gamers for Personal Hygiene 7 Years, 8 Months ago  
Sharon McCrumb wrote a novel called Bimbos of the Death Sun. It is a mystery novel about a murder at a SF/Fantasy Con. In it, she touches on the origins of fandom and explains the very tolerant environment that fandom (and I include gaming in this) fosters while highlighting several of the archetypes most of us have encountered in "genre hobbies".

Fandom (from which, I would argue, gaming grew) began with young social outcasts. They were considered "weird" by their peers, for being too smart, or too heavy, or unathletic, or unattractive, or physically infirm, or having strange tastes in reading and movies. Having been picked on themselves, and craving social contact with people who shared their interests, they tended to be forgiving of each others' foibles. They got together locally, and distributed "fanzines" that allowed them to establish and maintain contact with like-minded people who didn't live nearby (kind of like these forums). Eventually, they started getting together at conventions and swapping books and artwork and costumes. They began publishing material of their own, and setting up home-based businesses, and eventually created the gaming industry in all its wide variety.

The environment of tolerance is an ongoing tradition, and one of our finest qualities. Fandom and gaming remain a haven for people who do not find acceptance in other places for a variety of reasons, often found during one's teenage years. In some areas, "fringe elements" have attached themselves to local conventions not because they are interested in the hobbies, but because they can be themselves without fear of being laughed at or scorned. But there are limits. In any large population, differentiation and compartmentalization occur. People judge each other, whether they are rude about it or not. And those who expect tolerance without being considerate of others will find themselves being ostracized.

Gamers who don't bathe (did they become gamers because no one else would have them, or did they stop bathing because gamers are more tolerant of each others' odor?) are a good example of individuals whose behavior is extreme and inconsiderate to others. Certainly there are people who have stronger personal odors than others, and there are people whose upbringing doesn't emphasize frequent bathing. (I know some people who bathe every other day, and I know some people who shower once in the morning, once when they get home, and once before they go to bed.) But the counter to the argument "It's my body and I can do what I want with it" is (IMO) "Your rights stop at the tip of my nose". Scent is isolated airborne molecules that enter the nose and interact with biochemical receptors -- scent is contact. Therefor, ANY strong scent -- body odor or perfume or harsh detergents -- is something that the person smelling it has a right to say something about.

Bathing and personal hygiene are a matter of simple good manners -- even if someone's metabolism causes them to sweat more, or gives them a pungent odor, they can at least make the effort to minimize their impact on others.
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#15934
Gamers for Personal Hygiene 7 Years, 8 Months ago  
I loved "Bimbos of the Death Sun." I'm rereading it right now, as a matter of fact. The character Appin Dungannon is styled after Harlan Ellison, and Sharon McCrumb makes a point of having Ellison deliver Dungannon's eulogy, in case anyone missed the reference.

Having met Harlan Ellison, I can tell you that Appin Dungannon is an appallingly accurate rendition of that sour little gnome. He tried to pick a fight with me at the 1981 Comicon in San Diego. Not a smart idea, that, but apparently it's all too typical of Ellison.

I did like A Boy and His Dog, and The City on the Edge of Forever was a good Star Trek episode, but Ellison's ego stands tall in the annals of science fiction, even if he himself does not (he's about 5 feet nothing in padded shoes).

I'm wondering if the proliferation of internet users may contribute to the number of hygiene impaired gamers. Fortunately, odor does not transfer across the net.
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#15935
Gamers for Personal Hygiene 7 Years, 8 Months ago  
I think that's a chicken-and-egg question. Does remote interaction give people license to let personal hygiene slide, or does a lack of personal hygiene make the internet more popular?

I asked a game store clerk if MMORPGs and other computer/internet games were impacting sales of pencil-and-paper games, and he told me that sales were about the same, but the customer base had shifted. Paraphrasing, the gamers who showed up for the game in costume, never broke character, and insisted on being addressed by character names all went online, and the people who were avoiding them started gaming (again).
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#15936
Gamers for Personal Hygiene 7 Years, 8 Months ago  
Having met Harlan Ellison, I can tell you that Appin Dungannon is an appallingly accurate rendition of that sour little gnome. He tried to pick a fight with me at the 1981 Comicon in San Diego. Not a smart idea, that, but apparently it's all too typical of Ellison..
Whoaah! Care to share the entire story?
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#15937
Gamers for Personal Hygiene 7 Years, 8 Months ago  
Having met Harlan Ellison, I can tell you that Appin Dungannon is an appallingly accurate rendition of that sour little gnome. He tried to pick a fight with me at the 1981 Comicon in San Diego. Not a smart idea, that, but apparently it's all too typical of Ellison..
Whoaah! Care to share the entire story?

Yeah, this one sounds good!

*sits close to campfire and awaits the wacky-zany tale*

I, after reading the above posts refrencing Bimbos of the Deathsun, actually remember my Dad giving me that book on my 24th birthday (11 years ago). I read it and gobbled it up. I love that book.

In the instance I had to house rule "bathing" in one of my campaigns, it boiled down to my player-buddy not wanting to bathe before our regular Sunday monthly game. I called him on this after he reached over my shoulder to move a mini and I almost disentegrated. I will not go into the spectrum of scents that came out, let's just leave it at the words "fervor" and "humid".

His answer was "This is guy time, and since I am away from my wife - I don't need to bathe."

My retort was, "Are you kidding me?"

This is, of course, before I invited my female-bartender friend into the game. Bathing began and fruit, olives, wine and cheese became the norm for snacks. My lady friend is kinda' pretty too and she acted as though she knew this. In a purely plutonic way, my male players (all married or in the process of) cleaned up real good. This is actually a good topic for another thread (ie: Female gamers in a male dominated game - and my observations of as the DM) but the hygiene completely changed after her arrival to the table.
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The face of a child can say it all, especially the mouth part of the face.
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#15938
Gamers for Personal Hygiene 7 Years, 8 Months ago  
Here's the whole story. I was a young lad, attending the 1981 Comicon in San Diego. Like many young fans of sci fi and fantasy, I hadn't a lot of spare cash, so I signed up for security detail for the convention, which meant getting in for free.

I was doing badge check at the dealer's room, making certain that the people entering had their badges, and thus had paid for their registration for the con. A golfer's cap that barely hit five feet off the ground was perched on the head of an undersized individual walking in without a badge.

"I'm sorry," I said, "but you can't go in without a badge."

The little guy, wearing glasses and sporting a moustache, gave me an annoyed look and declared, "Well I'm going in anyway."

As he tried to brush past me, I took hold of his arm. "Sorry, but no one goes in without a badge."

The runt looked at my hand on his arm, and then up at me. "Take your hand off my arm before I break yours."

I looked down at him - way down. I stand just over six feet in height, and at the time weighed around 180. I smiled at him, in a way that makes rational people think about heading for the exits, and said, "Why don't you run along before someone gets hurt." Meaning him.

Well, before we could get into things, another of the more experienced members of the security staff approached, and said, "This is Harlan Ellison. He's one of the guests. He's supposed to be wearing his badge, but he isn't. Even so, he's okay to go in."

That said, I released my hold of the little fellow and off he went. Afterward, I learned that Harlan has such a Napoleonic complex that he tries to pick a fight with almost anyone over six feet in height, and is such a horse's patoot that no one would have minded if I had thumped the little twerp.

Friends of mine that were regular attendees of World Con and other such sci-fi and fantasy gatherings tell another tale of Harlan. One of the people that made a regular showing was author Randall Garrett, who was, I'm told, fairly good looking. He'd approach a femme fan, and introduce himself.

"Hi, I'm Randy. Wanna f**k?"

I'm told that as often as not, this would work.

Harlan Ellison, having viewed this performance, was positively green with envy. Being knee high to a kobold, and having the personality of a dyspeptic troll, Harlan routinely struck out with women. So, emboldened by the success of his literary peer, he approached a positively gorgeous Amazon of a woman, a six-foot blonde.

"What would you say to a little f**k?"

The blonde looked down at him and waved, "Hi, little f**k!" And walked off, leaving Harlan's ego in the dust.
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#15939
Gamers for Personal Hygiene 7 Years, 8 Months ago  
He might very well have broken your arm.

Ellison is still something of a story within the US Army Rangers back in the mid-1950s when he was in. Even then he was known as an abrasive runt who was constantly in the brig for fighting everything and everyone.

He hates his fans, hates sci-fi (or at least the name sci-fi), and is famous for launching lawsuits at everyone and anyone who thinks wronged him.

I would love it if you had thumped him but it probably would have dropped a ton of trouble in your lap.
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#15940
Gamers for Personal Hygiene 7 Years, 8 Months ago  
Well, if he's that lawsuit-happy, let's drop him from the discussion and get back to annoying gamer behaviors.

Bathing = good.

Anything else?
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#15941
Gamers for Personal Hygiene 7 Years, 8 Months ago  
One more Ellison comment, then I'M gonna drop the little twerp (preferrably down a deep hole - but save his writing skills, if not his subject matters).
Read Heinlein's "NoteBooks of Lazarus Long" some time. Long's commentary on little men is specifically aimed at Harlan. Apparently they had a verbal (or non) - encounter at a convention or a LASFS meeting once, and only good manners on a Navy vet's part prevented a homicide.
And I don't believe Ranger training would have helped; a good Big man can always take a good Little man. Giant cojones don't help counter better reach and equal (or superior) training; Robert didn't stop learning hand-to-hand when TB took him out of the Navy. he just stopped bragging about it.

And that's the end of MY little story.

See ya!

Jim
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