Terrible Gamers

About Us

Reason d’Etre

If you want a longer story about the genesis of terrible gamers keep reading. Here I will give the quick. I will give you the dirty. I will give the very basics of why we exist.

Our ultimate goal is to build and foster the community of people who are engaged in our collective hobby–gaming. We exist to serve everyone who plays traditional games be they: LARPers, tabletop roleplayers, war gamers, casual board gamers, miniature gamers, or those who play collectible card games.

To do this we want to build a website where you can find articles, reviews and stories about gaming that aren’t bought by gaming companies through practices like “fluff for stuff,” don’t treat gamers like they are too stupid to handle serious topics, and don’t assume that gamers exist in isolated groups completely separated from one another.

That’s what makes us terrible gamers.

If we are successful, we will be rewarded by having a website that can serve as both a source of information for the gaming community and as a place where gamers can come to find other people who play the games they want to play.

And of course, all of this requires your participation. We encourage you to participate. Sign up. Comment. Ask us to cover stuff you want us to cover. This website is meant to be about you–the gaming community–and not us.


The story of the genesis of Terrible Gamers is a long one. Since I cannot assume that those of you who find your way here will find that story terribly interesting, I will do my best to boil it down to a palatable stock in telling the tale. It all started a few years ago, around twenty to be exact, when I first discovered that there was more to “playing games” than text adventures on my dad’s old Macintosh SE/30 or sitting around the table playing monopoly with my grandparents.

Back on some August or September afternoon during my first year of high school–1991–I met some new people and made some new friends. What drew my attention to those new friends, on that particular day, was the activity in which they were engaged. They were sitting in a circle acting out the lives of fantastic characters that one might find in novel. It was amazing! I had discovered roleplaying games.

Time went on and stuff happened, as its ought to do, and by the end of high school playing games was what I did and who I was. Above everything else that capitalism had taught me to base my identity on–music, fashion, religion, etc–I had first and foremost become a gamer. I dabbled in everything from AD&D to Magic the Gathering (I met my first serious girlfriend playing magic at a game retailer).

When I finally made it out of community college and headed for “real” school at UC Santa Cruz I was 23 years old and had been playing games with the same group of friends for over half a decade. And while I missed my friends during my time in Santa Cruz, I also missed gaming. As a result I did my best to find people to play with at school. This was more difficult for me to do than I would have imagined.

Most of the people that I gravitated towards in college were not themselves gamers, so I turned to the internet in hopes of inserting myself into someone else’s game night. Over the course of two years I found exactly one gamer who shared the my interest in particular games, wasn’t in a group not currently looking for new players, and wasn’t a creep.

Since this was just prior to the advent of social networking sites like Facebook–Myspace was in its infancy then–and the old tack’m up in-store bulletin boards were already out of vogue, I began to dream about making a website that was dedicated to people who wanted to play games, but was having trouble finding other players.

As it stood finding other online often required you to be the member of game system specific message boards. This got rather arduous when you didn’t mind playing White Wolf rpgs, old school D&D, Palladium stuff, or Cyber Punk while also looking for war gamers to get in on World in Flames games and a group who played Magic the Gathering casually. There had to be a better way.

I quickly forgot about this after graduation when I moved back to Southern California and went to work in the video game industry. It was my experience there, linked with my subsequent departure for a PhD program in Irvine that reminded me of my interest in the gaming community, this time from the perspective of someone who had been involved in making and writing about games. Specifically, I noticed four things:

The incestuous relationship between game journalism and the game industry (both traditional games and video games)
The loculated nature of different gaming communities
Games journalism that treated their readers (the gaming community) like they were stupid and incapable, or unwilling, to engage in critical way with their hobby
No one took, including most of us gamers, the things which went on around the game table very seriously. Leaving the potential for games as a medium participatory improvisational fiction buried and unharnessed

All of these thoughts came together in March of 2013 when I began GMing a game that we hoped, and still hope, to turn into a podcast. Shortly after we started playing, a friend of mine, and someone I’ve played games with for nearly 20 years, launched our sister site rentagamemaster.com. I immediately wanted to be involved because rentagamemaster.com was an attempt to do, at least partially, what I had pondered many years ago–creating a space for people to find others to play games with them.
After attending Gen Con 2013 on a press pass as rentagamemater’s editor-in-chief, and in truth only “staff” writer, this website was born.

It exists as my attempt to complete the circle by, hopefully, building and fostering a social network of sorts for gamers to find gamers to play games with. This, of course, is near an impossible task in the sense that you cannot build a community around a website overnight. So in the meantime we hope to bring you, and to continue to bring you, real journalistic content covering games, the gaming industry, and gaming culture.

What you can expect here is:

Articles about our collective hobby and community that don’t treat you like you are stupid
Real reviews of games, which aren’t white washed so we can get free stuff from the gaming industry (fluff for stuff), and don’t assume that you are part of some isolated gaming community. We are all about community integration.
Stories and narratives about gaming
Other stuff that is related to gaming, or gaming culture.

Above all else this site aims to take you, the gaming community seriously. We want you to participate and we want to foster and grow the gaming community. So please, participate, comment, argue and get involved!

Rules (yes, there is one):

We encourage you to participate. We encourage you to disagree with us. We encourage you to agree with us. We encourage you to love us. We encourage you to hate us. We encourage you to argue with us. We encourage you to do all these things with each other. Do them. But others. No racist, classist, sexist bullshit. No threats of any sort. You can say mean things, to us at least, just do so politely and logically.


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