I've been scanning some old news articles and found one from the BBC website from a couple of months ago that caught my attention. The article was about the rather mysterious scene known as Furries. Born of comic cons in the 8o's and fostered by the Internet in the 90's this has grown into a vibrant community. But a recent murder plot by two Furries has brought the community into disrepute and cast an unwelcome and often judgemental eye on this previously little known hobby.
Does this ring any bells with the roleplayers out there? This is sounding very akin to the uninformed furore that has surrounded D&D for the last 20 odd years. Don't get me wrong, dressing up as a cat or a fox isn't exactly 'my thing' but each to their own. The worrying thing I found was that some Internet forums (I won't say which to protect the innocent) for more mainstream gamers - if there is such a thing - seemed to have a high volume of mocking content in them.
There does seem to be a hierarchy of superiority within what I loosely call the gaming community. It goes something like this.... Historical Wargamers look down on Fantasy Wargamers; Tabletop Wargamers of all types mock Computer Wargamers, All Wargamers consider themselves superior to Roleplayers; Roleplayers mercilessly mock LARPers; LARPers can't understand Card Gamers; and pretty much everyone think Furries are plain scary. The sad thing is all of the above have something in common, love of 'the game' whatever that might be. We should be embracing our sameness rather than emphasising our differences (not a bad philosophy for society in general either IMHO).
When people outside our hobby mock us its bad enough but when we mock other groups we should know better. As the saying goes, people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.