Abelism in Table Top Gaming

It is no secret that I am a gamer and my whole family are gamers. I started playing Dungeons and Dragons type games when I met my partner. I really ran with it and really enjoy it. We actually got to know each other at a gaming session and things took off from there. This was after I fell over him going up the stairs.

Table top role playing games involves a dungeon master/story teller, a character sheet, dice and imagination. The DM is the person who leads the players into the environment that the characters would be in. The character sheet has all the stats, rolls, appearance information, name of the character. This gives the player exactly what an be done with the character. It does sound a little complicated but once you learn how, it is really fun.

With our friends living in other parts of the country, we discovered a site called Roll 20. Basically, it is an online platform to play table top games and it’s a great way to meet people. It handles the character sheets, dice rolls (so no one cheats) and other things.

Background on the Issue

My partner is the Dungeon Master for the game we play every Saturday night. Its several neurodivergent people and a friend we met in a different Roll 20 game and knows about our varying disabilities. This friend is takes these games extremely seriously and get extremely competitive when that isn’t the goal of the games. She also takes it extremely seriously when it is just a game.

This friend (I use this term loosely) we met in another game that my partner ran. She played Sea of Thieves with us and had the gall to tell me what to do with the explosives until I blew her up when I had enough. She did complain that I got tired earlier but I have 7 kids now, a business that I run myself, etc. I lead a busy life so I am tired out more easily. We hadn’t played with her for a while until recently.

The Situation

My partner set up a Dungeons and Dragons game for my kids, a friend from scouts (who recently discovered she is autistic. yay!)and some other people. It was really a game to show the ropes. It is in D & D 5th edition and I had a hard time getting used to it. I had always played 3.5 edition.

Anyway, after a long day I was playing and I was thinking on what to do because I had 1 million things going through my head. This “friend” said “What is there to think about, just throw a fire spell at them!” She didn’t stop to think that sometimes my processing time may be longer. She knows about all our neurologies and does not care. She even brags about manipulating DM, which is toxic. I got mad about this but got over it. We didn’t think she was going to join another session.

Last night was our last session. Much to our surprise, she joined in. The game started ok. I was struggling with my headphone and they would not charge so I just used the captions on discord via chrome. I was doing ok with that.

Roo and J were playing from their own devices as well. They both have ADHD. Roo was teasing me as he was sitting on my bed and I was at my desk. We tease a lot in this family.

I did have to ask my partner to repeat a few things because I had a hard time hearing. After this, the “friend” messaged my partner privately and said that she cant deal with people who don’t know how to use the character sheet and don’t pay attention. She is the only one in the game that is neurotypical.

This ruined the session for him and he kicked her from the game. Before he did he told her not to come back. She decided to complain that he was yelling. I am very sensitive to tone and he DID NOT raise his voice. Way to tone police the people you are targeting.

He had to end the session after that because he was so angry. He apologized to the group but he didn’t need to apologize. If she couldn’t handle people being neurodivergent, then she shouldn’t play with us. She knew about our neurologies very early on. We are really open about them.

I found out later that she has been kicked from every game she has been in lately. She is the problem not neurodivergent people trying to enjoy something.

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