23 January 2012

DM vs. GM: A Nitpicker's Rant

The truth is, I cringe a little whenever I see or hear the term 'DM' (as in 'Dungeon Master').

Somehow I just feel this term is so... discriminating, for lack of a better word. Even offensive. Sure, it may be the original term, but that doesn't necessarily make it the right term. I'm not generally one for extreme political correctness, but on this issue I just feel I need to speak out.

It is a term associated with one, and only one, roleplaying game franchise. The rest of the gaming world is quite happy to use the term 'GM' ('Game Master'). And with 'the rest of the world' I mean scores, if not hundreds of game systems.

The term is very restrictive to begin with, referring to a rather narrow and specific genre. 'GM' is much more applicable in most gaming contexts.

I realise there may be gamers out there who've only ever played that one game. And I'm probably an elitist and hypocrite and all manner of bad things for saying it, but a part of me feels sorry for such people, while another part of me is angered by their ignorance. And this, I'm afraid, is the impression I get whenever I hear someone use the term 'DM' outside the rulebooks of that game; that you only know RPG's from a very limited viewpoint, like someone who's just learned the first bars of Stairway claiming they're a rock star, or a lifelong Mac user claiming they know anything about Unix.

And that's just how I feel. No offence meant to anybody. (Except Mac users.) (That may be a joke.) (Maybe.)

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