I gamed with my Friday night roleplaying group last night, and as usual, it was a wonderful, albeit somewhat wacky, session. And I say this with no rancour (no pun intended).
You see, it started with the the fact that, at one point, the player characters encountered a couple of chlén carters (you need to understand that these guys stink to high heaven from the work they do with these massive beasts in the game world of Tékumel), and a couple of the players made a big deal out of this, roleplaying their status (such as it was) over these carters.
When the game session was over, I got to talking with the players, notably SteveB, Kathy, and Nick, and they brought up the subject of the...smelly gamer... you know, the one who stinks because they haven't bathed for two days before gaming, or because they worked in their father's yard for six hours before gaming and didn't think of washing up, or the gamer who travels to your place in summer on the buses and smells like the people they were close to on the bus, or the gamer who is hygienically challenged, or...well, you get the picture.
We shared some memories of objectionably odoriferous players that we've met and/or played with in our time, and I remembered this wonderful little 'net cartoon I saw back in 2002 or so, that said it all:
Now, while this is a bit of an exaggeration and all, the discussion I had with Kathy and SteveB just reminded of how it's not all that...uncommon. SteveB reminded me of the t-shirt that he had bought for Kathy back in 2001 or so, at GenCon (that was the last gaming convention they ever went to, but that's another story...) from Gold Rush Games - the D20 Soap of Cleansing T-shirt.
However, it got me to thinking... Why is this such a problem for so many gamers I meet at conventions and have played with in my gaming groups? Folks need to realize that "gamer" does not have to mean "gamey".
Hmm...there's a short story or something in that, methinks. :)