I was thinking about the Angry DM's open letter, and especially about the comments he left to my response on this blog. For some, good-enough is enough. So be it. But, I'd like to point out a few things that have, the more I have considered them, tasted more sour in my mouth:
(1) You are Special: You know what? Scott is right. You are special simply because you take on the GM's roll. But.......Do you remember how we decided it was a good idea to tell every kid that they were special, not because of their achievements, but because we wanted them to feel good? How did that work out for society? Yes, you are special.....but you are special because of what you do, not because of where you sit at the table. The less you do, the less special you are. So, do something good.
(2) There is No One True Way: You know what? There is no One True Way. But......."Some folks just want to sit and laugh and have a good enough, fun enough game" implies that there is a scale. The use of the word "just" and the phrase "good enough, fun enough game" implies that there is something that is not "just" good enough, not "just" fun enough. Which leads me to
(3) The Value of Striving: Let us suppose that you "just" want to have a "good enough, fun enough" game. Cool. My rule of thumb is, if you can get a single player to play, you should always play the game you want the way you want.
As I said in the comments to the previous blog post, obviously, if good enough is good enough, you can be a lazy GM. You can half-ass it. I was in grade school when I was first running games. I could be a lazy student. I could half-ass it. I could be a lazy student, and even get halfway decent marks. At the same time, though, I wouldn't claim that doing "good enough" was getting full value from the educational opportunities afforded to me. Maybe I might have then, but I have grown in the intervening decades.
Play the game you want the way you want. But.......if you don't push yourself, you will never get full value from the opportunities afforded to you. If you don't want those opportunities, that's your call. But there is a difference between striving and not striving. There is a difference between a game that is just good enough, and a game that soars.
You are more likely to reach good enough while striving for greatness, than you are to reach greatness while striving for good enough.
Running the game makes you special. Running the game well makes you more so. Pushing yourself, and striving for greatness, makes you as special as you can be. Don't just pat yourself on the back. Be special. Be that GM that players go out of their way to play with. You can do it. All you have to do is pull up your metaphorical pants and give it your best shot.
But, Scott is dead right about this too - the best game you can run is the game you want to run. What you run and how you run it? That's up to you. Bring your best game to the table, and the players will appear. It might not be today, it might not be tomorrow. You might have to post a message on a few walls (including real walls) so that the potential players know about it. But they will appear.
And if someone else would rather play a game about Teletubby Space Marines fighting dinosaurs around Uranus? Well, they can run that game. That's the beauty of the whole thing....if they love it, and they strive to run it well, the players will appear.