I run a lot of military games, and I write a lot of them too. In fact I'm writing one right now - In Harm's Way: StarCluster. When I mention one of these games on a forum or by talking with someone, i often get some variation on this response:
"Oh, that sounds neat, but my group would never go for that! They can't stand anyone having any authority over them! They'd just sabotage the whole thing."
I am usually dumbfounded - or I was until I heard it so many times! Why does this reaction happen? It happened once or twice to me many many years ago, but I attributed it to a character thing, not a player state of mind. It has *never* happened with my current group, who are all - except for my wife, who is ageless, beautiful, and wise - between 18 and 23, and they have been gaming with me since they were 12-13, the period you'd expect to be rebellious and resentful of authority.
Bill Corrie of Hinterwelt said that it was because of the way I GM it, that my group trusts me. I think that's true, but that leads to the corollary thought of "Why don't these other groups trust their GM?" That leads to the thought that maybe these guys, or maybe their predecessor GMs, abused their player's trust, or never earned it in the first place. Then that leads to thoughts on those indie games with a curtailed or sharply defined GM role...
Then I wrench myself back from staring into the abyss, and focus on what can I do to help GMs. I've begun putting together a GM help section for IHW:SC concentrating on running military or military-esque games, where the PCs are part of a greater organization. I'm asking here for thoughts from anyone reading this - is there any advice you might have that I can put there? I know I'm not the only one to run this kind of game - someone keeps buying them! - and I know I'm not the source of all knowledge.
Thanks in advance!