Here’s a piece of vocabulary from Hartley Patterson’s 1977 article in White Dwarf:

Discussing a dead RPG group, he says “They actually got a couple of moves in before handing over to Geoff Corker, who suffered a sudden and total gafiation and killed the game stone dead.”

I’d never seen the word “gafiation” before. Looking it up, I found the term GAFIA:

Frodo gafiating from the Fellowship

Frodo gafiating from the Fellowship

GAFIA (along with derived form such as gafiate and gafiation) is a term used in science fiction fandom. It began as an acronym for “Getting Away From It All”, and initially referred to escaping from the mundane world via fanac. However, its meaning was soon reversed, and thereafter it referred to getting away from fandom and fannish doings. When fans say they’re gafiating, it means they intend to put some distance between themselves and fandom. This can be either a temporary or a long-term separation.

Gafiations still happen in all sorts of fandom, but over the past 30+ years, the term seems to have dropped from common use. Too bad, because any concept gains 50% more gravitas by having its own jargon word. I think it’s due for a comeback!

There have been a few recent gafiations in the old-school D&D community: Chgowiz, Rust Monster Ate My Sword, and others. Gafiation is a totally rational reaction to some jerks writing something mean in your comments: jerks make communities less fun, and when you subtract the fun, you realize that blogging about RPGs is a huge waste of time. Fancyclopedia II in 1959 referred to ‘that flash of sanity known as Gafia’. There are a lot of nice things in the real world: families … uhh… motorcycles… uhh… I’m sure there are more, although I can’t think of them now.

this day we BLOG!A day may come when we realize that living our life is more rewarding than blogging about our pretend life — when we forsake our RSS feed and take down our website.

But it is not this day!

This day we blog!


One Response to “gafiation”

  1. Claire Claire says:

    It’s nice to see such determination from my favorite former gafiator! Embrace your legions of potential jerk commenters!! Those Louisa May Alcott purists will never destroy your Little Women blog.

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