I recently moved back to my hometown. Some of my old friends are either still around or have moved back as well. We are trying to play games, but we seem to have clashing objectives.
One of my friends is not a gamer at all, but she wants to be. I am terrible at teaching rules. I usually give the rules a few skims and a solid reading, but in play I forget all the crap I've read and have to flip pages for half an hour before I can explain even the basics of a game. Most recently this happened with Remember Tomorrow, when I couldn't seem to remember a thing about choosing and resolving scenes. So my first query is: how do you teach games to non-gamers? How do you teach games to gamers? Do you have a unified game-teaching theory?
A second friend doesn't take anything seriously. In his mind he is playing a game, and games are not serious business. I don't regard them as serious business either, but I can play comedic scene or serious scenes. He seems to have a metagame level of comedy that exists outside of the game. For example, he made an NPC Faction that was a government agency called NSFW (National Security Foundation, Washington). I thought it was a clever joke, but not something I wanted built into the game. I also don't want to tell him his contributions don't count--that's unfair. If he likes things comedic, that's just how he is. I'm merely wondering how to get him to consider trying a new way of playing, to see if he likes it.
He also regards new things with a great deal of skepticism. He plays D&D infrequently, and to him that's the only RPG there is. The rest of it is rubbish that he considers only because he's my friend. And he is my friend! A very close friend. I appreciate his sense of humor and what he brings to the table, he just tends to disrupt things a lot.
He also doesn't get heavily invested in the games we play. Getting him to buy in is difficult. If he bought into the game fully and brought his comedic sensibilities to bear, I could see it producing fun and exciting play at the table. As it is, he just fidgets with the dice until his turn comes up, and then tries to make up something hilarious on the spot. He tries to hard to be funny, and in some cases it's hilarious, and it some cases it just makes for poor scenes. He did manage to frame a good scene in our Remember Tomorrow game where he won an argument with his boss (he was a corporate wage-slave), and decided that meant he lost his "Burnt Out' negative condition. It was a great scene, he enjoyed it, and it was serious as it needed to be while at the same time very amusing. I would love to see all his scenes be like that--he has a powerful eye for satire.
How would you suggest I reconcile my desire (serious gameplay that absolutely does not preclude comedy or table talk, just moderation in all things) vs his desires (the social aspect of playing games, making up funny stories, skeptical about games that aren't D&D)? I don't want to force him to do anything, I just want to make a balanced and honest attempt to teach him say, Story Now play, and see what he thinks about it. He'll go along with pretty much anything. He doesn't like to make waves, so when we want to play a game he'll go along with it even if he doesn't like him. I want him to buy in and speak up for himself! I want to take what I enjoy about gaming and share it with him, and I want him to do the same. If he doesn't want to play a game, then I don't want to play that game.
I'm going to stop here because now I am babbling. If you would offer advice and ask me questions to hone my problem down to an advisable state, I would be greatly appreciative.