Reading a post on Blog of Holding, I’ve had a small epiphany: respect for the game-world, and by extension for myself as a GM, is a part of what I feel I’ve been missing in my games. I’m not sure if it actually has been missing, but if it’s not then I’ve been bad at recognizing it. Or perhaps I’m falsely equating the two: players who don’t respect the game-world (or at least not the way I want) may still respect me as a GM, at least to some extent. I will say that I have run into some players who don’t seem to understand GMing, and specifically what would motivate me to want to be a GM, and it’s been really frustrating.
What I want out of a game I run is a lot less direct (but not usually a lot different, I don’t think) than what the players want. I don’t want to beat them up, or take their stuff, but most of the tools I have for giving them what they want revolve around that sort of thing. And I think that without an understanding that I’m at the table to collaborate with them, but to do so by way of throwing obstacles in their path to greatness; without that connection it’s really hard for the players to in turn give me a game experience that I’m going to be particularly satisfied with.