1) Warning Signs:
- Do your friends turn away or change the subject when you start to talk about your character?
- Do you tell lots of unprompted stories about what happened “this one time” in a game?
- Do you repeat those stories? Several times?
- Did you write a backstory more than 3 pages long?
2 and 3) Warning Signs:
- Does the party sigh and roll their eyes when your barbarian throws the foreign npc out the window in frustration, or laugh along with you?
- Have you ever opened a door with another party member’s face?
- Have you ever squelched a friend’s action to do something stupid?
4) Warning Signs:
- Have you missed one of the last 4 gaming sessions?
- How do you react to a phone call or text at the gaming table? What about your friends?
- Do you describe yourself as a gamer, or just a person who hangs out with gamers?
5 and 6) Warning Signs:
- Have you read the rulebook cover to cover more than once or twice?
- Do you check the book more than twice a session?
- Do you know the calculable strength of tempered steel, or the methods used to forge it?
There's nothing inherently wrong with these archetypes, and nobody is exactly a cookie-cutter copy of one of these. It's worth paying attention to them though, because each is an exaggeration of qualities in a good gamer. A good gamer takes pride in their character, and isn't afraid to do something crazy once in a while. A good gamer keeps the outside world in mind, and doesn't solely live within the confines of the game. A good gamer knows a bit about the real world, and a bit about the game world, and can let the DM handle the latter.
As always, game on.