I used to mind it if players or the gm can't make a game... but that's because of all the traffic and the "heaven and earth" I had to move around to be able to game. With Hangouts/OnAir I don't feel bad, in fact given how convenient it is I've started 'hedging" other tasks and projects in case a game does not push through. Because I don't have to be anywhere else except the same room where I do my own projects, I simply pull out a Gdoc Im working on and I'm practically distracted with my ton of projects or studies.
I recently had a dream where I overslept and didn't wake up to run my 7am game. I felt terrible, and I feel bad because it shows how screwed up my priorities are. Because I deal with logistics, there are so many things that go wrong, I give people a lot of benefit of the doubt and I also don't require anything of them, except basic courtesy. If this ever happens hopefully the players are easy going as I am.
I have players who put a lot of work into their prep and I happily reciprocate, one thing I don't think I've made clear, but I think my players know, is that I don't require them to do off-game prep. I was all about "off-game" prep back in my 20s and one of the things I realized is that: prep can be more for yourself than for the players benefit.
This is just me, I think people are free to just care about the game when the game happens and everything they do is just cramming and wrap up prior and at the end of the game. They can forget the whole thing happened and get back to their lives. They should leave all their worries and any sort of baggage behind on the game table and leave all the baggage of the game table behind when they go back to real life.
Does GM prep = Player Prep Reciprocation?
No. Speaking as the person who just made a Cybernetics Load Out and Doctrine for my Traveller game, who made Spreadsheets detailing ship assets, and all those Sandbox details etc... I don't require my players to read it or study it or input on it. As the GM I do the prep for ME and it would be a kinda not-true if I say that its FOR the Players and they have any other motivation except for the same compulsion as me, to input on the prep. lolz.
At least I got to that level of self awareness where I know I'm only really trying to ingratiate myself with the stuff I'm writing (like this one right now). My Prep is for ME. but its written in a way that others can jump in and relate, but thats just me getting better at controlling my compulsions and being able to channel it constructively.
Scarcity of Attention
You'll notice I give 3cp to everyone regardless of merit and 2cp for people to give to who they feel did great. Having watched myself run a game in OnAir I notice my Attention has a very very low FPS given how much has to be processed. I find my self cringing at how slow I'm reacting, and its no wonder I can't be there to reward everyone but I give a generous portion and the means for others to reward others.
Last session, my first on-air game, I'm very happy at how I was able to focus on the emotional response and cater to stuff that is fun. Focusing on just having fun is hard, because there are still some stimuli filtering and creative construction happening. If I forget about your turn, hopefully you speak up and give me the same benefit of the doubt, GMing is hard and there is so many things to juggle.
I'm a GM but I'm not a god, I'm just there to make sure everyone has fun and I enjoy being there to inject anything they want into the game. I have to control myself a lot, because I can be very passive or very active, and I get single minded.
~2 hour games are the best. You have the rest of the day or night to do other things, and I don't get into to much hot water from the wife. Also as the GM I've burned through so much mental energy, I'm in a partial haze. GMing is such a masochistic exercise (what exercise is not painful),
the week I'm writing this I came down with a cold, and my head hurts, but perfectly I am not GMing this week.