As a DM, I want player involvement, but often it's hard to get beyond the minimal involvement a player has during his turn while fighting some monsters.
Maybe there are three levels of player interactivity:
1. The character level -- where the player makes up some personality and background for her character.
2. The campaign level -- where the player actively engages in making choices that drive the game forward, advancing her character's agenda within the game world.
3. The world level -- where the player actively participates in world-building (often through #1 and #2).
In my experience, #1 is fairly easy to come by, even if it's just a few sentences about their character. 2 & 3 are harder, because they require a bit larger scope. The player may also wonder about stepping on the DM's toes.
I also think I am a better player than DM. Here are some semi-random thoughts about what makes a good player:
- A minimal familiarity with the rule set
- Communication skills
- Problem-solving skills
Thanks, Al, for the interesting post.