I GM all the time. The last game I was in as a player must have been near 12 months ago and I only played one session. I am an awful player. So this question is asking me how I want to be thanked. In which ways do I want a player to thank me?
I don’t want thanks
If I deserve respect and thanks then I should be equally doling that out to the players. It is a game. I like being the GM. Other people like being players – I see no point why we need to thank each other for it. Sure there are comments of good game and the like after and that is enough. They are generic and passed around the whole group. I do not run games to have people thanking me for the effort that I enjoy putting in anyway.
The game is enough
I play as a GM as it offers me the ability to be busy most of the time in a game. I like to hear the players talking about their last game with each other as they try to piece the puzzle together. This means that I learn about my game from them. My world is an evolving place. I do not create all that evolution, the players do. Why should they thank me for that? Each player is equally invested, including the GM, just by sitting at the table. No one part is more than another and the idea that the GM sits above is quite disturbing to me.
In all reality, I can’t ever fathom what this question is about. It makes me wonder about how some people must use their role as the GM. I never expect thanks. If there is any after game talk the player might say to me;
I really liked the part where the wights performed the play!
To which I am likely to reply;
The fact that you sat through the play totally surprised me! I was not expecting that at all.
Equal partners in a game. Especially at my table. If you thank me I will appreciate it but I never need nor expect it. Keep rolling.
I haven’t been thanked for GMing, and I don’t think I ever noticed. Mostly because I don’t expect to be, and somehow it just doesn’t feel like anything remotely necessary. Like you say, we’re all playing the game together. We’re all having fun with it. So we could thank each other, but that would be a bit gratuitous. It’s fine the way it is. We have fun, we have laughs, we have great memories. Works for me. 🙂