Thursday, August 1, 2019

Non-Gamer's Thoughts on Gaming: #RPGaDAY 2019 "First"

Always a weirdo.

I am meaning to get this blog up-to-date, especially if I want to use it to promote some cool stuff I have coming up. Not sure why I've gotten out of the swing. But I've been thinking a lot about my fascination with games I don't really want to play: what attracts me to them, and what are the barriers that keep me from actually playing. Partly because I keep Kickstarting cool games (probably more on that soon), and then I get them and enjoy the art and the maps, but I don't play them.

Since this has been on my mind -- and I have literally come thisclose to buying the Art and Arcana book every trip to Barnes and Noble for two months, which again makes no real sense -- I'm jumping on the #RPGaDaY2019 bandwagon.

My first experience with RPGs was in the early 1980s. There are certainly some problematic memories involved with this time of my life, and I can't really say how much that has influenced my feelings about gaming in general, and D & D in particular, or the effects of gender socialization on this experience. Apart from all that, it took about two years before we actually tried to play, and it wasn't very fun, but for a while there were happy Sunday afternoons, sitting around listening to records while reading Dragon magazine and puzzling over the books. I don't remember the specific volumes that the aspiring DM had, but it must have been in this era:


I think there were two sessions, at least that I was involved in, and I don't remember a thing about any character -- was I a halfling? What on earth would have been my alignment? Did I pick it, or was it randomly assigned? As I recall, by the time we played, we hadn't really talked about it in ages, but apparently some maps were made in the intervening period, and we gave it a whirl.

Around this time, I was obsessed with the sword and sorcery work of Fritz Leiber and Tanith Lee in particular, and the Conan the Barbarian movie was in the first stages of changing my life. I think I saw D & D in particular as a continuation of my junior high love for Tolkien, when I had a softcover journal with faux aged pages and elvish script that I wrote bad poetry in. At the time, I had no one to share my interest in these things with, and I was looking for something that wasn't really available at the time.

But it's never too late to have a happy whenever.

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