These Silly Games

“These are our stories. They tell us who we are.”

Worf, Son of Moag, ST:TNG “Birthright, Part 2” (1993)

Has anyone out there got one or more significant others who, basically, don’t get it?

For me, it started very early. My folks were complaining about my hobby almost from the moment it began, and certainly once I went to high school.

“If you put as much effort into your school work as you do in those silly games…”

“Are you playing games AGAIN? What is wrong with you?”

Later it got updated a little further. When I got a job with Games Workshop, the mantra became:
“When are you going to get a PROPER job?”

Yeah, right.

They just don’t get it. And that’s ok – I’m fairly convinced there’s a gene for gaming. To be honest, I am pretty happy to be in the minority when comes to my interests.

Roleplaying games are a creative inspiration. From the moment my father brought home RuneQuest and, having looked through the boxed set, tossed it aside with disdain, I was drawn in. I squirrelled that game away to my bedroom to investigate further.

What had grabbed my attention was the artwork on the cover. As I reverently took out the contents of the box, I was transfixed by the sense of something fantastic and raw and beautiful entering my life. While you might accuse me of mere nostalgia when I describe this, I vividly remember that opening that roleplaying game set felt like a spiritual experience to me. It was magical. It was wondrous. And I devoured the contents hungrily.

Don’t you remember feeling that way too? If you do, you’ll never be able to convince your parents or your partner, anyone who hasn’t experienced that wonder, that what you are doing is important. To them, it’s just a game.

“Why do you keep playing those silly games?”

“What is the fascination with those toys?”

and later…

“How many of those books do you NEED?”

The litany of questions seeks to wear you down. Pressure from the significant others in our lives is bound to take a toll.

I get it.

Did you find yourself wondering why you DO play these silly fantasy games? Did the voices all around you – from work, and family, and friends – did the voices cause you to second-guess yourself?

I have had plenty of moments where I’ve been looking at the tall stack of roleplaying games in my home and thought, “Why do I have all these?” After all, all my mates are grown up now. They have jobs and families and too many responsibilities to keep coming around here and playing hero.

But I won’t give in to self-doubt. Or guilt. Those games, the books that contain such wonder, are a source of inspiration and magic to me.

“These are our stories. They tell us who we are.”

Game on!

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