Saturday, September 26, 2009

Why I Blog: No One Thinks It's Cool to Run a D&D Game Anymore

I hear there are still some people out there who think that blogging is nerdish or "uncool". But since all the people I talk to are on the internet, I never hear from them. In fact, I'm much more likely to answer an email than a text message. And if you leave me a comment on my blog, I get downright giddy but I'm usually annoyed to hear my ring tone (and I never listen to my voicemails).

I've been a geek my whole life. I loved organizing decks of playing cards by suit and number, jigsaw puzzles, and crosswords when I was 6 and 7. I play logic puzzles online and I get in debates and I watch TED talks and I entertain my toddler and teach him about science and oh, I also watch tv there as well, and the news. And I read the news, and I follow a bunch of blogs, and of course there's social networking, but I'm not really a fan of the stalkerish/ADHD elements of Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter. Frankly they all creep me out just a little bit. (I mostly use Facebook to play even more games, and I just use Twitter to spread cool articles. But I'm proud to say I've never had a MySpace.)

Part of what I love so much about the blogosphere is that I have time to think about what I say, I can spell check and try not to sound like a complete moron when making a point, and I've got Google on my side (which is way more helpful than having God on my side). Now that it's so easy to embed and link things all over the place, I get to make a scrapbook of the thoughts in my head out in the world for other people to see. Just about every day someone new starts following and every time it makes me smile, because that means someone else out there is as entertained by myself as I am.

In high school I started playing a table top dice RPG - you know, before 3D superreal first person shooters imprisoned a large section of the male population, aged 9 to 37. (I'm still pissed about losing a high school boyfriend to EverCrack.) Shadow Run was awesome. I cannot tell you how much fun it is to create this badass character who gets to run around town getting in fights, running from the cops, casting spells, killing orcs and trolls or hacking into some super-secure network to steal data for your client of questionable ethics. If you love fiction books or you love movies, chances are you'd love gaming. But people think it's lame (and on the surface? so is every other hobby) so few people give it a shot. I tell you what, I never had a bad time. I played for years. My brother was my first GM (that's "Game Master" to you, also known as a DM or "Dungeon Master" - but not in the kinky way).Running a game was completely awesome. I got to craft this whole larger story arc, like writing a television season for a really exciting, high-budget sci-fi drama, all played out in our imaginations. I've gotten to act out an array of fantasy characters - from a half-elfin disgruntled postal worker with several armor-piercing weapons and a caffeine addiction, to a samuri-ko (chick fighter) with extensive opera training and skill with throwing knives. (I liked playing mentally unstable characters, because I could usually negotiate with the GM for better toys or character points in exchange, during character generation.)

When we're kids we're encouraged to imagine, but somehow we let that go as we age. Why? Seriously, why the flip do we do that? So whether it's posing as a wittier, more grandiose version of myself in my blog (as I agoraphobically hide out in my batcave) or learning all kinds of cool things about biology and politics and religion I never knew before, or just watching the Daily Show, the Internet has been good to me.

Today's image is D&D artwork by Jeff Dee. (ACA gains twelve character points for having a game designer on board. Roll to fight.)


Post a Comment