Earlier today I wrote about fandom and briefly mentioned the fact that I appreciate geek culture finally being in vogue. I do not know how long it will last, maybe it will be a long time, or maybe just another year or two. I do think the days of being made to feel ashamed for your geeky hobbies are at an end, though I could be wrong. I hope I am not.
Because I love being geek. My fondest memories from childhood are the lost hours in my grandparents garage, learning how to play Dungeons and Dragons with my uncle. We would sit around the table with his friends and my cousin, Steve, laughing, gorging on junk food and reveling in this wonderfully detailed game.
There were so many rules, too many for me to keep up with. Still I loved to read through the books, absorbing as much as I could. We had our own system for keeping track of our characters, not bothering with official characters sheets. Lyle, my uncle, used colored index cards: red for fighters, paladins, and rangers; green for magic users (not wizards, those would come later) and illusionists; blue for clerics, druids, and monks; and yellow for thieves and bards. I miss those days, with our little piles of index cards and dice in front of us. We rarely used figurines, and definitely did not use big grid maps. Our maps were kept on graph paper and the DM, usually Lyle, would point where we were.
It was simpler then, which makes sense because with a few exceptions we were all kids. Those exceptions were probably part of the fun. I was a kid playing games with grown ups that were not my parents. This game was serious business, at least to my adolescent mind, and I felt as grown up as mom and dad playing euchre with the neighbors.
The storyteller in me still loves these games. My imagination has always been sparked playing them. When we would be done playing around the table, my cousin and I would roam through the neighborhood, pretending we were on grand adventures. Our characters at the table would live on in us and I still remember their names: Rousay, Eldit, Strek, Vance, and all the rest. I have been so many things at that table, from a dwarven thief to a shining knight. I have been hero and anti-hero and even once dabbled in playing the villain.
I have found other role-playing games, all fun in their way, some even better when it comes to the mechanics of the game. I always return to my first love though. Dungeons and Dragons beckons to me. It is my favorite pastime, and to me the best way to spend an evening with friends. Our intensity and styles of play have changed over the years. I find myself on the other side of the screen more often now, which suits me fine. Still, it all comes back to those lost, summer weekends in that garage, caught up in the adventure around that table.
- Parallel Universe D&D (vengersatanis.blogspot.com)
- My First Time- Confessions of a Dungeons and Dragons Nerd (havenforscofflaws.com)
- 10 RPG communities on Google+ to check out for #TableTopDay (geeknative.com)
- School Daze Class Project: The West Side Story Fiasco from Geek’s Dream Girl” Dungeons & Dragons / RPGs (geeksdreamgirl.com)