The Cruelest Trick of All…
As we continue to forge ahead in what is the largest holiday season of the year here in America, I can’t help but feel a little selfish. Not in a greedy way where I want more but more in a way where I wish I could play more games. Yes, a game retailer saying they wish they could play more games. You read that correctly. You see, a large part of the challenge is not being able to marshal enough people to sit down and play games, whether they’re board games, card games, or the one thing I’m especially itching to get back into: role playing games.
For me, the holidays have always been the perfect time throughout the years to set aside a day or two for turning off the devices and sitting down to play games day in and day out. I’ve been able to do this quite a bit in my lifetime. It’s a nice luxury, I know, but it’s a small thing to ask for in the larger scheme of things that one could desire. The challenge now is that I, like many of my peers, am a full-time working adult–with a kid. Now granted, the “kid” is going on 16 and is super awesome and pretty much self-sufficient, although my wife and I wish he could help more in the kitchen pre-and-post dinner. And wear that damned retainer every night! But I digress. While he loves to game, he’s not always drawn to trying new games–which as you can probably imagine–makes me feel a bit like Burgess Meredith in the classic Twilight Zone episode, Time Enough At Last (If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend watching it this weekend!)–I’m surrounded by games, I can always manage to carve out the time to play them, but I can’t even get the boyo to sit down for an hour and try a new game.
OK, that last part is a bit of a stretch but the spirit is the same. I have the means to play but the other would-be participant is much akin to the foil in the episode referenced above. It’s like a little bit of torture for me, honestly.
While my wife likes some types of games, most of the stuff I’m drawn to is nowhere on her interest radar, and that’s fine. I’ll just have to call up my GGF (Gamer Girlfriend) and see what he’s doing. Oh wait–he’s got two young kids, works full-time, and has a wife who also works full time. That’s not happening. Full disclosure: This is not a call out, it’s simply an observation that sometimes being an adult sucks. You don’t always get to hang out and play because people have busy lives. It’s… just life.
Having said that, I’m now on a recruiting mission to acquire three players interested in playing in my home-brewed fantasy RPG, Dante’s Game. It takes the best of the best of old-school D&D, Arcanum, Chivalry & Sorcery, and a few other gems and makes for fun, crunchy game play where the players drive the story arcs and the NPCs are scared. Played in a pseudo-Medieval world on the verge of some fairly complex technical advancements, there are six adventuring continents and one massive archipelago. It’s a mature, robust world–34 years in the making–but there are always things to discover, so I’m hoping that Santa brings me three new players to break. Err ehm, break in.
Whatever you do this holiday season, I hope you find some time to stop and have some fun with your friends and family. Put aside an hour or two for a board game. Switch off the digital devices for a bit and relish in the joy that is jumping into another world with the people you love.