I’d never even heard of this Dungeons and Dragons thing when I was growing up in the 1980′s and 1990′s other than stories meant to scare me about how some kids playing Dungeons and Dragons were killed by an elevator as they were doing a dungeon raid LARP (Live Action Role Play). What I did play was board games. As a kid it was a rotation of Scotland Yard, Monopoly, Scrabble, Risk, Clue, Life; all those games you see stacked up in the aisles of K-Mart. My childhood went from Elementary School in the Midwest, to Middle School in California, to Middle School and High School in Japan. In an international school with 150 students, it was a small tight knit community, but because of that, I never had a group in my school that played games. Instead, I lived a life devoid of games from about 10 years of age until I was in college. In the meantime, I played sports: basketball, soccer, volleyball, baseball, ice hockey and so forth. So really, much of my time was devoted to athletics and the rest to studying, as I spent 3 hours a day commuting to and from school when I lived in Japan.
Then I moved to the U.S. for College, and I found myself in the midst of various people playing all kinds of games. First I got into video games, but then I noticed some people playing this thing called Dungeons and Dragons. While some laughed at them, I looked on with faint curiosity. When they explained it all to me, it sounded cool, but just didn’t sound right for me.
Then one of them found out how much I liked Star Wars. When he came back from winter vacation, he showed me a book that would change my life. The Star Wars roleplaying game from Wizards of the Coast, a game that got me into roleplaying and tipped me on a path towards being a much more heavy gamer than I had ever been. Soon I was looking for groups to play Star Wars RPG (which would soon become known as the Star Wars Revised Core Rules (RCR)), but I had troubles, so I went online. And there I found a goldmine of websites devoted to Star Wars roleplaying including the current system at the time, as well as the older d6 version. I have been playing or running play-by-post (PbP) Star Wars games ever since, at least a decade or more.
Outside of Star Wars, I started making friends that got me into other things. My friends played a lot of Catan, so I was soon hooked into that with my wife. I also made my first visits to a real gaming store when I was in graduate school, and my first choice was a great one. It was the smallest in the town at the time, but really was the best of the stores in the area. The groups were friendly, and the owner got me interested in other games like Savage Worlds of Solomon Kane, Deadlands, Tsuro, Pandemic – a wide range of things that I never would have gotten to.
Today, I’m an assistant professor at a large school in the Midwest. I still find time for games now and then, but I have recently discover the miniature painting part of the hobby. I enjoy the peace and concentration it brings me, as my current life is full of writing, research, teaching and talking to people. In some sense, it is almost a form of meditation for me. I do miss my bigger game groups, but my schedule is too crazy right now. Someday I will get a group going. Maybe a bi-weekly group for the new Star Wars RPG from Fantasy Flight Games once it arrives in the mail. Outside of that, I always have my pbp games to keep me getting my fix.
That’s my story. It’s not super exciting, but I’ve come from a much different path than many gamers. I was late entering the hobby and there is still so much for me to learn, but like everything I focus and study, I give it heavy attention.Add to favorites
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