Friday, 1 March 2013

30 Years of Gaming

So - February 2013 marked the 30th year of me and the gaming hobby.

It's been 30 years since I purchased the Fighting Fantasy gamebook 'The Citadel of Chaos' which then catapulted me into the gaming hobby and I've come a long way since then. I catalogued my years of gaming in the blog series 'My Gaming Memoirs', the first of which you can read here, and even that wasn't enough to encompass everything I've done in the hobby.

Over the years I gamed, designed my own systems, released stuff on the internet, shared my knowledge, started clubs, ran a small convention... I've really thrown myself into the hobby and over the last year or so things have really begun to get busy. Now I'm writing reviews and I've just started work on a writing project that I'm not allowed to discuss just yet (but I'm very excited about it!). I've interviewed and conversed with some names in the industry, managed to interview some childhood gamer heroes and met some amazing and talented people. If you'd told me 30 years ago that I'd be where I am now and knowing who I know then my 11-year old self would have laughed in your face and carried on gaming, knowing somewhere in his heart that one day he'd be too old to play these childish games and he would work in a real job, meet real people and have a real life.

Sorry, Real World (TM), but that really wasn't on the cards for me. I really tried - I tried to pack away my books and games and I tried to live a 'real' life with 'real' people who did 'real' things, but that felt far too much like my imagination was being cooped up, restrained, and nobody deserves that kind of imprisonment, a state of thinking enforced on them by society.

I love this hobby and I love the culture and people involved with it. It's always been part of my life and long may it be.

Pretending to be an elf FTW.

Critics who treat 'adult' as a term of approval, instead of as a merely descriptive term, cannot be adult themselves. To be concerned about being grown up, to admire the grown up because it is grown up, to blush at the suspicion of being childish; these things are the marks of childhood and adolescence. And in childhood and adolescence they are, in moderation, healthy symptoms. Young things ought to want to grow. But to carry on into middle life or even into early manhood this concern about being adult is a mark of really arrested development. When I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed if I had been found doing so. Now that I am fifty I read them openly. When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.” 

- C S Lewis