How has gaming changed you?
This feels like an odd one to answer, as its become such a core part of my life. I guess if there’s one core thing which its brought to my life, its friends. My friends were mainly either my brother, the family dog or the people I wanted to make a comic company with from ages 13-18. Neither my brother or I were the most sociable growing up and I’m still hit and miss with people.
I didn’t know anything about RPGs when I started, so I simply conscripted anyone I could find who would be willing to try out some weird game with the same name as that cartoon from the 80’s. The Gen I version of my group, The In-Fighters, tended to run through people pretty quickly either by weirding them out with the whole role-playing concept or through the existing players who weren’t great at playing nice.
As we grew up and I ran out of friends to expose to RPGs, I started encountering new people through them being players first and friends second. When I worked at a comic shop, a customer who I regularly argued about X-Men comics with dragged his friend Steve over to meet me. Steve had never played RPGs outside of video games and wanted to be try it out. Years later and Steve’s one of my best friends, an occasional member of the In-Fighters and I was the best man at his wedding.
I met Alex from the Gen II and III In-Fighters at Monday night Magic, promised him a place in a different group and then found out he couldn’t join it because of issues with the host’s wife and new people. I added him to the already-overstuffed In-Fighters and he became not only a mainstay of the group but for several years the host when we realised he had his own place. He may have left the group but his shuffling addiction, lack of composure and friendship are not forgotten.
I think at this point all of my oldest friends are roleplayers. We’ve had our own Christmas meals for the gaming group and their loved ones. My wonderful, weird internet friends on The Huddle have a mini-convention every year which sometimes bleeds over into extra on and offline role-playing groups.
I thought this was going to be a difficult one, but without roleplaying, some of my best, closest friendships would never have existed.