Despite that gaming had been such an enjoyable pastime for so many years, I gradually slipped away from it. Between dating and work, I found that I had less time for the hobby as the years went on.
It started with no longer having weekly groups. As time went on, I passed on trips to conventions, in place of beach vacations or home improvements. Finally, I stopped keeping up on all the periodicals or even reading novels from my favorite authors. I might stop by a magazine stand or briefly browse the fantasy section at the bookstore but for all purposes, I had moved on.
The better part of 20 years had passed since I’d even cracked open a book for the simple pleasure of escaping into another world. I married, divorced, and then dated more than I cared to. Moving around from place to place (11 times in 10 years) I got to the point where the mere sight of a U-Haul truck would make me break out in a cold sweat.
About a year and a half ago, things took a very pleasant turn. I ended up getting back together with “the one that got away”. She’s someone I’d dated 20 years ago and generally assumed was long gone. Some time after that, I relocated to the small, Ohio town where she lives with her two children.
Her 16-year-old son is an avid video gamer and enjoys many of the XBox RPG titles. I guess that’s probably what got the seed planted in me. He’d call me into the room to watch some creature he was battling or view some cut-scene. It also came out that he enjoyed reading fantasy novels, many of which I’d read years before. At any rate, it was a good topic for the two of us to bond over and to allow my imagination to spark again.
It wasn’t long before I was borrowing his books when he’d finish them and read them myself. I made a trip to the mall and poked around, looking for the latest issue of Dragon Magazine. When I learned of the demise of the publication, I turned to the Internet and started reading blogs and community sites to catch up. Finally, upon discovering that the Origins Game Fair is now held in Columbus (just down the road from me), I was convinced.
I sat my girlfriend and her son down one evening and gave them a long talk about tabletop role-playing. I fully expected either yawns of disinterest or ridicule. Much to my surprise though, they were both very eager to hear more and wanted to give it a shot.
That was a couple of months ago now. We have sat down and run a couple of simple sessions (recruiting a few other folks along the way). All systems are “go” and I have a group that is eager for a fuller experience. It’s good to be back!