I’ve been gaming since the age of eight or nine, depending what you count as gaming. So it’s impossible to really do a ‘before and after’ comparison, since I’ve been gaming about as long as I’ve had a distinct and meaningful personhood. ‘Change’, then, isn’t perhaps the right term, but I can look upon the effect that gaming has had on my life.
Most of my life-long friendships involve gaming in one way or another. Colleagues, fellow players, people from LARPs, having something in common gives you a good common ground for conversation and an excuse to meet up with people – after which you’re able to feel around for friendship and other commonalities than just games.
I met my partner – and most of my previous lovers – through gaming, so you can’t really discount that either! Some people meet at school, some around the water cooler, I met people around dice and costumes.
I started gaming in the eighties, and was heavily into Vampire in the 90s – as well as being a metalhead and goth around the same periods, and being into comics and other demonised forms of nerd media. As such I became very invested in free expression issues and in fighting the ‘moral majority’ as it intersected with the things I enjoyed. Those experiences, that hostility and judgement, made me a lifelong advocate for free speech, and it breaks my heart that the forces arrayed against that freedom now come much more from within gaming (and nerd media) than from without. That activism – I was writing letters to the Editor and defences of gaming while I was still in secondary school – also got me invested in secularism, and what some people call ‘movement atheism’. These things are still very important to me, to this day and I’ve added sexual freedom, egalitarianism and a free and open internet to my wheelhouse of causes.
Perhaps most importantly of all, writing games, making games, freelancing in the gaming industry… gaming gave me a career and a life and a satisfying ‘raison d’etre’. Imaginative play is important, even as an adult, and if I can help that, provide escapism, and defend peoples’ right to their own fantasies, I’ll count this as a worthwhile life.
Hey, thanks for stopping by. I’m an independent RPG (and other games) designer and author. You can check out my stuff via the links at the side of postmortemstudios.wordpress.com. If you feel so inclined, after a look around, you can support me at patreon.com/grimachu, Minds.com/grimachu or steemit.com/@grimjim. Questions and queries are welcome, remember, ‘Nullius in verba’!