Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Who am I and why D&D ?

Who are we and how does that impact our game play? Here’s me as described by professional skills and ambitions over the years: I’m a Technical Illustrator /Concept Artist who went to college for applied mathematics and computer science, I’ve worked for a huge range of industries and have to be able to figure out what customers want to see and what they want to show their customers sometimes quite literally from scribbles on a napkin. I like programming, I’m not an insane gear head but I have hand etched control boards and built hardware from scratch, computers have always been a tool I had no problem dealing with and pushing when the spirit was willing but the iron was weak.  As a child I was an actor, I was in a T.V. pilot decades ago. I had a lot of ambition as a youth taking opportunity of a community education program at a local cable company; I was able to become a certified video producer while still in early junior high (it still amazes me I’d be trusted with oversight of an entire T.V. studio but I was) way back in the olden days when things were still on reel to reel tape and editing was analog.  I wasn’t very good at math in middle school but when math turned to actual geometry and more I became excited and was able to make sense out of it, I went on to college to learn and forget more math than anyone I know socially I haven’t met through career channels.  I like details, the structure behind things that produces these details but also how to manipulate them to make a new whole, to educate, to explore, to play games.

I come from a family of game players. Cut throat scrabble games starting just after dinner and lasting into the wee hours of dawn are not an uncommon feature of my family at large. I took to chess at a young age, was exposed to go at almost the same time and wanted more. When I was a wee lad my father and friends were into the game Diplomacy and that’s how I discovered war gaming, D&D soon followed that. I’ve been playing D&D for 35 years or so (I forget how old I was when I first got it) and taught myself to play. For a time I was the DM for a group that was mostly my father and his co-workers with a couple of my school friends thrown in. I’ve DM’d for members of four generations of my family; D&D has often been about sharing with and entertaining family and friends.

So detail oriented, I like to share, I like to entertain, and above all I like to learn and believe learning is a collaborative effort that comes out of reading, lectures, and interaction. When I was a kid I’d play hookie and sneak into theaters to watch an act of a show, or spend hours scouring a museum, I’d even go to the library on such days. I hardly ever read fiction these days, one of the most fascinating books I ever read was a 80 or 90 page history of the umbrella.  Still have a notebook full of notes from when I was delving into 8th century Irish History ( a fascinating time and place in transformation in Western European culture). My parents used to buy me overstock and second hand college books when I could barely read. The Iliad, planet of the apes (original book and magazine), 1984 , books of electronic schematics, a history of cultural anthropology, a book of favorite American plays, and monster film mags were all pilled and shelved alongside D&D and other game books. I watch documentaries of all sorts, I’ve travelled to watch a documentary of university lectures. All the little details are out there and in me, I try to get them into D&D and out to other people.

I want to entertain, I want to create. I want to learn more, I don’t want to go it alone the whole time, that’s why I play D&D; that’s why I blog about D&D. There's a music and an art, a cultural resonance, a something more in D&D. A Something I'm happy to be part of in my own actions,voice, and these digital letter I'm typing out.  I have yet to see an end, a reason to quit on D&D.

1 comment:

  1. Ok, now I want to read about the history of the umbrella.