If you saw my post yesterday, you have probably already noticed I am not in love with the real world (and for those of you who naturally assume every conspiracy theorist is a nut job, I don’t love the world as I perceive it through my goofy senses). So what is the alternative? How about the world of the imagination?
Like many youths of the late 70’s and early 80’s, I trained my imagination with the Dungeons and Dragons game from Gary Gygax and TSR. I played first with my brother and two sisters, then with kids from the school where I first taught (middle schoolers when I taught them, but mostly high schoolers when they played in the vast worlds of my dungeon-master’s imagination). I first started buying and painting metal miniatures. Later I supplemented them with plastic figures, paper cut-outs, maps, and dungeon tiles.
I can now lay out a pretty impressive scene to play out the stories that I and my three goofy kids love to spin. Of course, you know that, although I lay out the potential story as the dungeon master, the players each pick a character and input their own directions and choices through that character’s point of view.
The characters face the monsters and problems they must overcome, and they must decide when to hit it, when to kill it, or when to try to charm her way through it.
After the monsters are dead you have to choose again. Do you cut up the dead Cyclops and eat it? Do you accept the gold from the princess who is thanking you for saving her and her children? Do you kill the bratty kids and take all their gold earrings and arm bands? Of course, the DM tries to squelch option three.
And then you gather up the group again in the castle courtyard, and away you go. Another adventure. Another problem to solve. It is so much easier than car repairs and school schedules and dealing with a dog that is a walking poop and spare-hair factory. Dungeons and Dragons life is so much more heroic and fulfilling than real life.
And then Mom shows up and says the game is over for today. Time to wash the dishes, vacuum the carpet downstairs, and walk the dang pooping dog. “Go away, Mom! We are busy learning about the important things in life.”