May 312010

Picture taken by Krystalle during one of our recent games

Editor’s Note – The following 2000+ word post is not going to be of any interest to you at all unless you’re into tabletop role-playing games (and even then you may not care if you aren’t playing Dungeons and Dragons). I give this warning in advance to spare your precious time.

If you follow my Twitter or Facebook feeds you’re probably aware that, over the last few months, some friends of mine and I have been regularly playing Fourth Edition Dungeons and Dragons. It has been a great deal of fun on many levels. Not only am I gaming again on a regular basis (a pastime that has played an integral role in my life since I was in my early teens), but I’m doing so with my family. Finding activities that all of us enjoy can be a bit of a challenge, and the fact role-playing fell into this category just makes it all the more awesome.

The more time I spend gaming these days, the more I realize that during the years where I spent most of my free time playing games like City of Heroes and World of Warcraft I was really just trying to fill the tabletop RPG void in my life. Now that I am tabletop gaming again on a regular basis I realize that it was a less-than-fulfilling replacement. As much fun as I had playing MMORPG’s (and let’s be clear – I DID have a lot of fun), there just isn’t anything quite like making up your OWN stories and having adventures that aren’t pre-determined by a set of programmers. The exhilaration of defeating an epic monster in a scripted encounter is nothing compared to the joy of defeating a party of kobolds while sitting around a table with your friends making Monty Python jokes.

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May 232010

There is a stillness to the world when you’re up at 7:30 AM on a Sunday morning. At least there is in my house. No televisions are on. No music is playing. Nobody is walking through my office to get to the kitchen or sitting in the living room playing on a console. It’s nice, but at the same time it’s somewhat disturbing. I truly enjoy moments of quiet and solitude when I can find them, but when they occur at any time after the sun comes up it feels somewhat unnatural.

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May 022010

Image via just_clicked on flickr

In the 1987 Oliver Stone film Wall Street Michael Douglas, in the role of Gordon Gekko, uttered the famous words that defined the “me” era of the late 1980’s –

Greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed is right, greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit. Greed, in all of its forms; greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge has marked the upward surge of mankind.

Michael Douglas won an Academy Award for his portrayal of the reviled Mr. Gekko, and while I won’t spoil the movie if you haven’t seen it (and if you haven’t, I do suggest you make an effort to do so) it is safe to say that by the end of the movie the philosophy that he espoused came back to bite him in the ass.

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