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It's all fun until someone loses a die
I love games. I always have. Pen, paper and dice hide in the oddest places in my house, and there are game supplements from the 80's in a bookshelf practially filled with books from various genres and publishers. I have games I haven't played, but that's mostly mostly for lack others who wanted to play that particular game. I have a box full of collectible card games, an office with tons of computer games, and a drawer full of strategy and board games.

A Casual Addiction
Although I avoided Everquest mostly because of my wife's insistence that I'd never get anything done around the house, I also know people who have neglected family, friends and work at the siren call of the MMO. Still, I was caught back around Christmas of 2004 by World of Warcraft. And Christi, after being shown the game, was snared as well. So much for peer pressure.

I am a casual gamer. After a year and a half, none of my characters had reached level 60, and I don't raid or PvP. That would change if I actually had sufficient friends or played often enough. But for now, I'm content to grind through the quests and explore. Eventually, I will leave Azeroth. The developers obviously have a mandate to push raiding as the end-game playstyle, and while I think that is short-sighted and foolish, they have over six million players, so there is something to be said for their model.

AD&D - 3rd Edition
I'm currently involved in a tabletop AD&D game that runs every other weekend. I sometimes find myself struggling with the game, since I am of a more romantic, rules-light bent, and I hate die rolls for every little thing (As a side note for anyone who says "but you co-wrote Mythus - and it's full of rules!", those rules are there as guidelines for rules lawyers, and when I run a Mythus campaign most actions never need a roll to determine the outcome). But so far, the story is fun, and I like the character I'm playing.

Foam-covered Plumbing Supplies
I used to be a big fan and player of LARPs - Live Action Role Playing games - such as Shattered Isles, King's Gate, and even NERO. Being that I'm in my 40's, I find that running up and down a field fighting kids half my age is not my idea of fun. I want roleplaying, damn it, and games like NERO often cater to twenty-something, sword-swinging imbeciles that couldn't roleplay their way out of a paper bag, prefering to metagame their way through any given situation. Not only that, LARPs by nature breed drama - as well as plot whores, players who will do anything to maximize their fun and participation at a game. I have not played in a single game that has managed to avoid this. Add to that the fact that most LARPs, even the ones without physical combat systems, are run by people who are mostly volunteers, and you wind up with a game rife with personal bias and unprofessional management.

So eventually, the solution is to run my own game, using custom-designed rules, and a paid employee structure. This would ensure that both employees - and customers - who cannot provide an immersive, fun experience can be culled from the group. Then again, knowing personal nature, it would likely be a small game.

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Copyright © 2006 David W. Newton. All Rights Reserved.