Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Roll Your Own Life (2) - Like a Virgin

Like Pulp said, "Do you remember the first time?" They always say that you can, and they're right. I remember my first time... I can't remember how old I was, but I was still at school (secondary school as they called it in my day, though they probably call it High School now, so they can be like the ones the kids see on TV) and it was a Saturday. A friend of mine (we'll just call him Crud, not the nicest of nicknames but it wasn't because he was cruddy, he just liked the word and used it a lot - and it kinda stuck as a name) suggested we head over to a buddy of his' place. Crud had planned on going to JR's for a game, so I was invited to tag along. I had no idea what was going on...

Wait, you thought this was going to be about sex didn't you? Nooooooo, this is about Traveller. My first game. 

I must admit, I don't remember a great deal about the game except where it was, and that I was engrossed - which was surprising considering I had no idea what was going on really, and I didn't even have my own character. I suppose I did what every gamer does at their first game, especially one where you've joined a game in progress - I kept mostly quiet, rolled when necessary, and just tried to take it all in.

But it was enough to get me hooked. And I must have behaved myself as I got myself invited back to a second Traveller game where I spent most of it rolling up (or rather mustering out) a new character.

It was a big deal not only because I'd started roleplaying, but also because I was expanding my circle of friends. I wasn't a popular kid - chubby, funny looking, picked on, teased, bullied, yes. But not popular. I had a best friend (and if Stephen King was writing this he'd say that we were both perfect candidates for "IT"'s Loser's Club) and we spent every weekend together playing video games (ZX Spectrum, or Atari VCS). My circle of friends expanded to a couple of other kids, mostly those who had moved into the area and were assigned to me to "show them around" because I was obviously "reliable". This was great because not only were they great friends as well, but it wouldn't be long before all of us, friends old and new, would be engaging in the epic roleplaying adventures that stretched before us.

This new gaming group were mostly people I didn't normally associate with - they were in a different "house" (yes, we had houses, just like Harry Potter). Suddenly my circle of friends had grown from three to eight (sometimes more), but we gamed, and we gamed A LOT. Four to five times a week, evenings and weekends. We were "The Eight", friends I've known and kept for over thirty years. Friends I'll hopefully introduce to you over the coming weeks.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Always worth reading the "Elfish Gene" by > You may nod and laugh, and then cringe... Milo

Anonymous said...

Sorry, missed the author of last comment - Mark Barrowcliffe
Milo

Autocratik said...

I started reading it, but it felt a little negative about gaming - all seemed to be "I didn't get a girlfriend because I played D&D", so I gave up...

Is it worth continuing? Does it get past that?

Sure, D&D made us geeks, and I'm still a geek, but roleplaying has given me some very positive things in my life - my friends, my first job, how I met my wife (sorta)!

Jason Edwards said...

Really Enjoyed reading that Frankie. Took me back to my first gaming experience, where I also did not really have a clue what I was doing. The fist gaming session I attended, was D an D, we did not even have a rule book and just made the rules up. Now you try telling that to young people today and they just wont believe it. Cant wait to read more. Jason

Anonymous said...

Elfish Gene - Hmmm. It is maybe too cringey but we grew through it. I don't think the author still plays so he has, effectively, joined the bullies poking fun at it. There are some nice bits to it though, perhaps worth finishing, with cringe-proof pants on...
Milo