Proud Member of the Original “Geek-Squad”

In a recent post, I pondered my reasons for starting to blog in the first place.  Ever since then, I have had stirrings in my head (yeah it is a stew up there) about where and when I started to write in general.  My writing roots would go back to a fateful day in the early 80’s.  A new friend, who would later become a best friend for life, introduced me to the wonderful world of role-playing games.  I had played my fair share of games, up to that point.  They had titles like Life, Monopoly, or Sorry.  The game that my friend invited me over to play? It was none other than the grand daddy of all games in the genre, Dungeons & Dragons.

Soon after this introduction, we found others that had drifted into this, then new, frontier.  Our group grew from two to about six or seven regulars.  Our weekends would be filled with games played around tables in kitchens and basements all over the city.  We would load up on popcorn and soda, and settle in for a night of high melodrama in which one of us would weave a story from which the rest of us would meander through and experience.

One week, we would be sorcerers and barbarians on a quest to save the local village for glory and gold.  Another week, we would be an international team of spies trying to infiltrate the latest deathtrap creation one of us had slaved over.  Still another week, would find us commanding our very own star-ship with a swashbuckling storyline.  The number of genres we would take part in was only limited by our imaginations, and our allowance.

The root of these games was the game-master.  The titles varied from game to game, but essentially, they were the person who created the world, and through their dialogue filled this world with puzzles, and challenges, and goals.  In essence they were charged with making the world real for the people playing the game.  For lack of a better definition, they were the narrator of the story we were playing in.  The best ones were judged by how descriptive and immersive their stories were.  The greatest sessions were discussed and picked apart for years.

It didn’t take long for the desire to “create” to stir within me.  I wanted to lead my friends through the worlds I could create.  Wanting to and doing it though were two very different things.  These games required a lot of resource material.  To properly prepare, the game-master had to work for many hours on maps, and character development, and the story, and…wait is any of this starting to sound familiar to anyone?  Doesn’t that sound a lot like the process someone goes through in writing a work of fiction?  It never dawned on me then that I was writing a story.  This was a game after all.

As other developments happened in my life, the opportunities to get together with my friends and play these games became fewer and more sporadic.  I’m not sure exactly when I put away the pencils and the dice, but it happened.  Many years would go by, and I would find myself with a longing to fill an ever-growing empty space.  I felt that something was missing from my life.  In the end, it would be that creative spark that playing these games provided, that was missing.

So, that brings me full circle to where I am today.  I am blogging to fill that creative need I have within me.  This is my outlet to all of that energy that has resided within me with no voice for so long.  I do still feel the need to weave that story and share it with people.  That need to share, and to tell an interesting story started out through playing a game.  Now I just need to find an outlet for this compelling wish to play with funny shaped dice, and I will be set.


About Mike Lemons
I'm a guy in his 40's who has been bumming around the net for years. I am married to a wonderful woman, and have 3 gorgeous kids.

4 Responses to Proud Member of the Original “Geek-Squad”

  1. Patti says:

    I’ve always wondered if I would have liked D&D. It was pretty new when I was in college and when I did hear of it, it seemed to have rather dark and, well……dorky, associations : ) I believe my husband played it a couple times with some fellow seminarians and a couple of professors. I agree that it seems an amazing testing ground for budding storytellers.

    I think I would have had a hard time getting into the spirit of D&D when I was younger. I did my best to live in an imaginary world when I was a kid (I had about 40 imaginary friends that I knew by name), but it was fairly private. I always found that the ecology of my little community was messed up when I opened it up to others – either that, or they thought I was a bit weird and were not interested in returning.

    • Mike Lemons says:

      I think more people would actually enjoy it also if the dispersions on it that are cast by people (like so many other things that are not understood) were not present…

      It was an amazing period of growth for me…you would not believe that amount of factual information you learn when playing these games because of the research…the desire to make the settings as real as possible…the characters lively and fresh…etc.

      I am a firm believer that this “gaming” really helped to shape who I am today…and that it is better in a lot of ways than computer gaming because of that social element that is just not the same as an online experience…

  2. Becky says:

    I can trace my desire to write back to my third grade year with Miss Benwell. She assigned us a 5-page pice of fiction and I wrote 12…double-sided. It was a story about murder and intrigue…I think. I remember a body in a forest creek, and I’m sure it freaked my teacher out. I’m not really morbid, and I don’t know where that story came from, but in seventh grade, my teacher (who also played a huge role in my writing development) commented that I had a rare gift to write about what I DIDN’T know, which is the cardinal rule of writing. Funny how both of our initial writing inspirations are tied to educational experiences…and yet are so different.

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