You Have Died of Dysentery: Finding a Community in Gaming

My daughter loved to play Oregon Trail on the computer when she was young. I never quite understood the appeal, but she would laugh about the different ways she would die.  I think the whole point of the game for her was dying; I don’t recall her ever surviving the game.  I’m avoiding asking if that says more about her or me.

Last year, I was feeling a little nostalgic and I bought her the Oregon Trail card game for Christmas. I think she might have played it once.  Maybe if there were a VR version she would get excited about dying of cholera or a broken leg, once more (just don’t turn off the safety protocols). Continue reading

Finding the Stories that Connect Us

So much of our lives revolve around stories. We tell stories to children. We ask people to tell us the story of how their day went. Significant milestones in our lives become stories we tell over and over again. Pictures are also common to our everyday lives. And pictures can tell stories themselves. A painting is a picture that someone has created to tell a particular story. In writing, authors are trying to help the readers form an image in their minds. Artists are much the opposite, they are giving you the image and trying to help the audience find the story within it.

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“– And Then I Grew Up”: Role Playing and Storytelling

I first learned about role-playing games in Junior High, when I attempted to play “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” with a friend.  The attempt didn’t stick, but in High School, a group of my friends gathered at the library on a regular basis, and later at my friend’s home, to play “Star Wars”.  I dabbled with “Advanced Dungeons and Dragons” and “GURTS” for a little bit, just long enough to convince myself that AD&D is the Work of the Devil — as is any other D20 game system.

So I have a bit of experience with role playing — and then I grew up.

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