Lowell Kempf(Gnomekin)United States
Lately, I have been writing about reasons why I play games. Gaming has been a big part of my life, one way or another, for all of my adult life. Some people, like some of my relatives, would even say it’s a way that I’ve been avoiding my adult life
All joking aside (You were joking, Dad? Right?), I have spent a lot of time and effort gaming and it’s been pretty darn rewarding. Not only do I keep on doing it, I look forward to it and I keep on having lots of fun. And, while I don’t have to understand why I do it, it’s still fun to wonder why I play games.
I have already written about how much fun it is to take part in the story that a game can create and try to guide that story in the way you want it to go. I have also written about my love of mechanics, the way that a game creates its own little system and how much joy I have in watching that process go. And I have written about how I have come to embrace the competitive side of gaming and how I enjoy trying to beat my opponents.
However, all of these reasons pale before the single biggest reason why I try to sit down at a table to play at least once a week, why I have a closet full of games suitable for almost every occasion and why I have such a good time playing games.
And that reason, of course, is friendship. It’s in the subject line so it shouldn’t come as any surprise.
Call it friendship. Call it social interaction. Call it an excuse to hang out with my buds. No matter what, it is the people who I play games with and the relationships that I have developed with them that keep me gaming. If it wasn’t for them, my game collection would be nothing more than a bunch of brightly colored cat perches.
When I look back at my life, I can see that most of the lasting and meaningful friendships that I have had are ones that are rooted in gaming. I am still in touch with my college Dungeons and Dragons group and all of my groomsmen come from that bunch of guys. Heck, I met my fiancé at a gaming meet up and a lot of our courtship revolved around getting together to play games like Ingenious and Lost Cities.
Any way you slice it, that makes gaming a big deal for me. Gaming has played a huge part in my non-gaming life and has had a major positive effect on top of that.
I have often said that different occasions call for different games. I am a bit of a social butterfly and my game collection reflects that. I pride myself in being able to find a game that will suit the players and the circumstances. My regular gaming group calls for longer and deeper games with a strong tactical element while I have a selection of lighter games for house parties and casual outings. People know me as a gamer but they also know me as someone who is fun to game with.
I am someone who has found friends through gaming and who brings games into friendships, usually to the appreciations of my non-gaming friends.
I thought that when I reached this point in this blog, I would be writing a really long entry. However, as important as friendship is to my gaming life, it really is quite simple. In the end, my friends really are the biggest reason I am a gamer.