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Dream with cancer game

Dolny Śląsk
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Background info to the dream:

In real life I have an old friend Jay who's been dealing with cancer for the past 5 years, and as a memorable scene from Watchmen goes: you know that kind of cancer that you get better from eventually? Well, that ain't the kind of cancer Jay has.

Jay is a writer, and as a public service and as a form of catharsis, he blogs in great detail and openness about every aspect of the cancer experience (health, operations, chemotherapy, personal relationships, writing, work, dreams inspired by cancer, hospital/insurance bureaucracy, US healthcare politics, scientific research, social awareness, etc etc etc...), and he has become a sort of advocate for general cancer awareness and open discussion. (If anyone is interested, Jay's blog is at ...)


Anyway, on to the anti-climactic point of this blog post: the game-related dream:

Last night I had a long rambling dream which concluded with me wandering around a sort of friendly sprawling country community with little houses and gardens all jumbled together. It was like a surreal cross between the Shire in Peter Jackson's Tolkien films and the shared community gardens I see here in Poland where people rent a plot to grow stuff and hang out on weekends.

Across a hedge I heard people swimming in a pool, including (to my surprise) Jay. So I decided to go chat with him (since in real life I've not seen him in several years, what with us living on different continents and all).

Apparently inspired by Jay's recent blogging about being guest of honor at a Victorian steampunk-themed science fiction convention, I first decided to dress myself as a Victorian British explorer, in a khaki hunter's outfit with a wide belt and a pith helmet and big bushy sideburns. (Apparently I was going more historical/traditional than steampunk/sf, since I didn't have goggles or anything brass...)

I felt rather uncomfortably out of place in such a costume for a swimming pool / garden party, yet at the same time it somehow made sense in the dream to dress up like this.

Thus prepared, I opened the gate to the pool. Jay was swimming, and surprised and delighted to see me. I didn't know anyone else there. He came out of the pool to chat with me and we talked enthusiastically and happily like old times. I think I noticed the various scars from operations on his body.

He told about some new cancer project of his, which related to educating and provoking discussion about cancer. It turned out to be some kind of game. He was thinking mostly about it as a personal game to play with his teenage daughter to help her talk with him more comfortably about cancer issues, but as he and I discussed it, the idea expanded to be a published game for general distribution. There was also the unpleasant sense of urgency and uncertainty whether he would have sufficient time left to really develop and test and finalize the game. We may have talked about whether I'd help finish the game if need be (he recently blogged about another writing completing a novel he has in progress if he can't finish it).

But the details were quite hazy.

It maybe simply involved cards and hypothetical scenarios to consider and talk about. It sounded better in the dream than such a "discussion facilitation" or "education" or "psychological" game would probably be in real life.

Or maybe it was a role-playing game, one of those more modern edgy-themed single session RPGs, with players taking the roles of someone with cancer or someone who interacts with them.

Or maybe it was an actual strategy game with clear formal rules and a goal.

I'm not sure: the game brainstorming was too dreamy and vague, and the dream dissolved, and I woke up.
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