With my injury and recovery, I’m not capable of doing the job I used to yet. However, I’m still considered a “room lead” at DragonCon. The room is just much smaller than it was. It has always seemed that my most positive moments tend to happen on the Monday (last) morning of ‘con, and this year was no exception.
In my room that morning was a single event. Somehow never having gotten involved in the role-playing game community (I have no idea how I missed out on that), I didn’t recognize the nickname “Lord British” (or his real name: Richard Garriott). For others who also don’t recognize it, Mr. Garriott is the author/creator behind the Ultima series of computer role-playing games.
Anyway, as I listened to his talk, I heard all kinds of similarities to my experiences growing up. Like me, Mr. Garriott got involved with computers as a kid (he’s about a decade older than me, so his experience with computers happened just as they were becoming common). I recognized the initiative and enthusiasm he described. Unlike me, however, his most serious early PC experience (meaning doing type-in programs from magazines, of course) was with the Apple II series machines. In addition to the age advantage, though, he has a serious creative streak that I don’t have.
Throughout the talk, though, I recognized a bunch of thoughts and character traits. :) I somehow never got involved with RPGs growing up, but I was aware of the concept and existence of the games. Before my junior year of high school, I spent a number of weeks at a workshop for future engineering students at Tennessee Technological University. While I was there, I remember hearing from some of the other students about the “moral” backlash from some of the highly-religious about role-playing games. I was quite mystified that such a harmless source of fun could be seen as “evil”. Of course, by that point, the seeds of the growth that would later lead me away from religion had already firmly taken root. ;)
As I listened to the talk, I considered trying to talk to Mr. Garriott after the event to learn more about how much we had in common growing up, but I decided for a number of reasons (not the least of which being my extreme awkwardness right now) that I wouldn’t try. I really hope he enjoyed the event, though. Monday morning ‘con audiences are usually quite well-suited for more contemplative events like this. The people who are serious enough to get up early on that last morning tend to be the more serious people. I think that morning, I finally began to feel like I was “finding my place” again (much like today at work was, actually).
If you go back and read my first post on the previous web log, I’m betting you’ll see a lot in common with this post. :)