Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Aging, Death, and the Game Room

I went this weekend to visit the grandfather of my best friend. He is old and sick with cancer. We sat and talked of old times and what had been going on lately in his family and mine. When he napped I spoke to his wife about things - they have been together for ~58 years. At one point he woke from a nap and wandered about the house. He looked out into the attached porch on his house and asked me if there was anything I would like to grab from the room. You see, that room is the game room - and it is filled with not just my stuff, but all my old friends have something out in that room, secreted in a chest or in a desk.

Years ago when I was young, we never had a place where we could game in quiet. Nearly all my friends had siblings and our houses were crazy loud all the time with people bustling about their dailies. You see by buddies grandfather “gramps” as we all called him, decided to build a gameroom off his house for us to game in. We filled with with chests of RPG tabletop games, MTG cards, and a TV w/ Xbox and my buddies computer when he lived there for a while.

In that room - most of my greatest campaigns played out. The end of my last two Forgotten Realms campaigns that I had run for years. God, I remember such good times in there. Worlds were destroyed, dragons slain, intrigues woven, and characters grew or were slain. I remember many nights while I was explaining a really great scene or mysterious room, I could see “gramps” and “gram” in the other room straining their ears to listen in. I wonder if they would have ever wanted to play the game. I think they were just happy to listen in.

Aging is a terrible thing, and everyday we all get closer to our inevitable ends. Moments like these, when you stand in reflection of past days make you think about how you are living today. Some days make me think I should spend less time “in my head” inventing my next work related project or gaming related project and just be out there in the world - doing, exploring, seeing all that this life has to offer with every precious moment this life will give me. However, some of my best days were spent at that table, in that room or in my bedroom at my parents house, creating imaginary fantasy lands for my friends to play a game in. I won’t solve this dilemma in this post - it is like religion or the meaning of life - you will never have an answer but time spent pondering these things is not time wasted.

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