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Rainy Day Gaming

Rainy Day Gaming

I never really realized how powerful an impact gaming has made on my life. It has influenced, indirectly, more than I could imagine.

This weekend, we got some unseasonably wet weather. It felt more like autumn than summer. Rain clouds came marching in over the mountains to the west led by a cool breeze unique to rain storms, inspiring my creativity. It is my absolute favorite type of weather and to get some in the middle of June is utterly astonishing.

During these days I have also been feeling sick due to allergies, a cold, or both. Having this much down time during this kind of weather has allowed me to soak it in and enjoy it. As I did, my mind began wondering why, exactly, do I love this type of weather so much. The answer, I was shocked to conclude, is gaming.

You see, when I was growing up I played a lot of Dungeons & Dragons, both the basic boxed sets and the Advanced variety. I also ran around outside a lot and played tag, baseball, football, and a variety of other games that involved running, jumping, and getting dirty. Sometimes, during those beautiful summer days it was hard to decide what we (myself, my brothers, and my cousins mostly) would do. So, when we played D&D, it was with distractions and breaks to run around outside, making the experience unfocused and uninspired.

When it was raining outside, though, we had no real choice but to stay indoors. These were the days when we could sit down, uninterrupted, and focus on the game. Characters would be rolled up and detailed out. Back stories would feed the reason for an adventure and from this a campaign would grow. Role-play was especially vibrant and motivated. Our focus was so intent on what we were doing that the game seemed to spring to life at these times.

This was especially true with my cousin, Jeff. We would have dice, paper, pencils, rulebooks, a drink, and a snack all within easy reach. Our minds would work so well together and we would create and build stories through playing the game, quietly inspired by the sounds of wind and rain in the background. At times we would work together and at others we would try to outfox each other; he would sense where I was likely to place a trap and foil it, only to be surprised with an unusual monster he hadn’t studied. Dungeons & Dragons became more than just a game during these times. It was a creative outlet, a game of chess, a writing workshop, and most of all, a bonding life experience.

As I grew older, graduating high school and becoming an “adult”, I continued playing the game, meeting new people and going on new – and fantastic – adventures. The rainy gaming days, however, were always my favorite. This is why I think this weather brings out a more creative, hopeful, and emotional side of me. I see the clouds coming over the mountains or hear the rain prattle against the window and, no matter where I am, I instantly want to create deep, powerful, and meaningful things.

I hope it is a feeling that never leaves me.

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