When I first started playing tabletop roleplaying games, I lived in Pennsylvania. Since then I have lived in New Jersey, New Mexico, and Arizona, with extended stays in Vermont, Utah, and California. At the moment I live in Finland. When I began roleplaying I was in middle school. Since then I’ve picked up a few degrees. I couldn’t tell you how many jobs I’ve had, including various positions within a couple of companies I spent many years at. I did, in fact, have a girlfriend back then, which occasionally interfered with weekend-long roleplaying marathons. In the intervening time I’ve been married twice, with at least one other serious, long-term relationship. The only things I was interested in reading back then were comic books and science fiction novels; today my tastes run mostly to literary fiction and business books. All I listened to was what’s now called classic rock — The Rolling Stones, The Who, Led Zeppelin, you know the list.
You don’t have to like the same things that you liked when you were younger. There’s no need to try to hold onto the person that you were before. You have permission to evolve. That’s one of the reasons why I struggle with people who only play one roleplaying game — you know which one — and a lot of them are locked into one edition of that game.
You Have Permission to Evolve
I’m not going to be one of those people that tells other people to grow up. There are many things from my youth that I still enjoy. There is no point in time, for example, that I will turn down pizza or hamburgers. Yet, when I was in middle school I hadn’t had Mexican food yet. It’s a staple of my diet now, even here in the Nordic, because I learned how to cook. I’d never had Chinese food, or sushi, or Thai food. I cannot imaging refusing to branch out, and not having those things in my life.
While I have to acknowledge the 800 pound gorilla, I do wonder if its association with youth and genre works against it. Perceptions are changing slowly, thanks to celebrity players and streaming games. We all still struggle with the idea that being a roleplayer makes us stunted, immature, clueless about the workings of the real world. I know it’s not true, but I still wonder if certain players know that it’s not true.
About Dancing Lights Press
Dancing Lights Press publishes story games that embrace a minimalist aesthetic in design and presentation. Our print books are affordable, at $10 or less. The 6×9 digest format makes them convenient to carry around. The spotlight belongs on the creativity of the players as they converse and collaborate on plot, worldbuilding, and character development. Roleplaying is an activity, not a book. Our titles are merely part of the delivery system.