Too often we hear horror stories about games. And by this I’m not referring to the anecdotes of the terrible player who sat at your table or the really inept game master who ruined a system for you. I’m talking about stories about how someone was horrified by the fact that you gamed, intolerance and bigotry. And don’t get me wrong, we need to talk about this, because despite a growing acceptance of games in our society, there are still cases where gamers experience this. But today I propose we talk about something else.
For every person who might have dismissed your games as childish things or actually reprimanded you for the perceived ills of role playing games, there must have been someone who encouraged you. Who brought you a book, encouraged your love for the game and sometimes, even when they didn’t understand it, put up with your hobby! I’m calling them gaming enablers.
I’ve recently been thinking about this because of my grandmother. Those of you who follow me on Twitter know she’s been ill. She turned 92 and her health took a turn for the worse. She’s recovered but is nowhere near as independent or healthy as she was in February. Without getting into too much details (face it, a report on her health is NOT why you are reading this), I’ve come to realize how much my love for gaming was fostered by her and other members of my immediate family.
She read to me every day when I was a child and brought me books and modules when I became interested in games. When I was in high school we would play every Friday and we’d arrive at her home where she would cook lunch for us and then leave us alone so we could use her dinner table as the stage for explorations into the depth of the underdark or the distant stars of Frontier space. Summer time was even worse, we’d get together every day and she would cook and feed us. She might not have understood what we were doing with the funny dice or why we made those strange voices, but she did everything she could to encourage my love for the game.
Just like my mother, and grandfather and uncle, they all encouraged me, listened to my stories and I continue enjoying the game to this day because the fostered that love, because the enabled it! So today I propose we reach out to those that helped us enjoy this game, played with us, taught us or simply encouraged us and say, THANK YOU!
I already thnked her and it felt nice…