Fiction vs Real life…and winning…

So I don’t really care who knows this but I like to play role-playing games.  Not quite the geeky stuff you see in the movies, or the weird freaky times people have acting out this stuff out in the streets of the world…but role-playing as communal story-telling.  Sitting around a table with a group of friends, working together within a framework of rules to tell a story with one person keeping track of the narrative, something all of us have done a variation of from time to time.  Normally it’s a ton of fun and I really enjoy it.  It’s the opportunity to play and be something other than you are, to explore other parts of yourself you don’t or can’t do in “real” life.  The funny thing is, this time around, for this particular game, I’ve created a character who’s a lot more like me than I usually play.  Someone who is conflicted about the path their on, someone who has had a rough past (to put it charitably) but is trying to turn away into something new, someone who cares about and wants to protect people but struggles with creating and maintaining healthy positive relationships.  Remember the whole point of the exercise is escapism…but, just as in good literature, the best stories are not always the easiest to read.

I love the members of my game group and I love what our Storyteller is doing with our characters.  The complexity and creativity involved in coming up with the situations we deal with is staggering for people to understand, even for those who have this as a hobby.  And my friend is good, really good.  Which is why it surprised me so much that the adventure tonight bothered me as much as it did.  My character was faced with the prospect of using something he would normally view as bad/unwholesome to destroy something that was truly unholy and evil.  This was not a compromise he made easily and is likely going to struggle with for a while in game time, and with the consequences of that choice.  The character was not defiant but diplomacy was not the action that felt right.  It may seem childish or outlandish that grown people do this sort of thing, but think of movies, tv shows.  In many ways it is nothing more than acting in place, using your imagination and some creativity to tell stories with people that explore all sorts of things.  Ideally, good role-playing is more than a variation on kill a monster, take it’s loot, go kill a bigger monster, get better loot, etc. Good role-playing, like good acting, explores a range of emotions and ideas… and the things that my character are going through are hitting a little close to home at the moment.

Granted we’re taking a bit of a break for a while as our real lives are sort of taking over…being adult means you can’t sit around and hang out till midnight every night of the week and sleep in till noon.  Unfortunately.  So there will be some time for me as a person to move beyond where my character is.  There are plenty of things on my plate at the moment, the last thing I need to do is to add something more.  It’s just weird sometimes how much fiction and real life intertwine themselves…

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Art in the time of loss

davids-love-death-pic1This is by my 11 year old son – no edits.

“In my picture there are some scary and happy feelings.  I drew alot of scary things because they express how I feel.  The two main feelings in my picture is love and death.  Death is in there because I want to show that death is hard on everybody including me and love is there because everbody can love in bad times.”

david-letter

From the mouth of babes…