Birth of A Gamer

I’ve been a geek for most of my adult life, in fact all of it minus maybe a month. You see, I joined the ranks of geekdom during my second, or super, senior year. I returned to school that fall broken hearted, knowing all the kids I had grown up with and had been my friends through my most formative years were gone. The faces were familiar, but I didn’t really know any of them, I was lost in a see of recognizable strangers. I spent that first week eating my lunch, alone, outside in front of the school in what we had convinced ourselves should be our courtyard. Everyone knew who I was, I remember returning years later and being recognized as the guy in the plaid pants, but none of them were my friends.

Then in a creative writing class, an unlikely alliance was formed between a snot nosed gutter punk (me) and a latchkey church boy. This country raised and church bred guy invited me to sit with him and his friends at lunch, and it was all over from then on. Instead of the usual pale yellow and green trays laden with greasy food, this was before we recognized the weight problem in our nations youth, were books, paper, pencils and even more books. It was the dawning of “Dungeons & Dragons: Third Edition”, and all the books shined in the filtered mid day light with all their newly printed glory. I had created my first character before the lunch ending bell and things haven’t been the same since.

Gaming became a huge part of my life from that afternoon on. All of my free time and money was invested into this new addiction. Even after I got married at a young age it was still a huge part of my life and my then wife had no choice but to join in on the weekly fantasy adventures of me and my friends. Army basic training did little to deter my gaming dedication, on Sundays I could be found in the showers with a few other dedicated players running a game with memorized rules and pieces of paper in plastic baggies for dice. When my second child was born, I still refused to give up geekdom, giving him the middle name Tanis, a mighty half-elven hero from the DragonLance series. If that doesn’t make me a dedicated geek of a gamer, I don’t know what could.

This August will make it nine years since the creation of Bientletoff Timebringer, and something hit me recently: I have never been to a con. Nine years as a die hard gamer, with literally thousands of dollars invested in books and dice not to mention my contribution to deforestation in character sheets and I am still a con virgin. I chalk it up to getting married and starting a family right after high school, which is a viable excuse, if there is any. Yet I still feel fake calling myself a gamer and never had the experience of thousands of sweaty fan boys packed into small spaces for days on end. Well I did do that during my military days, but we weren’t gaming, well not all of us.

I intend to change that by the end of this summer, by attending GenCon Indy 2009. I invite you to join me on this perilous quest into the unknown realms of Geekdom. From picking out the appropriate attire and the dangerous trip there to the never ending maze that is the con floor (or so I’ve heard) These next few months could be a learning experience for us all with an inside peek to the thriving gaming culture, or it could just be humorous as I fail to fit in with the out crowd. So please, come along for the ride, if nothing else it is bound to bring about a chuckle or two.