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Creation Date: March 1st, 2010 06:15 PM
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Musings of a Knight of the Imperium.
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In Moot Member Blogs Dear Mom; traveller memories. Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #579 New July 7th, 2019 11:01 PM
Well, mother, after my friend David, a devout Catholic (in case you're interested, Catholicism being a big thing for you) ran a session of Dungeons and Dragons, I was hooked.

Dungeons and Dragons is no different than any other game made by the big popular mainstream game companies like Parker Brothers, Hasbro or whoever. When you play Monopoly you roll dice to move your piece, and you decide whether or not to buy a property, or make a deal if it's already owned. You are essentially role playing a real estate mogul.

Strangely enough, the inventor of Monopoly, a woman, created the game as an educational tool against the extremes of capitalism. But people liked playing as opposed to any lesson that was intended on the author's part.

My guardian used to take me down to the locally swank and "prestigious" Stanford Shopping center, where she shared your love of fashion by way of the J. Magnin and I. Magnin stores at that location. As per previous web log entries, it was at the time a shopping center that had a mixture of demographics associated with it, as there were drug stores, toy stores, and everyday shops that normal middle and working class people enjoyed.

Ah, but one store in particular, a Game Store, was a favorite of mine. In there I discovered books on how to make space ship models out of everyday hardware, elaborate chess sets, books on hobbies, regular games, and that Star Trek game by a designer down in Texas, along with his friends' offerings. It was here that I also discovered Marc Miller's game on the back rack at the back of the store, along with other Role Playing Games.

Truly the first RPG or simulation game I ever played, was some sailing game. I saw my babysitter and friends of the "family" playing it one evening. It was complex, seemed important, and I didn't understand a thing about it. It's still sold to this day.

Anyway, one day....in fact if may have been a birthday present, my friend, after he and I had both looked at the Traveller book rack, bought me the starter Edition of the game whose forum and web log this site is dedicated to.

In it there was an adventure regarding exploring some strange alien pyramids that had an ancient laser that shot down the players' starship. It was different than all the other games we had played. And as we played it, there were no demons, no devils, no angels for that matter, and no supernatural forces. Dungeons and Dragons has some of those things, including Dragons, but Traveller is about science fiction adventure, not folk lore fantasy.

We players rolled to dice to fire weapons in the game, made decisions as if we were explorers on some far off world, and generally had a good time as we created our own story. But, we didn't carry our fantasy into the real world the two cases where dysfunctional kids killed in the name of D&D were just that, dysfunctional. I think one (maybe both) were habitual drug users. But, as per the New York Times report, RPing, at the table with friends and family, is one of the most harmless things you can do next to taking care of baby animals. And as a man who loves puppies and most animals, I think I can safely say that sitting around a table with friends and family, and rolling dice is a pleasure that is akin to holding a puppy in your arms. It's like reading a great novel, or seeing a really cool movie or listening to some awesome music of your choice.

I know religion has been an important thing in your life, but rest assured, other than the people you hired, I'm actually a pretty calm man in public . until my gaming gets screwed with. The thing you fear and hate the most is the thing that keeps this website and thousands of others like it alive. It's the thing that keeps a portion of the publishing industry alive. It makes life worth living.

All the times I played Traveller, all the times I specifically ran a game, I was writing a story for my friends, and hoping they would enjoy it. That's what gaming, that's what Traveller, is all about. Your efforts to try to separate me from it, and to do so with religion, is, quite frankly, insulting to the core, and has only taken the wind out of my sails because of the power you have tried to exercise over my life. I don't care what your status is in the real political world stage.

I think of all of the books I read growing up. I think of all of the sex scenes that scifi authors put into their books, or all of the violence of characters being killed in horrible and gruesome ways, I think of all of the science I've read over the years, and not one single item has every been an encouragement to act immorally or unlawfully. Quit the opposite.

Think of all of the books that you've read that had married couples having affairs, or going through bitter divorces because someone fooled around or did some other thing that was repulsive. To me that stuff is far more tawdry than anything that adventure in space can offer.

In traveller we typically solve problems or go after criminals. But you seem to have this concept that the game injects criminality into preadolescent psychology, and to this end you have spent MILLIONS trying to ween me off of a hobby I've tried to enjoy for the last forty years, but have only rarely been able to because of you.

For what it's worth, mother, Gary Gygax, the man who wrote Dungeons and Dragons, hired a body guard for a few years after hearing about the D&D murders. He himself was scared of some nut cases losing their mind and taking their violent fantasies out on the world.

So, here's some advice. Go read your bible, and leave me and others like me, alone. And for what it's worth, three of the people I played Traveller with during my formative years, were from the very catholic church that you tried to hook me up with. And all those young middle eastern gamers you tried to connect me with when I first moved up to Marin, I hope, have demonstrated to you, just how harmless and adventuresome gaming is.

Like I say, I'm not going to jump out system just yet. I've got to rest up. The old biological ticker isn't what it once was. I used to be able to climb mount Tamalpais in a few hours. Now I'm lucky if I can get a hundred yards. Thanks for all the stress, mother, over the last fifty years. Much appreciated.
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