Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Right Now

I don't have any fond memories of gaming.

That is because fundamentally I am technological.  I am reminded of George Carlin's comparisons between baseball and football:

Quoth the genius:

"Most sports, the team is run by a coach.  In baseball, the team is run by a manager.  And only in baseball does the manager or the coach have to wear the same uniform the players do. Can you picture Bill Parcells in his New York Giants uniform?

"Now baseball and football are different from one another in other kind of interesting ways, I think.  First of all, baseball is a 19th century pastoral game.  Football is a 20th century technological struggle.  Baseball is played on a diamond.  In a park.  The baseball park.  Football is played on a gridiron, in a stadium, sometimes call Soldier Field or War Memorial Stadium.  Baseball begins in the spring, the season of new life. Football begins in the fall, when everything is dying.   In football, you wear a helmet.  In baseball, you wear a cap!  Football is concerned with downs.  What down is it?  Baseball is concerned with ups - who's up, are you up?  I'm not up, he's up!  In football, the specialist comes in to kick.  In baseball, the specialist comes in to relieve someone.  In football, you receive a penalty.  In baseball, you make an error.  Whoops!  Football has hitting, clipping, spearing, blocking, piling on, late hitting, unnecessary roughness and personal fouls. Baseball has . . . the sacrifice.  Football is played in any kind of weather: rain, sleet, snow, hail, mud, can't read the numbers on the uniforms, can't read the yard markers, can't read the player's numbers, the struggle will continue.  In baseball, if it rains, we don't come out to play!  'I can't come out to play!  It's raining out!'

"Baseball has a seventh inning stretch.  Football has the two minute warning.  Baseball has no time limit - we don't know when it's going to end. We might have extra innings.  Football is rigidly timed and it will end even if we have to go to sudden death.

"Finally, the objectives of the game are totally different.  In football, the object is for the quarterback, otherwise known as the field general, to be on target with his aerial assault, riddling the defense by hitting his receivers with deadly accuracy, in spite of the blitz, even if he has to use the shotgun.  With short bullet passes and long bombs he marches his troops into enemy territory, balancing his aerial assault with sustained ground attack which punches holes in the forward wall of the enemy's defensive line.

"In baseball, the object is to go home.  And to be 'safe.'"

Hm.  I hadn't meant to copy all of that, but I love Carlin and this is one of my favorite bits.  Where was I? Oh yes, I was talking about how I'm technological.

I don't get weepy about the game.  I don't have any memories of how I set up some special club somewhere, or how we had the first tournament of a game that today makes people shudder.  I don't laugh and chuckle at what a silly goose I was with my first world, nor do I proudly describe the time me and my buddies got drunk and played D&D, pretending to be little girls or rubber ducks or whatever the hell drunk people role-play as.  I don't include blog posts with the words, "Hey, remember the time we did this, wasn't that a riot?" That is because I am far, far too methodological, occupational, mechanical and technical.  I don't feel 'healed' by gaming, I don't feel a great sense of 'belonging,' I don't get an oxytocin hit from listening to morons prattle on about MMOs and how the gaming community has saved them from their ADHD.  When someone says cheerfully, "I hope someday I can be an engineer," I think, then why aren't you talking seriously about your design?

If all goes well, in four months I'm going to be sitting at a table in Toronto watching the dweebs go by, and the total feeling I have for "Wow, I'm going to be at a game expo!" is zip. Nix. Nothing. I'm not taking any money to buy any games, miniatures, posters, books, t-shirts or any other merchandise.  If Bruce Campbell, Stan Lee or Michael Rooker happen to wander up to my table, I'll express my respect - but Nathan Fillion better just keep walking.  At any rate, I don't care that they're going to be in the building.  I am there to sell my book, in order to change the entire culture around role-playing towards an atmosphere of serious, seratonin-and-dopamine fueled play and artistic expression.  I will smile and shoot the shit and generally enjoy the hell out of talking to the intelligent people I meet . . . but don't expect me to come home and talk for post after post about how 'wonderful' it was to be there.  I'm going to hate that I can't work on my world. I'm going to hate that there will be little or no time to write.  I'm going to hate all the little dweebs who mutter, "What does 'Advanced' mean?" and "Does this tell me how to get better at DDO?"

Therefore, if the reader has come here to get a little 'togetherness' vibe, a bit of the old "gee, we're all one happy people" bullshit, the reader can eat dirt and shit rocks.  I'm in no one's key demographic because I think more like a machine than a person.

Fuck nostalgia.  What are we going to do right now?

1 comment:

Scarbrow said...

This struck a chord. As often you do, Alexis.

Amen, brother. Amen.