A standard question for my generation of gamer upon meeting for the first time was always, "Who got you into it?" You see the dot-com revolution was still a decade or so away, and geek was far from chic when I started slinging dice, Gamers were a clandestine sect whose members met far away from prying eyes, for fear of being labeled and ridiculed for the rest of their days. You were brought into the fold by elder members, who handed down their books like sacred doctrine when they "outgrew" them. In this I found myself to be a rarity, a self-inflicted gamer. I walked into a world where many were ushered. I take a bit of pride in this as if gaming is in my blood, and it has always been my destiny to be a gamer.
I don't even really know why I'm posting this, other than I've been feeling nostalgic for the old days. My buddy Dusty mentioned his nostalgia for the days of gaming in my parents garage, and it got me looking back as well. The days when gaming was a daily activity and your group was whoever was hanging out that day. We would sit around a table a handful of dice, a handwritten character sheet, and some random cassette in the tape player that would loop endlessly for the hours that the game went on.
Currently, I am devoid of gaming, and the methadone of PbP stopped working a long time ago, my search for new players is a difficult one. My last attempt made all too clear the generational differences of the new breed of gamer whose youth was filled with geek love, Facebook, Magic Cards, and Pokemon has crafted them into an abomination of the old guard. This may just be my first steps into fatty-gray-beard land, but the kids these days they just don't game the same way we did. Sure they do have a lot of the annoying habits that we did as young gamers, but there is a modifier there that makes it all the more annoying, a sense of entitlement not earned. Maybe I am just getting old and demanding that they have to "walk 20 miles in the snow uphill and barefoot to game," but I don't think that is it. They make gaming feel more self-centered, and less collaborative. Gaming is a fireside storytelling session, not a table read for the players latest novel.
Now, the real question here is whether this is the way things have gone, or if I'm just being nostalgic.