Conflicted

As much fun as I poke at people who are often thought of as geeks, I’m right in there with them–for the most part.  I’m a gamer, but not one of those newfangled TV or computer games.  No, sir.  I’m a table top role player, the sort of person who sits down at a table with a bag of dice, and sets about slaying the dragon, or blowing shit up.  Usually the later, as the only dragons I ever met were in Shadowrun.  Happy elves and singing dwarfs make me want to slit their throats when everyone is asleep . . .

GenCon is going on this very moment.  That’s like the Lourdes of gaming for some people, and it’s always a big deal.  I used to attend GenCon back when it was in the MECCA Complex in Milwaukee, back when us folk close to Chicago used to sing, “Hey der, Ho der, Yah, hey hey, Stay in Milwaukee and Game!”  Back then there was a sort of funky, low rent feel to everything, almost like you were gaming in your parent’s basement, but when I was there running four games, early in the morning and late at night, I couldn’t have had a better time.

That’s all in the past.  These days it’s in Indianapolis, and it holds sway over the burb for four day in August.  It’s a good time for all, though given the state of the gaming industry, it’s not quite as–well, role playing-centric as it once was.  I suppose I could bitch and grumble like some old fart who keeps finding kids on his lawn, but no:  the future is here, and why get pissed?  I’m happy people are still gaming, I’m thrilled to see how independent companies have started selling through the Internet.

I’m not at GenCon this year.  2008 saw my last appearance, and the year before that I’d had such a horrible experience at the con that I almost didn’t return in ’08.  I ran games again, I played a little . . . I had a great time.

Then I was laid off, no work, no spare income, and GenCon had to wait.

Now, here I am, working, a little extra money, and yet . . . I kept saying, “Naw, I don’t have to go.  I don’t need to go.  Hell, I don’t even want to go.”  Yep, I’d decided I didn’t need the con this year, because–well, it’s not because of science, that’s for sure.

I blew it off, and now I’m feeling a bit of regret.  Not because going gives me an excuse to spend money, but because . . . I could use the fun.

There has been a singular lack of fun in my life for a while, and just wandering the halls would brighten my spirits.  Maybe I’d see some people I know.  Maybe I’d even see something cool that I don’t need, but want.  If I’d thought ahead, I could be styling in my Ponythulhu tee shirt, letting everyone know that Friendship is, indeed, Madness, and getting my gaming grove back.

I let work get in the way of enjoying myself, and now I’m feeling bummed as hell.

Never mind.  I’ve got my mind made up . . . next year, I’m coming, project deadlines or not.

And if they think they’re gonna stop me, they best make a saving roll . . .