Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Why I do what I do

There are times, When I would rather do anything but write. I can't really help it, you understand. It's a sickness. It really is. There are times when I sit down at my trusty Imac and feel as if I'm merely shouting into the wind. a lost lone voice in the wilderness.

Does anybody hear what I have to say? Does anybody really care? Am I reaching the people I had hoped to reach? Is my advice helping or causing irreparable damage?

What is the point I'm trying to make?

I guess that's what it really boils down to. I come around every once in a great while with some ideas and throw them up against the wall to see if they'll stick. But to what end?

I've noticed that my Crank Reports deal a with a number of things that many GM's are already into or past. It seems that I may be writing for the beginner or semi-experienced gamer. My own gaming has reached a sort of rarefied and possibly esoteric style that takes years to develop. So I don't always practice what I preach... Mainly, because I'm not the kind of person that I'm preaching to.

So lets get to the heart of the thing: I love games.

Granted, you're probably thinking that this would *seem* to be obvious by now. But it isn't. Games have been one of the few things in this world that have rarely let me down. It's led me to good friends, and at least the last 3 loves of my life. It has occasionally fed me. It has made me become a better writer and a better actor. It has kept my friends together even in the face of the occasional bitterness and rancor that can spring up even in the best of friendships. It has occasionally given me an excuse to travel and meet new people and most importantly it has shown me that it is indeed an Art.

Some folks think that Gaming isn't an art form. They also seem to think that striving to work with games with an artistic approach tend to get in the way of making a good game. I disagree.

There have been experiences around our gaming table that have been every bit as heart rending as the last episode of Babylon 5. Daniel Swiftghost going down under an onslaught of Spiral Dansers just to buy enough time for his packmates to get away. Sheila discovering that one of her fellow cops was a serial killer. Master Morry Chang falling in battle to Lo Pan. John Patterson demanding that his cabalmates kill him so that he could destroy Lo Pan once and for all. Nadine Wonderful discovering that her grandparents weren't evil people after all. Archie Bishop taking potshots at the president's plane from 2 miles away. Rabbi David Solomon talking the top Progenitor in the city into defecting from the Technocracy. The death of Timothy Masul....

We made stories. We made them good so that they would move our hearts. That's what you should do too. Sure you can have fun along the way. The Quotes files ought to be an indicator of the high silliness quotient in our games but the story is really a journey.

It's not about Stats and mechanics. It's not about Kewl weapons and powers. It's not about hanging upside down from the bottom of the helicopter shooting at the bad guys. It's about being with your friends (or soon to be friends) and sharing something. Something larger than yourself. Something that can move your heart, stay within you and maybe even change your life.

I've had a few moments of unparalleled transcendancy around a gaming table. Once it happens to you once, you get really hungry for it. You may enjoy low comedy but after that you'll always be on the lookout for the possibility of High Drama too.

And that, my good friends is the point. Everything on these webpages is some tool, some marker, Some wayguide to get to that point. The examples I sited above have left an indelible mark on me and the other people who were involved. All I have to do is mention Morry Chang's name in passing and my players still get a little quiet and acquire a far off look in their eye.

So every time I get the feeling I want to chuck it all and move to Aruba to paint nude girls for the rest of my life. I remember that those moments of Transcendency are out there. They live in me. They live in my players. And if I can lead somebody else to that lovely state of being...Well. I think that's worth a little effort here.. Don't you?

Sono Finito.


At 6:31 PM, Anonymous Acid Reign said...

.....I'm a day late commenting on this, but damnit, I had dinner to cook, and I had to see "Sith" again before it got out of digital projection...

.....Writing a blog is a lot like throwing notes in a bottle into the ocean. I know, I've been a guest author on a failed blog. I've surfed all up and down the Black Spiral list over the years, and Reverend Kinesis is one of the best, period!

.....I'd suggest that you friends and fellow gamers of Pete let him know you're reading him! Comments are a great way to do this. Love it, hate it, say so! In my opinion, if you're enjoying a blogger's articles, it doesn't hurt to let the writer know, and not necessarily with rambling non-sequitors like I do! A blogger with no comments is like a plant with no water! Last time I looked, Blogger doesn't report traffic statistics (like TypePad), so if you don't comment, Pete doesn't know you're reading it!

Acid Reign

At 6:38 PM, Anonymous Acid Reign said...

.....Oh, yeah. Don't get drunk in Aruba alone. It's a good way to get sold into slavery to pay a judge's son's gambling debts, like a girl from my high school did recently.



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