While watching the Video Game Awards on Spike this evening a thought had popped into my head: Where exactly did my fascination with gaming actually come from? While that sounds like the name of a book (yes, we all know it. Get your laughs from the thought and we’ll continue.) it really is a good question. If I’m going to find that pure, unfiltered joy for gaming again, I need to find out where that spring is.

It’s very likely that we were all raised by playing games with our parents or other children which were meant to give us our “social skills”. So when did playing with Jimmy or Dorothy in the yard take the drastic turn towards battling orcs and beholders in a cavern? I think for me and others of the generation it was because of the early gaming systems, specifically Atari and Nintendo. I remember playing games on those systems for countless hours, days, and weeks just for the fun and adventure. I feel that it is because of these early, rigid games that a call within me was formed to look for something that was more flexible, more stimulating, and (most importantly) more enjoyable.

I know that right now my gaming of any sort (pen and paper, console, or board) is limited at best and non-existant for some. While the internet has created a more social world in which to live in, I still find difficulty in finding others of a like mindset. While more and more people flock to the masses of MMOs that exist (I’m not bashing them by any means, I swear), I start to wonder how large the community of down-and-dirty pen and paper roleplayers still exist in our new world. I know we’re out there, I just need to find some to help me recover that which I lost, the love of the game.