Thursday, June 07, 2007

Losing My Religion

Almost. I've been a gamer for as long as I can remember, but aside from my secondary school years (basically, my teens) there has never been such a rich gaming life for me as there has since I discovered Euros in the late 90's. I take that back - with the great group of people that form Rip City Gamers, it's clear that my gaming life has never been richer than it is now. From wargames to Euros, I'm playing more often with people I like being around than at any point in my life.

Which is perhaps why I've struggled so much with the fact that I'm getting bored as hell with Euros. There are a few games I've enjoyed in the recent past, notably a tight game of E&T last Tuesday and Imperial at Sunriver, but in general I walk away feeling kind of blah about the gaming experience. Disclaimer: I am easily bored, as evidenced by what would be a 500-game collection had I not made at least a token purge at a couple of Rainy Day Game auctions in the past couple of years.

Oddly, I am not even faintly bored with the more experiential games such as Arkham Horror or wargames such as Combat Commander. In fact, I've bought more wargames this year than all other game types combined. To go without gaming at all would be a huge mistake, much like me deciding not to take part in a musical group for more than a few months at a time. There is something about gaming, as with musical performance, that my psyche desperately needs and craves, and I'm just old enough to understand that. Still, I think that since I value the friendships that have grown up within Rip City Gamers I will continue to host those sessions that are my responsibility for now, but skip the other Tuesday night sessions for a few months.

Those who know me realize that it takes a lot for me to miss a session (i.e.; driving through 45 minutes of late rush hour traffic to Newberg), so I do not do this lightly. Over time, I think that I've been the most consistent member of the group to attend sessions, although since Mike decided to work in Portland he is pretty close to catching up if you count his Simply Fun activities. I also plan to attend any weekend sessions that might pop up (although they've been relatively scarce recently), and I don't intend to slow down on wargaming sessions, although both Connor and Jesse have been busy lately and will continue to be so occupied in the next few weeks. I also plan to take part in some of the events Jesse runs at his store, including the A&A: War At Sea and World of Warcraft CCG events. Because I can't get enough WoW.

Speaking of which, I suspect that some of you will think that I'm doing this to get in more WoW, although that is far from the case. Most of my WoW play is done on the days that my wife works, with a few hours here and there the rest of the week. I'm really only playing two characters with any enthusiasm right now (although getting the succubus for my warlock is a priority), so the amount of time I play in the evening is pretty limited - that's usually when we're catching up on TV shows that have been recorded and I'm either knitting or trimming wargame counters. So the answer is "No, I'm not doing this to play more WoW." When you're retired, you *can* have it all.

Astute readers will recognize that the lack of session reports was a pretty good indicator of my malaise. I do enjoy writing, especially as I do it off of the top of my head for the most part (which is why it comes across as such a stream of consciousness, because it is), so I'm happy to keep the blog going in a much more general sense, even if it feels a bit masturbatory. To emphasize that indulgence, expect me to not pull punches when it comes to matters religious, political, or social - I have an opinion that I like to think is backed up by observation and experience, and I see nothing wrong with sharing it. In fact, I value discussion on these topics, and will ask that any replies attempt to keep to the high ground rather than just resort to name-calling as happens so often on other blogs on current events. That goes for both sides of the issue, although just because there are two sides doesn't mean both are equally valid (the debate over evolution vs "intelligent design" comes to mind, which I'll cover in some future entry).

My deepest thanks to the membership of the Rip City Gamers, who have become very good friends to me. It is your love of gaming and sportspersonship that has made the last nine years a Belle Epoque that I am fortunate enough to have recognized while I was in the midst of it. This is not the end for us, not by a long shot.

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