Enter Ryan Macklin, one of my favorite bloggers and a damned good game designer/editor. He threw down the gauntlet pretty well in mentioning Reverb Gamers.
Reverb Gamers is a project from Atlas Games that includes 31 question prompts to kick off gaming in 2012. It gives a structure to gaming conversations and asks all the right questions. Also, check out @ReverbGamers on twitter or check it out on Facebook to keep the conversation going.
Ryan is doing 1 question a day for the month of January. I'm a bit late in the game to start that and complete in January, but I can certainly do 2 a week.
Without further adieu:
REVERB GAMERS 2012, #1: What was your first roleplaying experience? Who introduced you to it? How did that introduction shape the gamer you've become?
I started gaming at eight years old. Oh, I'm sure I played games like Uno, Monopoly, Ants in the Pants, and others before that, but in 1983, my friend Sean Hart sat me and his brothers Dave and Chris down on their back deck to play Dungeons and Dragons.
Sean was a bit older, around eleven at the time, and REALLY smart, so it made sense that he would not only be the one to introduce us to the game, but became our dungeon master right off. In fact, as we got older and went from game to game, that never changed. It almost felt like a privilege when I finally got to run a game for Sean (Shadowrun, many years later) and even though I was an old hat at gamemastering by then, there was certainly some anxiety and trepidation at running a game with him as a player.
Sean flavored my gaming in a way that is VERY indicative of not only my style of gaming, but writing as well. It started with D&D and a few weeks later, we tried out the old Marvel RPG (FASERIP.. oh yeah!). Sean made gaming fun and understood how to tailor his game to the needs and interests of his players. It helped, I'm sure, that his players were his two brothers and me (I was so close to the Hart's for most of my youth that I was practically a sibling), so he always knew what to expect from us and what plot elements we would pick up on and run with.
For me, my early experiences with gaming and the Harts made gaming a social event. Gaming not only allowed me to meet knew friends, but it cemented those bonds of friendship with shared experiences and that hasn't changed to this day. Heroes were born and died and legends were written in those early days. And to this day, my half-elven paladin and first superhero (the Enforcer) still live on in my mind, holding a special place for me.