Grandfather's Watch, originally uploaded by Treefiddy

Previously I wrote about how I always read the instructions. This is not due to a lack of faith in myself or some misplaced sense of duty. Basically, I just enjoy figuring out how systems work.

Learning the rules of a new game is part of the fun for me. In fact, it's sufficient entertainment to derive the essence of gameplay from a manual, even if I never actually play the game. From when I was a young kid I loved to invent new games for the sheer joy of creation. Back then I used to play them at least once, but now I'm content to establish the possibility -- to build a universe that doesn't fall apart two days later -- and move on to the next challenge.

So it was great fun to play my first game of Dungeons & Dragons last week, with me as the Dungeon Master. (A sports analogy for the uninitiated: if you're playing a game, he's like the referee, the other players, and the field they're on, all at once.) I create and sustain the world, and other people play in it. Everyone's a winner!

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