Missive #29: Getting Old…Remembering Great Games and Gamers
Today I turned 44 years old. I got a little nostalgic and started thinking of all the games I’ve been a part of over the years and all the wonderful friends I’ve made through gaming. I started gaming in jr. high, deep in the woods of beautiful East Texas, and of course we started with the DnD Basic set about 1978-79. Many hours of great gaming were had on Grayhawk, and on our own world “Elder World.” Some of the great friends I met and still love include: Robert West, Thomas Driver, Scott Austin, Wayne Walker, Lee Johnson, Trey Gorden, Alan and Mark Champion, and I”m sure there were many others. We played Traveller, Fantasy Trip, Squad Leader, Civilization (the board game), and many others. In 1983 I moved to Houston and made many new friends and fellow gamers that became my lifelong campaign friends: John Roberts, Lorien Mace-Foux, Cliff Maxwell, Lee Martin, Jon Mueller, Maurice Vera, Chris Duncan, and Jerry Blakemore. I attended the awesome 80s Cons and played other games like Cyberpunk, Chill, Call of Cthulhu, and many others. Now I’ve been gaming over 30 years and I still play the occasional game with John Roberts, Jerry Blakemore and Lorien, as well as my more recent (last 10 years) friends: Cray Crouse, Landon Gregory, Preston Dubose, Micah Mogle, and many others in the Bryan/College Station area. I would be remiss not to mention my ongoing games with Mark Ramsey. Creativity unleashed! My 21st Century friends and I have played many, many hours of Dungeons and Dragons, Evernight, Vampire, 50 Fathoms, Deadlands, Low Life, and many others including my own Pinebox campaign and Realms of Cthulhu and Agents of Oblivion. In the industry I’ve met and befriended/corresponded with many whom I admire greatly including but not limited to: JD Wiker, Clint Black, Sean P. Fannon, John Goff, Shane Hensley, and of course Sean Preston! I have been a partner with great talents too in my 12 to Midnight boys: Jerry Blakemore, Trey Gorden, Neal Hyde, Craig Largent, Mark Ramsey, Brendan Quinn and Preston Dubose. So…many years, many games, and many friends. Here is to at least 30 more years! Thanks guys and gals, it’s been a lot of fun! (especially enjoyed the pizzas, chips, mnm and skittle mixes, Moutain Dews with Doritoes, cakes, pies, fajitas, and well….the list goes on). I know I’ve forgotten some folks, but my brain is only so big, so please excuse the oversight. Even better, is that my two sons, Jerry’s son and daughter, Mark’s oldest daughter, Lorien’s oldest daughter, are all Gamers! Till next time.
Awesome writeup. I wonder if MMO players will post similar missives a few decades from now — tabletop games to me are social activities which PC games don’t quite match.
I have to ask, what town in deep east Texas? The Savage Troll (Keith Athey) and I, as well as our long time gaming buds grew up in Greenville Texas. We started in ’78-’79 as well but are a few years older. Our little town was fortunate to have “The Hobby Shoppe” carry the games, dice, and miniatures we discovered and came to spend our waking hours playing. While the popular set was “cruzin’ the main drag” we were loving life and playing as many games as we could. ADnD of course, but Star Fleet Battles, CoC, Champions, Star Frontiers (and Knight Hawks), awesome Gamma World, Stalking the Night Fantastic, Wooden Ships and Iron Men, BattleTech, …..and drove to Heritage Miniatures Factory store! Great Days of The Empire as we called them. I managed the Rolling Hills Twin (and later Cinema 4) and another friend managed the Pizza Inn and we kept our gaming buds employed as we entered College. Happy BDay and thanks for the excuse to recall those great gaming beginnings. Now we meet online using Maptool and Skype and every other year or so, I fly back to Austin Texas to visit the Troll, and we drive up to G’ville to pick up one old gamer, and head to Ft. Worth to meet up with the rest of our old group and pull a long weekend of gaming! Its Savage Worlds now but the old stories get told again and again!
Wow, I haven’t thought about Star Fleet Battles in forever. I loved the Romulans, cloak, decloak, fire, cloak. We also played Champions, Top Secret, Call of Cthulhu, Gamma World, Battle Tech, Palladium stuff,….I think the worst game I ever played was Amoeba Wars. I also played the original Vietnam Roleplaying Game (pre-Palladium) by Joe Martin and we had lots of fun with it. It really was a very early version of plot generation and Joe should have props for that. Of course Car Wars, OGRE, and Illuminate, as well as Nuclear War cardgame was a blast. We had a live action game called Assassin (?) that we played for weeks, and TOON was fantastic! I also loved Marvel Super Heroes (the original game). Ya know the 80s were a great time in gaming. I grew up outside of Lufkin in a little place called Central off 69 North. Hmm…Maybe some time I’ll tell ya’ll about Veggie Pygmie Problems. ;P
Happy belated birthday! Glad to know that someone else remembers Chill. (This blogfest item is an excerpt from my notes on my long-running Chill character Jennifer Graves – crime scene photographer and agent of SAVE http://bysuelondon.blogspot.com/2010/07/best-part-of-waking-up.html). Other favorites include GURPS, Car Wars, Star Wars, Vampire, and Traveler. We have plenty of other stuff that we have played. And I still have a copy of Space 1889 that no one will play with me… But what is returned to again and again? Dungeons and Dragons. There’s always room for D&D…