If you read this blog you already have a sense of my inability to stay focused and how I blame this on a sort of “Gamer ADD’ that causes me to jump from one neatO idea to another in the flash of a moment (the so called ‘Bright Light!’ effect). I have been battling this for nearly twenty years, and finally today I think I may have come across the real reason for this.
First I need to back up a bit though and go back to why I play games. I have always played game because I have a high level of creative juices in me that always cause me to see a spot of inspiration and a moment later make me wonder “What if?” I have always considered this a boon, enabling me to run epic and great games with little effort that always seemed natural. I remember hours spent going through Dragon & Dungeon magazines, various modules, supplements, etc all for inspiration. In those days, that inspiration drove the game.
Today I believe I came across what changed.
Simply put, the answer, is me. I changed. I grew up, got a career (a serious one at that), a wife, children, and a host of other things that occupy my time. At one time I was among the crowd that claimed my gaming had changed, or had to rather, because of this, this lack of time. So powerful was this feeling that is directed me to other games, smaller and faster games. Instead of focusing my energies on having fun, I wasted myself on a search for the perfect system that enabled me to have fun with little or no investment of time or energy. Lord, I wasted too much time on this. I do not think that is the real answer. I have to accept the truth that I changed.
I no longer see the world the same way. I have lost my spark in the darkness, that little drop of divinity that causes me to believe in the possible, believe in the truth that if I believe it can happen, it can. Now, I am not speaking from a religious stand point, but more a philosophical one. This is more of viewing the world from a certain perspective.
As a younger me, I would see a painting, piece of art, a map of an amazing place, or a cool character portrait and think to myself “Yeah! I want to be him!” or “I want to go there!” I believed that I could go there, be that person, take part in the amazing feats of derring-do that he will perform. Sure, it was merely in my head, but it was a spark of creative imagination that literally DROVE my world. It caused me to believe there was more, there was an expanse out there left to be seen, left to explore.
So what made me come to this realization?
It used to be that I would look at artwork such as this and dream up crazy people and events to go along with the images, how the heroes (yes, I said heroes, we always played heroes, never bad guys with a murderous streak or guys with mental problems and daddy issues) would have to fight their way through the horde to get to the forces of darkness at the heart of the Black Chasm of Doom™ and destroy the black god’s heart that powers all the oppressive empire they sought to bring to its knees.
Or see a massive sky-reaching fortress that today lies in ruins and hints at a wealth of treasure for the group strong enough to brave its passageways and forgotten myths.. It has crushed many a man’s soul in the millennium it has stood as a testament of the resolve of its ancient masters, and as a symbol of man’s failure to right the wrongs of days of old.
See the crowded streets of a gigantic city filled with merchants from around the kingdom selling their wares to travelers from far off lands, the banners of the local lord flying high, and wondering what amazing sites lie just through those arches? A man strikes a formidable pose in the street, does he recognize the characters in the story?
She stands in the swamp, the creature before her, filled with an anguished love for the man he used to be, before the dark magics took him from man to monster ages ago. A young love lost to the marshes and to youth-filled misadventures gone wrong. Can the heroes turn her from evil and bring her love back to her before it rips their still-beating hearts from their chest?
The unholy army risen from the depths by the twisted mind of the magi, unyieldingly bent on the destruction of the innocent townspeople. Can the heroes be able to stand the onslaught of the hordes of hell? Only through their bravery and sacrifice will anyone see the morning sun.
The frozen city, once settled on the coast and then broken free in the massive battles of old, it now wanders about the sea, driven by the sailmasters and searching for warmer lands where the people can thrive.
How can one look at these images, or similar images and not be inspired? These are the things that used to drive me to a passion and push me to be creative.
Now, I see these and for a moment, I do see horizons that stretch on to great mountains filled with unexplored passages, creatures waiting in the shadows to strike down the faithful and true….
…and then it is all gone. The spark fades as quickly as it came and I am back to the real world. Why? Why can I not keep this fleeting inspiration and turn it into a driving force?
How do I get that back?