For over the past half year, I’ve had to put gaming on the back burner in order to deal with other aspects of my life. This has been both a good thing (I have more time to focus on things that really need my attention) but also a bad thing (I don’t have time for an activity I can use to alleviate stress). Now that some things have been sorted out, I’m working to reintegrate gaming into my life, but it’s not the easiest of processes! The problem with having a very social hobby is that once you’re out of the loop, it’s hard to figure out how to get back into it. Here’s how I’m doing that.
I accept that it’s not going to be the way it was
Just because I have the opportunity to add gaming back to my life doesn’t mean all the reasons that it faded away have disappeared. Games had ended, people moved, schedules changed…. All these things still act as barriers to the gaming that I used to do. I’ve had to accept that things won’t be the same and that it’s important to find a new setup that fits into my life a little better.
I am social with gamers
My friends and I have more in common than just gaming and summer is a good time for gatherings. There are festivals, shows, picnic weather…. Setting up an impromptu gathering is easier than setting up a game and, inevitably, the conversation turns to gaming. It’s a great way to figure out what’s new and exciting when I’ve been out of the loop and to maybe worm my way into a game or two.
I check out new games
New games abound, but I have limited funds. The pay-what-you-will model that’s really started to gain ground after Fate Core was released has lowered the barrier for checking out many games. Kickstarters also often offer sneak peaks and drafts for potential backers so I’ve been taking a look at those as well.
I also have limited time, so I rely rather heavily on recommendations and reviews. I’m probably missing out on some awesome stuff but that’s part of accepting the new place that gaming has in my life.
I do what I can alone
I have to admit, Vincent Baker’s The Sundered Lands really lit a fire under my butt. Specifically, it was the Doomed Pilgrim in the Ruins of the Future game that really intrigued me because it could be played online. It meant I start up a game and then check in on it whenever I had time, instead of having to schedule a big chunk of time with other people. Not having to schedule anyone was a big deal!
It’s also opened up the world of nanogames for me. I like to hack, remix and design games but often don’t have the time to devote to finishing anything. The Sundered Lands games showed me one potential way of making something short and sweet that I could polish off in an evening. Being able to accomplish a hack in a night? Really energizing!
So now I’m back on the horse. In regards to actual gaming, I’m taking it slow. I have an upcoming serial LARP that I’m quite excited about (oh, my delightful costume!!!) and at least one irregular casual gaming night designed to fit around unpredictable schedules. At the end of August, I’m going to Nerdly North. All in all, I’m liking the new balance in my life.