Connecting with the Past

Do you ever wonder what you as a child would think of you as an adult?

Young me - not bald
Young me – not bald

I’ve been thinking about my past a lot lately. It’s not something I normally consider. I don’t really have a strong connection to people or events that happened more than a couple of decades ago, but last Friday night I started thinking about what I would say to a teenage me. I’m not talking about giving my past self advice or tips on the stock exchange. I’m talking about what it would be like to have a conversation with that younger me. What would he think of old me? Would we have things to talk about? How well would younger and older me connect?

I think it started after I read Elfish Gene: Dungeons, Dragons and Growing Up Strange by Mark Barrowcliffe. The book describes how Barrowcliffe made his way through adolescence as a gamer, focusing primarily on his discovery of role playing games like Dungeons and Dragons. Barrowcliffe is only a few years older than I am, so I figured that it would be an interesting and thoughtful read. It wasn’t a very enjoyable read, but it was thought provoking. Playing RPGs as a teenager didn’t have quite the impact on me as it did on Barrowcliffe. I never felt like an outcast because I enjoyed playing games.

Earlier this week, GamerChris wrote about Getting Back to Some Old-School D&D, and how enjoyable it was to get back to his RPG roots. I loved the article, and it got me thinking about the simplicity of gaming back in the late 70’s and early 80’s. More importantly, it got me thinking about that younger me, and it made me happy to think that I still have quite a lot in common with him. That may seem strange to you, but it made me happy to think to I didn’t lose that guy that taught himself to program BASIC so that he could roll dice and automate the creation of Non Player Characters.

Maybe some adults would find this a little backwards, but I’m happy to still have that connection with games and gaming, and with play in general.

I think younger me, after the shock of finding out that he will be bald, would like me enough to sit down and play a game.

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