Monday, August 1, 2011

A Most August Anniversary

August commemorates a very special event for first time playing a role playing game.

August 25th, 1977.

This August I celebrate 34 years of gaming.* That's a lot of games brothers and sisters. And it is a celebration. I am happy to say, "I've been gaming since 1977."

Those of us who've been with the hobby since the early days sometimes lord our time spent throwing dice over younger players as if it implies some sort of superiority over less experienced gamers. That's unfortunate. It's true, we are better at it than you but lording it over you is wrong. On behalf of all those as awesome as I am I want to apologize to you inferior lot.

I'm kidding. I kid. I kid because I love.

Seriously folks, you'll find that as old schoolers go, yours truly is as new as he is old. I love trying different game genres and systems, am fascinated by a lot of the indie press RPGs and not especially enamoured with random charts. At the same time, I think I would be hard pressed to identify myself as purely new school. I still hold many basic sensibilities from the old days as truisms when I run my campaigns. I do love a good exploration of a sand box world for example.

I have noted in previous posts that we (my friends and I) have always played a bit differently then what seems to have taken place as most kitchen tables throughout the U.S.. To that end, even my new school elements are old school. Or is that...hmmm.

Maybe I'm non-school. Or all school. Neat.

This month I intend to do what I do best. Talk outta my a** about nutty ideas and things most people could care less about. Ah...but with flair!

August will feature all the usual Barking Alien wackiness but in honor of my 34 years, I am going to get back to posting more often and (hopefully) with more substantial articles. I am also starting my new Compleat Strategist campaign on Saturday, August 20th. Those in the New York area who are interested in joining in, feel free to pop by and check out the Strat Group in action. Conversate with me and the boys and we'll see if we can squeeze you in.

Do you remember you first time? Gaming that is!
Do you know the date? Do you celebrate it?
How do you celebrate it?

Share in the fun...

Barking Alien

*Hey, is it 34 years of gaming or 35? This always confuses me. Wouldn't the day after commemorating my 34 years immediately begin my 35th? Right? Math was never my strong suit.


  1. FYI:

    Dog and Alien lovers alike, do not worry about the cake. While it looks like chocolate it is most certainly not.

    On Barkley's request the food replicators whipped up a custom confection for this most auspicious occasion.

    The cake is Steak flavored with Gravy Frosting.


  2. Wow, congrats on being able to pin down the exact day. I wish I could, but Summer of '81 (with a brand new Moldvay Basic Set courtesy my Mom, typecasting me as "the DM" for the last 30 years... hey, this Summer is my 30th Anniversary! Ace!) is as close as I can get as there are no temporal landmarks for me in that special summer.

  3. Happy 30th Rainswept!

    Thanks Christian!

    Indeed, 'Temporal Landmarks' was the key. It was the year of Star Wars and August 25th was like a week or so before school started again.

    I think at some point around '79-'80 I marked it on a calendar and found that calendar in the back of my closet a year or two later.

    Been marking it down evert since.

  4. Wow, congrats! I don't think I could pinpoint the date of my first game. It'd have to be around 1981 or so though. I'm planning on getting a group together when I return from my Stateside travels so that is pretty exciting after this rather long hiatus. I identify with the old school, but I certainly don't cast aspersions on newer games. I'm willing to try just about anything. I guess I'd say I'm middle school (or middle of the road school). I like the aesthetic of the older games but heck, I like quite a few of the newer games too. I'm looking forward to getting to GenCon this year not only to represent the Old School but just to check out what everyone is doing and maybe get in on some games that I find interesting.

  5. Congratulations on your anniversary! Glad you have something that makes you so happy =)

  6. Congrats on the anniversary! That's cool to have nailed down when it all began.

    Like some of the above posters I don't know my exact date but it was at the end of 1979 and I DM'd an unsuspecting buddy through the sample dungeon in the Holmes Basic D&D book. Ran my kids through the same thing with Basic D&D characters last year and had a blast.

    I tend to think of myself as old school but considering what I've run in the last few weeks - ICONS, D&D 4E - I suppose not everyone would agree. Ah well, I'm not so worried about the labels as much as making time to actually play - whatever game it might be. If I was in NYC I'd be there, dice in hand.

    (and it's 34 - like birthdays it's years *completed*, not started, or you would be 1 the day you were born. Hey, you did ask...)

  7. Heheh. Thanks Whisk, Blacksteel and the rest of you. You make blogging fun!

    Now, on to content...