If you enjoy this post, please retweet it.
I started a new job located in Chantilly, Virginia, and joined a gym nearby once it reopened. This means that every single day I drive by the old site of the Game Parlor. This is a tough pill to swallow. I left D&D in 1981 due to the satanic panic. In other words, I left because I was forced to leave. When I finally broke through a particular mental barrier, I returned to the game in 2005. My first game was at the Game Parlor in Chantilly, Virginia, where I created my warmage, Frylock, who would be immortalized both in a mini made for me by my friend, @Luddite_Vic, and also on my license plate.
I played two Living Greyhawk modules, which itself opened my eyes to a larger community that was unavailable when I was a kid. The game had become more popular, and the internet brought us all together. I instantly started making new friends (and frenemies) and found a new social outlet, which I know creates a paradox for the ignorant. Within five years, I had attended my first GenCon and was organizing my own convention, synDCon.
So here I sit on Wednesday night having a thought. I should be playing D&D with a group I recently joined, but I’m not. Why? Because I no longer enjoy playing the game. I don’t play it the way almost all others do, and the way those others play the game simply doesn’t appeal to me. I didn’t particularly like D&D 3.5e but, despite that systemic problem, still played it because of the people. Even though I like D&D 5e, getting to see them no longer is enough to make me sit through a game that just drags for me.
So while I lament not having the Game Parlor, I realize that even if I did (and there were no more pandemic), I wouldn’t take advantage of it. It’s like this: Even if you think very fondly of, for example, 5th grade, you wouldn’t want to go back there with the mind you have now. You’re an adult. You don’t want to do childish things with ten-year-olds as your primary source of entertainment. I’m not saying D&D is per se childish; I’m just saying I’ve moved beyond it as it’s usually played, so I don’t really want to go back there. I just want the idea of finding something like that. Unfortunately, I think I’m too old to expect that to happen.
You can never really go back.