I turned 54-years-old today. One more year until I qualify for a senior citizen discount. It’s sad when you think about it, but is it? I can remember turning 18 like it was yesterday.
I was a college student, attending the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, Penn. During the week, I attended classes and worked at the Original Hot Dog Shop near the University of Pittsburgh campus. I spent my weekends going to The Rocky Horror Picture Show (I played Eddie and Brad at the Castle Theater) and playing Dungeons and Dragons with my close group of friends. It was a time to be young, dumb and … well, you know the rest.
I’m married now, with three grown kids. Someday soon, I’ll be a Grandpa … A Grandpa who’s also a Dungeon Master. That sounds pretty cool when you think about it.
I don’t think I could do those long, late night, pizza and beer weekends today. I mean, we would go from Friday to Sunday night, play non-stop with a few hours, in between, of sleeping “where you sat or fell” as it were. I made some close friends during my time there, friends I lost track with when I returned home and joined the Navy.
That was the one thing I loved about Dungeons and Dragons. It brings people closer together. I played D&D in high school, college and in the Navy. Every time we got together to , I made good friends. We lived, we laughed, we played. When you think about the bonds that a group of adventurers has in the game, we shared that same bond.
People have used D&D as a scapegoat, that it’s evil and leads people to Devil worship. Bulls*#t! It was a game, and a damn good one at that. It expanded my imagination that made me the author I am today. I created the entire world of Forever Avalon from those wild weekends and late night D&D sessions. It was awesome.
Today, everything is about electronics and technology. People leave it to others to write the story, and build the characters. They fight the battles with their fingertips, not their mind. We are losing touch with that spark of imagination that makes us who we are.
I’m older now, hopefully a little wiser, and I do miss those times when I was young and free to spend my weekends playing D&D with my friends. But, you know what, it made me who I am today. It is a part of my history that I’ll never forget it. I do miss the old days, but right now, I’ve got to keep looking ahead. Better things are coming, just wait and see!
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Mark Piggott is the author of the Forever Avalon book series. Forever Avalon is available for purchase at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. The Dark Tides is available for purchase at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and iUniverse publishing. The Outlander War, Chapter 3 of the Forever Avalon series is coming soon.