Games that don’t happen

Life has a lot of ways of nudging events so that games don’t happen. There are periods where we can confound life’s intent to spoil our fun and gratification, but that still leaves a lot of time where life wins. Living in Korea was once a source of gamelessness for me, but I learned how to overcome it despite training in two demanding martial arts and working the Korean equivalent of a full-time job which comes close to seeming like 24/7.

Moving to Daejeon, however, has been a problem much harder to overcome. If there are gamers here, they are well and truly hidden away. With a little more than a year of feeling this odd isolation from actual tabletop gaming, my trip home and the disturbing revelation of the current state of game stores there was made all the more acute. Even if I moved home, would gaming be something I could get going again among those of my friends who are still alive? Do I have to contemplate making all of my gaming suitable for online play?

I had planned for months to run a game of The Morrow Project upon my return home this summer, but it never even got close to being possible. One player got sent to Thailand, one stopped responding to messages, and I – worst offender of all – got swept up in a tide of events and activities that never stopped and barely let me do anything that I had planned. In fact, of all the plans I made for my three-weeks in Canada, I accomplished 2 and a half. I got to go eat with an old friend at the famous and heart-breakingly good Deli used as a murder scene in our brief run of Mutant City Blues, I got to hang out for 30 minutes in Strange Adventures, and I got about halfway through my bunker cache of games to make sure they were holding up in storage. All of my other plans got cancelled. C’est la vie~

One of the reasons why I do the Saturday Seeds posts on this blog is because I am used to playing a lot of games and I like to share the story seeds that have sparked great sessions, or sparked many, as well as the overflow of ideas for games I run that aren’t appropriate for the campaign and/or group I have. I am not used to games which die stillborn, however. It is harder to let them go, I find. I was really looking forward to reconnecting with familiar faces and exploring the ruins of a world 150 years in our future. I could smell the donairs, hear the rustle of chip bags in all their crazy flavors, the clink of ice in a bevy of oversized beverage tankards for oversized doses of root beer, local ginger ale, and whatever other exotic flavors (lime!) struck my choice-deprived fancy. I could see the whole day in my head, but somehow, I could not get things to work out in reality.

I had intended the session to allow us to renew old ties and get together to say good-bye to a departed friend we all miss sharply. Life got in the way, and now this game is lying fallow in my mind, begging me to let it out. So here then is where I ask you, oh Reader, what do we do with games that burn a hole in our minds, yet never see the light of day? Do we hang on to them, letting them fester and develop in the dark recesses of fantasy in hope that one day we can set them loose and give them life, or do we share them as a ‘could-have-been’ and hope that in that sharing we can spark other opportunities for gaming in the future?

Should I break down the setting and session for my unsung Morrow Project ballad of badassery and share it here, or should I keep it to myself in hopes that my next vacation will not be another 10 years in my future and no more of my friends will pass on?

2 Responses to “Games that don’t happen”
  1. JD says:

    Sorry to hear of your friend’s demise. To me, this event triggers a sense of carpe diem, and when it comes to the creative products of one’s imagination – the ones we are truly passionate about – I don’t think they should ever be ignored or suppressed. We are meant to express them. Not to do so is to do injury to ourself.

    Maybe you’ve commented on this before and I missed it, but my [admittedly obvious] question to you is have you’ve tried online gaming, via G+ hangouts or other mediums? I realize that your current geological location offers some challenges in that regard, but it would open up more opportunities for gaming.

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