When I was a kid I loved Dungeons and Dragons. But this was small-town Yorkshire in the 80s and surprisingly there wasn't a queue of zany Stranger Things style kids at my door eager to do battle with a demigorgon. Until I found my tribe, all I had was my Dad reading out the stats for - I dunno - an Owl Bear, with a disbeliving laugh then rifling the rest of the pages in the Handbook saying, "I mean, what is all this stuff?"
So I grew up reading about Dungeons and Dragons way more than actually playing it.
Turns out this isn't a uniquely sorry tale - it happened to lots of youngsters in lots of different countries all at about the same time. Shame there wasn't some bizarre future-weird super-computer capable of connecting us all, right?
As a lad I remember dreaming of the day I'd been able to play D+D rather than just read about it. Which makes my current situation all the more unsettling. I have a PS4 in my front room. I have access to a future-weird super-computer capable of connecting me to geeks from all over the world. I'm a tram-ride away from Travelling Man, just a stone's throw thataway, uptown.
What do I find myself routinely doing? Reading about gaming rather than actually gaming. What's going on? Me and all the other Twitch-ers seem to enjoy our consumption with the emphasis firmly on the passive.
I gotta couple of ideas why. More on this tomorrow.