Over the holiday I got asked by a family member why I do this "game stuff"? I trotted out some answer that seemed okay, but the question stuck with me and I have wrestled with it since.
1) It's not the money.
My real job pays me well, demands a lot, and is one of the best jobs a cat could ask for. Sure like any job there are ups and downs, but if you work hard good things happen. So spending a LOT of my own free time and funds doing game stuff is not a get rich quick scheme.
2) It's not a "look at me" endeavor.
I am not doing this to become noted or recognized. My wife loves me, as does my family and I have some good friends too. What a blessing that is and how could I ask for more?
Yet, because of the games I get to enjoy (and very much appreciate) the folks who stop by to comment, commiserate and critique the game! I'd love if more people did, but only in that we few, we happy few, can all get excited and build upon each others ideas around the game! I love seeing other ideas, creative new bits and twists generated by people playing the games and talking about the games...but it does not really have anything to do with me in those conversations except as another eager participant just like anyone else.
3)It's not an "I'm right, they are wrong"effort.
A gazillion people dig a ton of different systems and my scribbling efforts scattered into the gaming maelstrom aren't going to change a single mind about the game system they want to enjoy. Cool, because that's not why I am doing it. I am not making games because I think I hold the grail of gaming gnosis and am trying to convert all comers!
So if its not money, not fame, and not a sense of converting others to my game system(s) then why?
Is it really that simple? Hell yes it is, but we are going to did that a bit deeper.
1) I do it for the joy of creation!
Anyone who plays these games knows about the joy of creation. From the joy of creating a character, creating a creature, a magic weapon, a spell, an adventure or an entire world! Man this whole damn hobby is about creation! Take a pencil, paper, maybe some dice and you can start making something that will be an interactive shared mind blowing mental trip!
2) I do it for the joy action!
Social media (yup blogging is in there too) is kind of a misnomer. It is "social", but not in the same way as face to face, in the same room smelling Bob's stinky feet, interaction. These games are a good reason to get together for a few hours with family or friends, or hell even strangers who will become friends maybe, and share some adventuring joy. Every gamer has stories of this character's heroic action, or that character's death, or this adventure where a plan went wrong, or mysterious plot that unfolded or best a friend who got a d6 stuck in his nose at the table. This style of game provides a joy that no other entertainment I have experienced truly does. Sure we can all talk about the movie or TV show we watched, book we read or sport event we attended, but we were all just passive consumers together. Adventure games are different. From the Referee's activity in creating an adventure or acting as the arch villain, to the Player's character creation, to the adventure experience shared by all at the table, all of it is a shared, chaotic, interactive and everyone is an active participant.
3) I do it for the joy of sharing.
Let's just roll it out there, if not for doing these games, I'd never get the chance to interact with you! Some other peeps who share some of the same interests, the joy of playing these games, exchanging ideas, and making other worlds to explore together. I have met great people who have inspired me with their thoughts, creativity, critiques and creations. I don't find this sort of imaginative inspiration or interest anywhere else in my day to day life except here with you.
So there you have it. Joy is why I do what I do. Thank you very for spending your valuable time (and even your hard earned money) to inspire me and I hope sometimes you too get inspired, get together with others, get gaming, and maybe even get a little joy in your life from time to time by playing.