In kicking off Speak Out With Your Geek Out week, I should start off with the reason behind it all- why I do what I do. Why I have been playing RPGs for over a decade and why I have jumped head-first into the world of independent game design. What is it that makes me spend hours pondering turn actions, crunching numbers to figure out how well a mechanic works, and spinning the cogs and wheels of the nitty gritty side of imagination?

For me the world of indie RPGs is much like a geeky, spontaneous parallel universe to theater. It’s improv with rules. It’s method acting without having to spend hours upon hours of prep. But the reason I indulge and work (and sometimes work quite hard!) in this world is that when it comes down to that moment- that magical, organic moment where an entire table of people is doubled over in laughter, or stark silent from a sudden turn of events, or perhaps sniffling from a heart-touching moment developed by their own devices… That moment where the essence of human connection and emotion is nearly tangible… THAT. That is what I do it for.

People may see gamers as introverted, antisocial types who rarely leave the basement more much else than a bag of Doritos and a two-liter of Mountain Dew, but that’s not true. I can’t even count the number of times I’ve gathered with a group of friends to sit down to artisan beers or good wine, a gourmet meal prepared by myself or another, and a night of intrigue and adventure awaiting us. Gaming for me has proved to be rewarding, both socially and emotionally. I’ve gotten to know my friends on a deeper and in some ways more intimate level. Through gaming with varied groups, I learn more about people, society, and humanity as a whole. It’s a beautiful world of imagination, creation, collaboration, and trust.

So that’s that. That’s why I game and have no intention of leaving the lifestyle anytime soon.

If you’re new to the idea of independent RPGs or to gaming in general, I highly recommend you check out the Story Games forum. It’s a pretty cool group of people with a lot of great advice on where to look for great ideas and gameplay!