“Hey, do you want to play Sisrael?”

In episode 3, we talked about dungeons and dragons. While we were discussing it, I started thinking about how I first got introduced to gaming. It didn’t seem like it would fit in the actual podcast, but I figured I’d write it up anyway.

It was the time before time, 1989. Before the Internet, before I was the towering inferno of nerd that you (don’t) see before you. I was nine years old, and I was at summer camp. It was one of those 4 weeks at a time deals, and it was more or less my first time away from home.

One day, I was just kind of hanging out, and this little kid came up to me and said “Hey, do you want to play Sisrael?” I had no idea what the hell he was talking about.

So naturally, I said “sure.”

I like games. Turned out this particular game was one where I got to play a character (a dragon, no less), and he would describe what was going on. I traveled through these magical dungeons, fighting things and solving puzzles.

This went on for four weeks. Every time we finished a storyline, he let me upgrade my character, and he picked some other nonsense word. I had a blast. We played basically all the free time we had. It was awesome.

At the end of the summer, he told me what we were really playing. We were playing dungeons and dragons. Should’ve known; I was playing a dragon, and we were going through dungeons. But I was 9, and subtext wasn’t really my ‘thing.’

I got home from camp and went out and bought the Dungeon Master’s Guide and the Player’s Handbook for 2nd Edition Advanced Dungeons and Dragons. I started reading the books, and about three hours later (I hadn’t read very much), I was running across the street to a friend’s house. We made characters and we started gaming.

And that, as far as D&D is concerned, is how I got this way.

Because I wanted to play Sisrael.

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