Friday, January 21, 2011

Our First Guest: Uncle Rob!

As we've said before, we are a family of gamers. Today we have a surprise for you... a guest appearance by Angie's Uncle Rob; her first Dungeon master, lifelong gaming buddy, and all-around cool guy. Katie adores her "Uncle 'ob", he's always been an important part of our lives and we're excited to share this post about his favorite game. But first, a cute nostalgic picture from the archives to set the scene:

Rob and Angie, around the time he first taught me D&D (1985ish)
My favorite game....
by Rob

A few weeks ago I promised Katie-bird that I would write a short post about my favorite game and at the time I'm sure I was thinking about the game that I am currently enjoying very much: Lord of the Rings Online. But upon reflection of my life-long love affair with games I have came to realize that my current favorite game is not even close to my all time favorite game. Why? Well for one thing its not the game I like as much as it is my love of Tolkien's lore and the chance to dynamically experience Middle-earth, a world that I have been in love with since first reading The Hobbit some 35 years ago. I mean, I have been aware of MMO's since the early days, I have tried EQ, WoW and the others and because I have no interest or investment in the lore of those worlds I never played beyond the free trials. If you took LotRO and changed the story and stripped it of its Tolkien influence, I would drop the game in a heart beat - so how could that be my favorite game?

So what is my favorite game? I am very tempted to award that dubious distinction to Dungeons and Dragons, which was after all such a big part of my teen and young adult life. I have very fond memories of all the time me and my brother Dave, spent designing dungeons and role-playing each other through those grand adventures . I can still see the delight and wonder of my wide-eyed niece, nephews and children as i ran them through their firsts adventures. But if you asked me to play it today - I would probably decline. Even though I occasionally consider picking up the dice and books and playing it again, It justs takes so much effort and investment of time that I just don't think I can make that much of commitment of my life as it exists today. So how could that be my favorite game?

What game would I play without hesitation every time I was asked? That certainly must be my favorite game - right?

Well – maybe, and maybe not.

For example, me and my son Bryan are currently involved in a chess tournament, I'm not really that good and he beats me most of the time (which of course is followed up with much gloating, humiliation and shame) but i drop everything and play him 2 or 3 games every time he visits home and asks for a game. But chess is not my favorite game and I hate to lose.

So maybe its pinochle, or spite and malice. Card games that I would play anytime, anywhere, anyplace. as long as its with my family - no. can't be because, honestly - I really hate pinochle.

So what could it be?

Well from these examples I'm starting to see a trend. Sure there are games that stimulate my intellectual curiosities and rev-up my imagination into overdrive, there are games that challenge me. And there are games that drive me bananas, Some games are just fun to play. Some, not so much, but the thing that really drives me is the time that I shared with my friends and family - I cant say the word "pinochle" with-out being flooded by a thousand and one memories of all the good times I have shared with my family playing that stupid game. D&D was all about sharing time and ideas with my best bro in the world and later sharing those experiences with my nieces and nephews and then much later my children. Beyond the Lore of Tolkien what really gets me to log on to LotRO is the time I share with my bro in that game - time and miles might separate us but through that game we are instantly 12 again and it is as if nothing ever changed. And even though we don't always play together we are both just a /send tell away.

So Katie - here's the short post I promised...

My Favorite game...

Is the one that I am going to play with you.

Love ya
Uncle 'ob

Katie and Uncle Rob's first game: impersonating each other (July 2006)


  1. Great! And I just love, love, love that picture!

  2. Love it - thanks for including me in this amazing blog - i guess i never realized how much of an impact games have had on our lives - i was just having fun...

    love the pixs - man im vexy!

  3. Both pictures are awesome! What a gaming history!