Looking at PlaGMaDA, I remember how D&D taught me to love maps and hand-draw them myself. In that trove of old gear I found at middle age, I had discovered my beloved backdrops for heroic stories and imaginary derring-do: the Craggy Hills, the Untreaded Lands, the Lorsearch Plains. Mountains called Ramen-Nashew I'd painstakingly scribed with a blue quill pen. Here, an evil wizard's lair etched in Magic Marker. There, an underground labyrinth guarded by traps and monsters, with rooms numbered from 1 to 37, which I had drawn on aqua-lined graph paper, now smudged, almost sepia-tinged with age.
But by playing RPGs (role-playing games), I was not only teaching myself shoddy draftsmanship. I also learned to be confident and decisive, and to feel powerful. Even feel cocky. Some of the guts and nerve I role-played began to leak into the real world. By the time I graduated high school, I had transformed. I had used escapist fantasy to gather strength for later, when I was ready to come out of my shell. In this sense, the wave of nostalgia I've felt also springs from a desire to pay tribute to D&D. To thank the game for the gifts of creativity and self-actualization it bestowed upon us.
Author Ethan Gilsdorf relates his experiences and those of others in this article at Salon. Link -via TYWKIWDBI