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Friday, September 21, 2012

The Games People Play: Part 3

What game would you most like to play
for the next eighteen years?

Several years ago, my wife and I devoted one night each week to a three-month workshop course at a local high school.  With access to all kinds of equipment we didn’t own, including professional-grade planers, joiners, and table saws, I embarked upon a mission to make a craftsman style chair.  Yet despite having twelve evenings, of roughly three-hours each, in which to build that chair, I failed to finish it.  Those evenings flew by.  I did manage to cut most of my pieces to the exacting dimensions the pattern called for, cut all my mortis and tenon joints, and glued together the basic frame.  (I used the weeks between to build my own mortis jig, to do what work I could in my garage, and plan out how I could best use my next workshop evening).  But still my Oak and Purpleheart chair sits in the garage, awaiting completion.  And that’s just the one chair, not the six I planned to make, or the table I envisioned them set around!

It was nice to see that the folks at Geek Chic devoted a great deal of attention to their chairs.  Each section of the back was shaped individually to provide lumbar support and support the upper back.  The seats were similarly sculpted.  As I’ve grown older, I’ve noticed how uncomfortable I can get in chairs of more basic design.  Even if they come with padded seats and backs, sitting in them gets tiring after a few hours.  (We opted not to attend the screening of two films at Comikaze, partly due to this issue).  Yet I can imagine hours spent on Geek Chic’s wooden chairs, sitting around the table with my family or friends, and never needing a cushion or pillow to relieve my discomfort.

"Okay, we'll storm the castle via the swamp."

The firm’s focus on each buyer’s interests and comfort is impressive.  And they offer other options, such as cabinets for storing game equipment, card catalogues, game manuals, and even comic books.  Every aspect of the interactive storytelling experience is attended to.  The buyer makes an equal commitment.  As these are custom-built pieces, a hefty deposit is necessary to secure one’s wait in line.  Most of us are used to walking through a few furniture show rooms, selecting a model of multipurpose tables and chairs that best fits our available space and personal style, and having our new furniture delivered the following day.  Imagine waiting five to eight months for your custom pieces of furniture to arrive.  Think of the people ordering such exquisitely crafted furniture.  Pursuing their favorite games cannot be an idle fancy, or a passing whim.  In buying the furniture, they are committing themselves to a type of gaming and storytelling that they love, at least for years, if not for a lifetime.

"Play with me now, I command thee!"

I imagine that those who have children plan for longer than that.  They design a table that will fit not only the games they enjoy playing, but also the ones they envision their children playing.  This is the greatest legacy that Fiction can offer.  Not just to delight for a moment, but provide meaning throughout the entirety of our lives, and give us something of value that we can pass on to our descendants?

Dragon Dave

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