Monday, 13 December 2010 22:53

Role Playing Games and the Magical Path

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All of you gamer geeks out there will follow me on this.  You have this one (or few) characters that were just awesome.  They made you feel good to play them.  You couldn't wait until Thursday night because then this character gets to come out to play.  You have pitted them against moral challenges, tests of wits, intelligence, and cunning, and you've developed them lovingly, sometimes through the years until they have grown to have a special place in your heart.  And while we're at it, let us not fool ourselves with false bravado; We did mourn when they died or when the campaign ended.

Earlier today, while rummaging around old files on my server, I came across my character notes, sheets, and sketches of a few of my favorite ones.  There was the bookish Seelie Sidhe of House Eiluned, the very near-sighted sorceress who knew everything about anything arcane, but often got mixed up on her social niceties.  There was the Cult of Ecstasy seer who danced her way into trances where she transcended space and time.  There was the Virtual Adept who liked to break into New World Order computer systems and change "just a few words" here and there, for the sake of political reality manipulation.  There was the Unseelie childling Nocker who loved fireworks, oh she loved them a lot.  (I played primarily Mage: The Ascension and Changeling: The Dreaming.

And there are a few others I'm not telling you about.  I was looking at all of these characters, and remarking on the stories we told with them once upon a time, the heroic quests and amazing journeys we went upon, and the challenges we faced.  In many ways, these games were places where my archetypes could come out and play.  It gave me a sandbox in which to let my good side, my bad side, my mischievous side, my magical side, and my many other sides come out to play.   It gave me a way to examine some of the parts of myself in ways I wouldn't have otherwise.

Beyond that, the role playing games taught me how to explore worlds and realities beyond my own.  With a storyteller weaving a tale, I let my mind drift and create beautiful worlds and fantastic visions in my mind.  I immersed myself completely in worlds that only existed in the minds of those sharing the tale, and journeying there became easier and easier the longer the campaign went on.  I can attribute my own ability to work in the world of spirit with all of the practice I got in otherworldly travel during those good old days when my friends and I gamed at least once a week.

It's often true that there are lessons in magic to be found in the world we inhabit, in places we might not expect.  I didn't realize it then, but I realize it now that my enthusiastic pursuit of role playing games was training me to be a better witch.