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Why I Game – Kailey O’Connor

There’s something magical about slipping out of your skin and into another. Allowing your surroundings to slip away as you submerge yourself in a place far far away. The homework, the chores, and the stress of the day fade away like dust motes in the air as you draw your sword, pick up your ax, or prepare your spells and become engulfed in the ethereal landscape of your imagination.

I grew up chasing my imagination. Whether it was picking up a controller to play Zelda, opening a book to get lost in the pages, or just staring off into space daydreaming. I spent as much time as I could in running through the creations of amazing minds and seeing through the eyes of other people. I was fascinated with overcoming the impossible and making magic a part of everyday life.

Eventually, I wrote my own stories and drew my own pictures. Creating worlds made of colorful stardust, brilliant flower-strewn fields, and towering trees filled with light. I basically consumed and produced anything I could get my hands on that connected me to these impossible fantasy realms. When RPGs finally hit my radar it was like finding a piece of my soul that had been missing all along. This culture that let me do pretty much anything as long as it fell within the parameters of the world that’s been built.

I’ve traveled our own globe, our own pretty blue and green marble that floats through space. I’ve been across Europe, roamed Asia, and sailed through the Caribbean, but it pails in comparison to the worlds I’ve seen built. Lands built from ruin, cities where people never die, realms that run on clockwork hearts, and of course the occasional dungeon riddled with monsters trying to devour me whole. All still impossibly beautiful places created by incredibly creative people.

This is why I game.

I game because it gives me the opportunity to share these adventures, ideas, and personas with other people and in turn, I get to take part in theirs as well. Like peeking behind the curtain of someone’s facade to see the vast landscape of their mind. The magnificence of seeing what they’ve built and their appreciation of your own creation.

I game because It creates a sense of community and closeness with the people around me. Acquaintances have become close friends after we’ve bonded over our love of RPGs. People I probably never would have met otherwise have become staples in my life.

I game because of the moments that are so impossibly ridiculous that it could only ever happen in an RPG. I game because of the confidence it gives me and the confidence I see in the faces around the table. I game because it lets me escape my self-imposed monotony. I game because I love who I am when I’m playing. I game because of the laughter, the love, and the heartbreak.

All of this and more is why you should game too…

Why I Game – Dustin Alexander

I will be forever grateful for the friends and family I have in my life. They are what keep me from going down the dark alley of depression, despair and bitterness which someone of my size can often find themselves falling into.

They really don’t know how big of an impact they make, and I don’t think I am great at telling them. But it is because of them that I want to succeed despite the what sometimes seems like insurmountable odds.

I am a flawed individual and if left to my own devices could succumb to my own indulgences. But I don’t. I constantly strive to improve, to be a better person, to take the high road, and to help those around me. Those are lessons I learned from the company I keep. Unbeknownst to them, they are constantly pushing me to do better and to pay it forward.

It is this some of these friends that you will be listening to each week, one who inspired me to finish my degree when I would have otherwise given up, one to be a friend when I was lonely and alone my first year of college, and one to constantly be a sounding board and geeky friend even though she lives 12 hours away.

I try to always be there for them because they have made me a better person in one way or another. They have trusted and loved me when I have not always loved myself, even when I felt I was at my worst or lowest point. It is because of that I will always try my best to be there for them when they need me. They have done more for me then they will ever realize.

Games are a way to bring my favorite people together and enjoy their company. It is a time I get to encourage them as much as they encourage me. It’s to challenge and compete and have fun and forget the things in our lives that may not be going as well.

Everytime I am lucky enough have a group of friends together I just like to take a step and try to capture the moment as best as possible. I realize that things can not get much better than this.

Games are fun, they inspire, teach strategy, create competition and camaraderie-ship, but best of all, they bring friends together. Some of my best memories are with friends or family playing games.

The Fantastic Worlds Podcast was built on the idea of having a group of friends come together and play a game. For me, the Fantastic Worlds Podcast is a chance to see the smiling faces of some of my favorite people each week. That is why I do this and this is why I love to play games.