If a person who is at loggerheads with reality possesses an artistic gift (a thing that is still a psychological mystery to us), he can transform his phantasies [sic] into artistic creations instead of into symptoms. –Sigmund Freud, Five Lectures on Psychoanalysis, page 56.
Why do we do what we do?
Why do we spend all of this time in imaginary settings, pushing miniatures across the tabletop? (Or LARPing, or playing board games, or… whatever?)
Gamers are a mixed and varied lot. In our experiences in college, gamers were either in advanced classes and the honors program… or always on the verge of dropping out.
No middle ground.
Why is this?
We’re an eclectic bunch. The dreamers. Tribes delineated along our favor game systems and friendships.
There is no Geek hierarchy, just a loose confederation of sorts depending on the region.
Being a lone gamer, however, is lonely.
Society around us accepts sports, watching movies, more sports, hanging out in bars, clubbing, arguing politics, even more sports, joining a church, getting an education, sports, reality TV, and so on.
But tabletop gaming? As one person said to us long ago (with her nose scrunched up): “That’s just wasted time. You don’t walk away with anything.”
If we, as gamers, are artists at loggerheads with reality, then there are far, far, worse things we can do besides gaming…
…like bad gaming, where everybody gets upset and walks away mad, without the catharsis needed to rejoin society somewhat sane.