The question for today was “Describe a game experience that changed how you play.” I really don’t have a response for this one, so I’m going to go with my own question: How Has Gaming Positively Affected Your Life?

There’s the usual hackneyed responses about having made so many good friends through the hobby (and I have), but here’s a few really concrete ones:

First, I learned how to think quickly and creatively because I usually get stuck with GM duties. This also ties into the second positive effect on my life: I learned how to tell stories well, both verbally and written.

Related to that second effect, I 3) developed an interest in many things and have maintained by curiosity throughout my life because I have a real hankering for verisimilitude, which 4) led to my branching out into writing and teaching history.

That intellectual curiosity about, well, everything started with the old James Bond games in the ’80s. I wanted not just the feel of the movies, but some level of realism in those games. (I’d eventually go into the intelligence game and get out just as fast.) Cars, boats, planes, guns, intelligence agencies and their operations, I wanted to know everything I could about them.

With Space: 1889 I dove deep into Victorian history, which was my main focus until my doctoral work. A hard switch to modern American history coincided with taking an interest in Hollow Earth Expedition and the 1930s. I immersed myself in Star Trek to run a game for almost five years. Now I’m heavily researching Late Antiquity Rome and early Christianity for the D&D game, but the impetus for the setting might have come from having taught Early Western Civilization a lot over the last six years.

Fifth and tied to that “friends” truism: I met a lot of my girlfriends, and both wives (not at the same time) through gaming, although not always directly. Gaming got me laid. A lot. Even my wife, who wasn’t a gamer, I met through my gamer pals of the time. My daughter is playing in the other room as I type, alive because of gaming.

I once clinched a job in a small firm doing intelligence work because the president was a gamer.

Has gaming positively affected my life? You bet!