It got me thinking, as these things do (currently cursed with sleeping issues, so that's a thing) and I really started wondering, "Just how far are people willing to go for a game?"
The question is a simple one, but really.....I think more than anything this is the deciding factor between people who are "gamers" and those who are not. Now for me the answer is simple, but my hip-shot response is roughly 2,054 miles. Yes, I've travelled 2,054 miles just for a game. Not at a convention either, but once I went from Boise to Chattanooga TN to run, well playtest really, a tournament adventure I was writing.
Now I'm not bragging. I had the weekend and (fortunately) the resources to "waste" the time to have the reigning World Champs poke holes in my adventure. It was that important to me so on many levels I wasn't going that far for a game.
Usually the go-to response, and I'm going to say this is from a non-gamer who identifies as a gamer......yeah, I went there....is "I don't have time to play."
First off, I'm going to call bullshit. Less that a thousandth of a percent of us, pretty much nobody who actually reads this blog, actually has their day scheduled out to the extent that they cannot make time for things that are important to them. What I mean is, if it is important we make time for it and if it isn't, we don't. When people say they don't have time, what they are actually saying is, "I'm trying to be polite and not tell you that the thing we're talking about isn't that important to me."
Sure time can be at a premium, but...and bear with me here...if you're a gamer and a specific time is an issue, then look for a new time! My group has had to switch from Saturday to Friday games for time scheduling reasons. I'm not sure how to feel about that yet, but I'm slinging dice so no reason to complain. I'm just fortunate that I don't have major life issues popping up to get in the way (currently, I do remember a few unexpected ones causing grief in the past.) and my work is steady enough to schedule regular game time.
In addition to having time to game, or (as I'm clearly laying down...make time to game) the next nut to crack to get a gaming fix (bad attempt at a pun) is to find a place to game. My game is online, which is great for me since my work travel, when that happens, is for longer stretches than normal. Now as a single guy with a home...and soon a bonafide game room, a place isn't an issue, and really hasn't been an issue since I was a kid.
I've known players, and even GMs, where gaming space was an issue. In one instance we played in one players home so they'd be able to attend the game. For a while we gamed at the local college...student unions can be great gaming spaces if you don't mind some extra attention (which can be a benefit!) and some game store actually encourage games in their space.
Lastly, well at least the last thing that's coming to mind right now, is in addition to needing time and a place to play, you kind of.....only kind of...need other people to play with. Luckily there are single player games and online play is a thing. There are several online systems ranging from a simple Zoom call (which my group uses) to rather detailed simulated gaming virtual table-tops. Game stores and colleges often have people looking to game, so maybe you can fill a couple requirements in one place?
While I originally was thinking about how far people are willing to go to game, and how there can be barriers to slinging the dice.....thing is...well...we're gamers....problem solving is literally a skill we play with. Really kind of redefines things. I'm of the opinion that we all have some barriers but if it means we get to game.....well most are surmountable, and outside of that "big picture life shit", gamers should be gaming!
So....how far are you willing to go for a game?
....and because I know he reads this....great to have you back Steve!