It’s a strange concept, winning. As a term, it recently evolved to mean new things. In part, because of Charlie Sheen. But if you think about it, victory is more often conceptual rather than something tangible. For example, winning an actual game can sometimes feel more like a loss due to various factors, whether it’s because you don’t feel you’ve played a fair game, or maybe the disappointed face of a friend, who you feel should have won instead of you. But today, probably for the first time in my life, I feel like I’ve actually won at gaming. It’s a strange feeling. But let me tell you more about it.
Specifically, let me tell you what I do, gaming wise. Big shout out to my FLGS, Chaos City Comics, in St. Albans, UK. This is where I organise board game nights, Magic: the Gathering, and DnD Encounters. Many different people come to these events, and, as you probably imagine, all those people are very different, and in many ways, very strong individuals. ‘The Weird and Wonderful’ as I like to call them. But this story is about one of them. It’s not a long story, because there’s not much to say really. It’s simple and self-explanatory.
One of the kids that come to the events that I organise, let’s call him Roger, has Asperger’s. He’s not the first kid who has Asperger’s that I have gamed with, and his condition is definitely not severe. But as you can imagine, Roger finds it hard to fit in. He’s been coming to our events for at least six months now, and today I had a chance to talk with his mother. According to her, he finally found a place where he belongs and since he started gaming with us, his condition became less severe. He is more aware of others, more patient, more understanding, more involved. He reads more and engages with things with a more positive attitude. And, according to his mother, our gaming nights have been the best thing that ever happened to him.
Often I wondered if gaming is a waste of time. If it’s just a dead hobby that eats up my effort. Well, I think it’s safe to say my doubts have been erased. I’ve made a positive change in a person’s life just by playing games, and made him feel accepted. Could I ever ask for more?