Tuesday, November 6, 2018

It Begins Again

Roughly five months ago, I completed my life's work.

Then I died.

No, no, just kidding. Obviously, I am not a ghost. But I've felt like one. In June of 2014 I set myself a Herculean task - clear my Steam backlog by playing all my games for at least 20 hours.

And I succeeded. It took me four years, but I did it. Towards the end I started getting delirious and burned-out, but I achieved my goal and it was incredibly satisfying.

But what to do next? I vowed to myself that I would not go backwards. Whatever I found to occupy my time, it would be something new. But as the months dragged on, I couldn't find anything that offered me the same thrill.

I started writing a novel, but soon realized that the only good thing about my fiction was the nonfiction for which it was a metaphor.

I tried to learn to program computers. And that was pretty fun, but I was starting literally from square one, and I came to despair that it would take years before I was doing anything but exercises from a text book.

I considered doing video Let's Plays or games streaming, but I thought better of it, because that is an incredibly crowded ecosystem and I have nothing distinctive to offer.

It was only slowly, and with great reluctance, that I admitted what I knew all along. I have only one notable skill - methodically and exhaustively working my way through lists of things while completely missing the point roughly half the time. I needed a new mission to give my work structure. Without it, I would just spin my wheels until some distraction came along.

Luckily, I had just that sort of mission waiting in the wings. I have what some might consider an unnecessarily large collection of tabletop rpgs. I've mostly been good about keeping up with them and reading them faster than I bought them. But I haven't been perfect. A significant fraction of the collection I bought just because I thought they were weird or obscure enough that I'd never be able to find them again.

My next move is clear. I must read all of my rpg books, all 350+ of them, from cover to cover. And I must document my bad opinions about them as I go along.

This will be my greatest challenge yet!