As I've gone from a 20-something Air Force guy expecting his first kid to a civilian guy with three children, a wife of 12 years, and an age dangerously approach more the mid than early 30s, my style of gaming--and involvement has changed. Time is more precious, gaming sessions harder to coordinate with a group that's stretching out and doing some growing of their own.
Perhaps most importantly, I find that my tolerance for and interest in new gaming systems is much, much lower than it once was. I don't have time to learn a plethora of new games, and I am becoming ever more aware of a shelf of RPGs that I already probably will never have time to run full campaigns for.
That's not self-pity, mind; I'm also much happier with what I currently have. Fantasy? There's Castles & Crusades, Pathfinder, Rolemaster Classic, and Palladium Fantasy. Space/Sci-Fi? Mongoose/Classic Traveller, Stars Without Number, and StarCluster 3. Supers? FASERIP and ICONS. That's not even getting into Rifts, Two-Fisted Tales, or numerous retro-clone games...
In essence, what this does is raise the bar immensely for any new game to be added to the collection. That's not to say it doesn't happen; Stars Without Number certainly blew me away, as it has a number of folks in my gaming circle. And there's always rediscovering old favorites, such as my recent joyful reunion with Palladium Fantasy 1e. Plus, there are always new posts and new resources that don't need a new RPG to be enjoyed...
|You complete me.|
Remember what I said about perspective? You can apply that to games. The umpteenth time you've seen the same "revolutionary" claims about a gaming system, you tend to disregard it. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me for the forty-seventh time...
Happily, as the players of any number of RPGs will tell you, the great thing about this hobby is whether you're going in for the new flavor of the week, or sticking with the same system you've had since '85, there's always something to discuss. And some of those discussion repeat themselves, because they're just fun to have. We like complaining about crazy rules or company meltdowns, the same as we like swapping lies about our characters, or looking at a new way to handle an old problem.
I guess my point is, my participation in the hobby isn't as gonzo as before, but that doesn't mean I'm not enjoying it. I'm concentrating more now on what I have than acquiring what I don't, and part of that is me realizing over the years (because I am apparently learning-impaired), that simply taking time to enjoy what I have instead of constantly looking for the Next Big Thing is pretty important.
I've been truly blessed both in and outside of this hobby. I have my faith, my awesome family, a job and a half, and hobbies ranging from racing to history. Finding the way that my gaming hobby can fit within that has been challenging at times, but no less rewarding for all of that.
In any case, I suppose that's a snapshot of where I am these days. That's not a moratorium on checking on what's new, but a certain better-late-than-never recognition that there's very little new under the sun, and that what I already have serves me pretty well indeed. I might be a knucklehead for taking so long for that light bulb to come on, but at least I'm a happy one.