My name is Rebecca. Or Becky, Becca, Beck, Beqlynd, Steve. I respond to most things when I think someone is trying to get my attention.
I wanted to talk to you about how I was introduced to tabletop RPGs, and how I truly began to engage and enjoy them.
It started when I was very young. My uncle had a comic book shop that also sold props and craft items for miniatures. My babysitter was one of the store friends, and the sword of Elrond hung on the wall above where I slept. I was allowed to stay up late to secretly watch Dragon Ball Z, wear special gloves to hold valuable comics. I watched and sometimes participated in the campaigns the guys ran in the back of the store, complete with costumes, terrain and minis they had made themselves. I didn't know what Vikings were at the time and called one of them "cow guy" when he showed up with a horned helmet.
It was so cool to my baby five-year-old brain. However, being a nerd wasn't considered "cool" yet for people in my age group ('90's kids, anyone?). I had the bizarre experience of going from being ridiculed for being TOO nerdy as a child to not being nerdy ENOUGH as a teenager. That's not even bringing into the equation that I was a girl encroaching on a predominantly male pass time. What a world, eh?
Knowing all there is to know about a very niche topic hasn't ever really appealed to me. I don't know all the Magic the Gathering cards from 1993, but I still think it's fun to play. I don't have all the monsters/rules/builds of D&D memorized from any edition, but I still like to play. I'm awful at shooter video games, but I have fun playing them. I never have, nor will I ever be, a min-maxed, highly optimized gamer. I'm in it for the fun of discovery, the puzzles, the interaction, and the chaos. In ANY game, the ability to go anywhere and have consequences for doing so is one of my favourite things, right alongside character development and a rich story.
So, where I am now in regards to gaming is excellent. I've found people I love to game with, both on and off the table. It is just as cool to be invested in roleplay as it is the rules. You need to find the people who like the kind of gameplay you enjoy. Some extremists believe there is ONLY ONE RIGHT WAY or ONLY ONE FUN WAY; I think they are fundamentally... wrong. I'm not about to go on a crusade to stop them from playing games the way they like to play, though. I'm firm of the belief that if you and you're group are having fun; you're playing the game the right way.