Welcome to My Play.
My name is Gerald Cameron, and I have lived in Nova Scotia, Canada, for my entire life. I have been a player of boardgames, starting mostly with the mass-market family variety, for as long as I can remember. My introduction to what I would call hobby games came when I was nine years old (a long time, in other words) when a friend of mine invited me over to try out something his older brother had introduced him to. It was called Dungeons and Dragons.
Even though that first experience would barely be recognizable as role-playing, I was hooked, and soon I was the proud owner of a Basic Dungeons & Dragons box set. Before long I had a first edition Player’s Handbook and Monster Manual, too. My actual role-playing would be very intermittent for the next decade or so, but I was committed to the hobby. I accumulated games (and Dragon magazines) that I almost never played, although I played eagerly whenever an opportunity presented itself.
Although I had played chess once in a while against my father, my first exposure to a proper hobby boardgame came a few years after my introduction to RPGs. My father, a military history buff, was with me in a hobby store, and he bought a copy of the Avalon Hill (not-really-) classic, Luftwaffe. It was rather severely over my head at the time, but I loved the idea of playing it. Later he bought another AH wargame, Tactics II, which was a genuine classic. It was more in my wheelhouse, and I loved playing it.
Shortly after that, I bought the old pocket-box edition of Car Wars by Steve Jackson Games. It was love. Over the next decade or more, I’m sure I played over a hundred duels with a variety of friends, and in my spare time I frequently designed new cars. Later I would enjoy a similar, but not as intense, love affair with the FASA Games title, Battletech as well as enjoying the mathematical tinkering involved with building characters for the Champions RPG.
Both RPGs and boardgames have undergone ebbs and flows of activity in my life over the years, but I now find myself active in both hobbies, even playing both types of games with the same friends. In this I am blessed, even if Dungeons and Dragons v3.5 is not my first choice of RPGs to play, at least on a regular basis.
Over the last couple of years I have established an identity for myself in on-line communities related to both hobbies under the user-name Linnaeus, which gave me the URL for this blog. Despite this web presence, I have increasingly felt a need for a place to express my thoughts on the world of boardgames and role-playing games apart from the major communities that are already on the web. In some cases this is because of how long such essays are likely to be, in others it has more to do with the essentially ephemeral nature of forum postings. In communities of any size, any essay is soon lost in the heap of bytes, almost regardless of quality. Such community sites can only do so much to keep the signal afloat in the noise over the long term.
And I’m too much of an opinionated git to let that happen to all of my brilliance.
So, again, welcome, and many happy returns.