I was building a fire last week to do some back yard cooking, and as I was poking up the coals, the smell of the smoke brought back to mind a certain experience of D&D.
They say that sense memories associated with smell are the most powerful and long lasting. So, I thought I'd ask you guys what sort of things have associations with gaming in your minds. What triggers memories, or gaming related thoughts for you?
The reason that wood smoke makes me think of gaming is that we played alot of D&D at summer camp in Boy Scouts. Yeah, I was a scout. It was some of the most enjoyable time in my life. There isn't anywhere that I'm more at ease than in the woods. Science Fiction conventions and Renn faires are close though. Heh...
I know scouting is quite unfashionable and un-PC now. Anytime I run into a discussion of it online, it takes an awful bashing. That all goes right over my head I'm afraid. My experience of scouting has no connection to what everyone wants to attack it for today. Like my view of old guard gaming vs the popular view of same I suppose.
Anyway, at camp we had those big canvas wall tents with the wood frames that open at each end. What we did was set up our tents in a five pointed star shape, with the inside corners touching, and then cover the open center with a big dining fly. We supported the center like a big top with a pole cut on site. This gave us a very big indoor space for gaming.
Now I never experienced any flack for playing D&D as a kid. Our scoutmaster didn't care a whit. We may not have been your average scout troop though. At least, what we did as scouts doesn't seem to have much in common with what the internet thinks scouts do.
We dragged a stereo and several car batteries with us so we could blast AC/DC and Black Sabbath in camp. We brought coolers loaded with Cokes, candy bars and chips to sell to the other troops at usurious rates. Black Elk speaks, Tom Brown's woodscraft books and the teachings of Don Juan were passed around at night and were just as esteemed as the DMG and the Scout field manual.
During the day we'd go tromping around in the woods and do scout stuff, and at night we'd game until we passed out. It was D&D camp as much as it was scout camp.
Hmmm, I bet I could get some takers for an adult D&D camp now. What would you guys think of two weeks with nothing but gaming and camp cooking without distractions?
That's a mostly rhetorical question. I can't swing the time myself. It's a nice idea though.
So, what apparently non-gaming related thing makes you think of gaming?