2021 Retrospective: Gaming

Note: This is part 3 of 3. Part 1 covered my sales numbers for the year, while part 2 discussed my achievements this year as a designer/publisher.

My goal for 2021 was, after almost a year of pandemic life, to game more. Have I achieved that? Not really. I’ve continued to find getting into online games a challenge, primarily with regards the mental effort involved in arranging and setting up games. I miss the ease of a regular group that meets week in, week out.

That said I did manage to get in more games than I’d originally thought I had, though most of them were one-shots. What did that include?

  • Paris Gondo (player, one shot) – as part of GenCon online
  • Project Cassandra (GM, one shots) – in person at Dragonmeet
  • The Cthulhu Hack (GM, one shot) – as part of BurritoCon online
  • Alien (player, one shot) – as part of BurritoCon online
  • Alien: The Colony (player, campaign) – A drop in/out West Marches style campaign run by The Effekt podcast
  • Aftermath Tenerife (player, ongoing campaign) – A new mini-campaign in GURPS spread that will be continuing into 2022
  • Folk, Form, Phenomenon (player, one shot) – in person at Dragonmeet, probably my only “miss” of the year.

It may not be the hundreds of hours that many people have posted about but having felt like I struggled most of the year with engaging in actual gaming I am, in retrospect, relatively happy with that list. It also doesn’t cover the sheer number of games that I read during the course of 2021. That is certainly something I want to continue doing this year. While I know a lot of people don’t get much from it I really enjoy just sitting down with a rule book and going through it, learning the system or engaging with the world-building. It also means that even if I don’t bring a game to the table I can say I have gotten something out of it that makes the purchase worthwhile.

So what about 2022? Any goals? Well first off more in-person gaming, which of course is highly dependent on Covid. I was fortunate enough to get to Dragonmeet at the start of December, just prior to Omicron beginning its sweep, and it was really invigorating. While it was a risk to travel to London it felt like an acceptable one, especially as I work almost exclusively from home and could minimise contact prior and post-convention. Getting to actually engage with people again was an extremely positive experience and fingers crossed I’ll be able to do it again this year, ideally with Expo and Dragonmeet. There was also the announcement that the Tabletop Gaming Live convention was relocating from London to Manchester so I expect to make the trip to that as well if possible.

As for other plans at the moment I’m going to keep it to a vague “game more” as I know that anything more specific is lining myself up for failure. I’ve got a number of games that I would like to try running or playing, top of the current list are Tachyon Squadron, Scum & Villainy, and L5R 5e. That’s just off the top of my head though and there are plenty of others that I could add to the list.

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