So I’ve been away from the literary loop lately. I got bummed, burned out, bored. Maybe I just wanted to be away from the madness and politics and the entire fucking system for a while and find time to just be “myself” again — whatever that means. I shared my situation with people close to me recently, told them I hit another wall. I’ve been thinking about just closing things which don’t work anymore. The organization’s end is nigh, as the the age of democratized literature just made the group irrelevant (it’s the zeitgeist which I have to respect; ALA is no longer needed). Even our group outside campus has somehow slowly dissipated, everyone went to their separate ways. Sad but true, but listen: I’m not angry. Not angry at all.
But hey, I’m still here, looking for ways to get myself busy. Just last year I started playing Magic: the Gathering again. I also taught my wife how to play and now she’s an active deck brewer. We’ve already participated in local tournaments, and even organized just a handful since last year.
I have a love-hate relationship with this game. I love it as much as I hate some parts of it (most of which are related to finance and other uncontrollable factors). But I gotta admit the game had a big impact on me as I was growing up.
I remember the time, back when I visited my sister in Manila, when she showed me this handout featuring photocopied pictures of cards (it was in the late 90s) from her class in which some of her classmates had a “show-and-tell,” picking MtG as the subject. Despite the low quality, the pictures got me intrigued. Instead of getting intimidated by the jargons and numbers, I got pulled in. Maybe it was the campy feel, maybe it was the cheese, maybe it was so one-of-a-kind feel that got me saying I wanted it. I wanted it so, so bad.
In December of that same year my sister got me my first started deck (it was Ice Age). Holy shit.
I saw the game “grow up.” I saw communities grow and die and grow again around the game. The card rules have been simplified and streamlined, and its mythology/lore-design have become more complex and welcoming. The art direction is now sensitive to cultures and groups, getting more fans coming from smaller, specific subcultures. Perhaps I can write about it later.
Aside from MtG I’m also into other tabletop gaming these days. I love low-tech gaming. I love exercising personal imaginations. I like messing with constraints. Though I may be in some weird hiatus from writing, I have actually been active in crafting lore via Dungeons and Dragons. I’m the group’s Dungeon Master, and we’re currently eight episodes deep into our campaign. So far the player turnout has been great, and the players have been very committed with the characters they’ve created.