I can still remember the day like it was yesterday – I was in second grade (or at least that sounds right) and my parents told me they had a surprise waiting for me when I got home from school. I walked into our house and they handed me this:
I can honestly say this counts as one of the most exciting times in my life. Sure that sounds corny but I had been hoping and dreaming of Dungeons and Dragons, and now, the day had come.
What followed was years of magic and adventures, amazing quests and bitter defeats, Dungeons and Dragons (or D&D as it’s often called) opened up a whole new world of fun for me. I still look back on that time and reflect on a more simple life, as we all know, as you get older you get more responsibility and well, less time for fighting imaginary monsters in mythic underground dungeons.
While I still get to escape to a world of magic and fantasy a few hours a week when I play a VR game on my Oculus Quest, or a game on my PC, or PS4 or Nintendo Switch…okay yes I still love games…it’s just not like it was.
Then, a few weeks ago, a friend of mine who also runs a software company here in SF told me that he started having team D&D games over Zoom and they were loving it. I asked him, “how the heck are you doing that?” and he told me about a StartPlaying.Games, a site where you can both join D&D and other RPG games or hire a professional DM (Dungeon Master) to run a game for you.
I thought this was a great idea and so before I knew it I had the Advanced Dungeons and Dragons Fifth Edition Players Guide sitting in front of me and I was diving back in.
We used to do quarterly off-sites at Bold Metrics where the team would get together for a few days and just do fun things together. With COVID this hasn’t been possible but I think this is a really creative and fun way to get everyone together and unlocking some of the joy that comes with playing a character on a quest in a magical world.
If you’ve never played Dungeons and Dragons, not to worry, they have some great beginner sessions where they walk through everything. After that, you’d be surprised at the Myriad of games running pretty much all day and night that you can join.
I also found it interesting that the company is branding on a .GAMES domain. I’m seeing this TLD being used in the wild more and more and not surprisingly they also own StartPlayingGames.com which forwards to their primary domain. I do think it’s a good idea to get both the <keyword>.GAMES and the <keyword>games.com just to make sure everyone gets to your site, but I do think as a brand, StartPlaying.Games sounds better than StartPlayingGames.com so I get why they made this their primary domain.
So if you’re finding yourself getting stir crazy at home, you might just want to let your imagination run wild and jump into a game of D&D, trust me, you’re never too old to play.