Game night with the guys, as the title says, has been my lifeline for the entirety of the pandemic and beyond. It started as an in-person meetup for tabletop RPGs, but when Covid-19 locked us all up in 2020, that said game night was put in peril. Thanks to modern tools for remote gaming, we were able to continue game night with the guys. It’s still going strong to this day, and is stronger than when we started.
Tabletop RPGs like Dungeons & Dragons and Pathfinder (the latter being my TTRPG of choice) are great when you can meet up and play in person, but as my friends and I have become parents, homeowners, and adults with increasing responsibilities, the time available for in-person gaming has dwindled. There’s kids’ bedtimes to consider, time with spouses, pets to care for, and most of all the energy required to commute to the house of the game’s host. As we got older, our responsibilities increased as our energy dwindled, and in-person game nights began to suffer from increased cancellations.
If there’s one good thing to have come out of the pandemic, it’s that we realized how much easier it is to play remotely. Without the need to travel and the option to game in our pajamas (which I do every single game night), game night not only became easier to schedule, but more comfortable. We can start immediately and play later. It’s not the ideal situation we thought we’d have, but it’s become the situation we needed.
Not to mention the storytelling aspect of TTRPGs. The chance to connect with my best friends and create narratives that compelled and interested us was a vital lifeline in the early depths of the pandemic. Cut off from all social interaction and outside inspiration, game night with the guys also became an important creative outlet for me. I was starving for new experiences, and crafting stories about rebellions and wizards and political intrigue became the emergency rations for my starving imagination.
Even now that it’s (arguably) safer to meet in person and play, we still opt to play remotely. It’s comfortable, it’s reliable, and we can play in our pajamas instead of getting dressed and driving however-long to someone’s house. My imagination is stimulated, my connection to my best friends is maintained, and best of all I can do it all in my cozy slippers.