When I was a kid, during those brief periods when the UK was privileged to experience interludes of illuminating sunshine often referred to as summer, I would lay in the back garden gazing at the crystal blue sky above, imagining that I was stranded on a palatial island in the sky like Laputa and that the sky above was in fact the ocean, cresting towards some far-flung land mass with rhythmic tranquillity. Airplanes were boats skirting across the great blue surface, leaving elegant crests of rippling water streaking across its deep oceanic beauty, like delicate brush strokes on a work of art. The turquoise covered tranquillity seemed to leer down on me with contempt, gleaming with restitutitive properties that aches to be disturbed, wishing that I could dive into its crisp nurturing fluidity. Surveying its pristine expanse for minutes felt like hours, hoping that gravities enduring grasp would relinquish, allowing me to fall into its watery embrace. It’s reviting to think what imagery the young mind is capable of cunjuring. At that age you’re a visionary, with a unique perception of the world that no adult could possibly understand. Insulated against the tyrony of oppressive society that revokes the fertile musings of a child’s aspirations. We covet the obscure, the absurd and the irrational, because they can’t be rationalised. And it’s these capricious sentiments of youth that help craft Rpgs, particularly ones affiliated with fantasy.
The notion of magic, goblins, swords and sorcerers is profoundly whimsical and a distinct component of the juvenile mind. Rpg’s are an extension of that, the yearning for wondrous worlds beyond our own. You embark on imperious adventures as some spirited youth, battling indistinct foes and endeavouring to preserve the safety of some rural village, occupied by vulnerable elves that live a life of passive tolerance towards the aggressive regime of the kingdoms military. These kinds of simple affairs of good and evil evoke so many memories of being a doe eyed kid. Walks to school as a child would be considered an arduous hike by my own mature perspective, but for a kid that 30 minute walk becomes a 30 minute adventure. Suddenly your laboured pace escalates, the mundane journey is now filled with perilous danger as you battle hordes of goblins to defend the rustic village of elves. And all of this is achieved before you’ve even begun the first lesson of the day.
I believe, whether subconsciously or not, that the way we as children perceive the world around us has an abiding influence on adulthood, that nurtures the enduring affinity for spurious realities. Rpg’s embrace that infantile creativity by flaunting the ambitious rigor of dissimilation. Constructing fertile environments where make believe has an extensive mythology rooted in the profound influences we experienced growing up. Creativity is bred from the boundless imagination of youth. Inspiration is carved from the raw potential and purity of that same abstract curiosity. Without the unyielding potential of one’s creativity most fantasy inspired worlds would be tedious imitations of our own. And who wants that?
Perhaps one day gravity will relinquish its persistent grasp that confines me to the earth and send me hurtling towards the ocean above. Someday……