The Pain’s The Thing

“The thing about these games,” Bronzini said. “They mean so much while you’re playing. All your inventive skills. All your energies. But when you get a little older and stop playing, the games escape the mind completely.”
– Don DeLillo, Underworld
Over on my livejournal I’ve nearly-without-trying organised a Sunday afternoon playing silly kids runaround games session. People seem keen. I am keen. I remember these elements of my kidhood with great fondness. My first ever act of game design was coming up with ‘Monster Tag’, which was a game of tag involving unstoppable monsters rampaging through tunnels as desperate explorers fought them off with pistols and tried to make their escape.
One of my proudest moments ever was coming upon a bunch of kids, only some of whom I knew, and upon asking what they were doing, being told they were playing this game called ‘Monster Tag’. I then had the rules explained to me, the rules of the game I had invented. That felt damn good.
A large part of the appeal of ‘Monster Tag’ was the ritual at the start. The first Monster would stand like a statue and everyone else would take the part of explorers, coming upon this statue in some dank tomb. To deal with its unexpected and ominous appearance, the explorers would then start to heap insults and indignities on the statue. This would continue until the Monster awoke with a roar, and everyone freaked out and fled and the game proper would begin.
If I remember the rules correctly, Monster Tag was basically unplayable. This didn’t stop us from playing the hell out of it for a long time, and I can’t say we ever noticed.
Anyway. The games escape the mind completely. Also, nearly, the body. My back decided it would injure me today, around the right shoulderblade, the muscles tensing up and aching. Ow. I went home and almost didn’t manage the three-minute walk from bus to front door. A couple Ibuprofen knocked it out, and now nine hours later I’m still hurting but it is pretty low-key. If it persists tomorrow I’m off to the emergency room – they may not be able to do anything there, but they’ll at least be able to do nothing quickly.
But dammit I’m gonna be there on Sunday, even if I have to be the cripple.