What Was Your Greatest Sacrifice For Gaming?

Gaming, whether board, role-playing or miniatures, requires a significant commitment. This commitment is often money or time, but sometimes you have to sacrifice something else for your hobby. Dates with with significant others, family responsibilities and the occasional job all suffer so that gamers might enjoy their hobby. Now is the time to prove you are a true gamer and share your tales of sacrifice so that the game might go on! I will begin.

My tale of sacrifice is a bit unusual, but the repercussions haunt me to this very day. At the tender age of 19 I drove 80 miles to the closest college campus for my first gaming convention. Growing up in a cultural backwater limited my gaming activities to a small group, so a gaming convention was the Holy Grail of gaming. Nothing would stop this trip. Nothing.

Of course, I developed a minor cold the morning we left. Just a sore throat and a runny nose. Ha! No mere virus will stop me. Steeling myself, I trundled off to the convention and got in an early round of “Paranoia.” By the end of the round it was clear that my virus decided to party in my vocal cords. It was still very minor laryngitis and I pressed on. I chose my next game and it all went horribly wrong.


“Diplomacy” is a diceless game of negotiation. You have to talk to the other players and the games tend to run long. Very long.

12 hours pass…

Hour after hour I negotiated with my erstwhile allies for the great glory of the Russian Empire. With each hour, my voice faded a bit more until hour 11 when I re-invented sign-language to convey my plans of empire. If you stab your finger on the “Gulf of Bothnia” hard enough, people get the idea you want to invade. I got through the game. I lost, but I got through it.

The game ended around midnight and I crashed on some floor space. The next day I awoke feeling pretty good. Save for being unable to say a single syllable. Absolutely nothing came out but breathy gasps and searing pain in my throat. Apparently my vocal cords decided to strike due to managerial abuse. Duly chastised, I gave them a break for a few days and my voice returned.

My vocal cords came home from the war, but they were forever changed. Literally. I now had a deeper, rasping voice that implied years of cigars and whiskey. That was 20 years ago and my voice never recovered.

A deeper voice does not impeded my life in the slightest, but occasionally I remember why I sound the way I do. I have my voice today because I chose to ignore the pain and keep playing the game. Foolish? Probably. Fun? Definitely.

Trask, The Last Tyromancer



Trask is a long-time gamer, world traveler and history buff. He hopes that his scribblings will both inform and advance gaming as a hobby.

2 thoughts on “What Was Your Greatest Sacrifice For Gaming?

  • May 2, 2010 at 7:06 pm

    That’s badass.

    I’ve missed class to go to conventions and procrastinated on homework to prep or game. That’s about it, though.

  • May 2, 2010 at 11:05 pm

    I once broke up with a chick I was dating back in Highschool just so I could go play Shadowrun with the guys. I kept telling her what my plans were, and that if she wanted to hang out we could during the day. 20 min til game time she called me up asking what we were doing that night, and I replied “I’m gaming. You’re more than welcome to come with, otherwise I’ll see ya tomorrow.”

    She started crying over the phone, and I simply said “Alright. I don’t think we’re going to work.” We broke up for a few months, but then we got back together and she finally caved in to gaming. We would break up again later, but we’re still friends and nerds alike.

    The good news is after that, I’ve been upfront about my hobbies with any chick I dated or had an interest in. Converted many girls into gamers, even if we didn’t go anywhere. Then I finally met a gal who wasn’t just cool with it, her collection was as big as mine. It’s good to hold out.

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