Adults Can Pretend Too

or How to retain your childhood imagination.

Unknown Artist, Let me know and I will give you credit.

See this girl? Yeah, that one in the picture. She is my alter ego. Her name is Charlotte. She is tough and innocent, soft and fearless. She is everything I am not in real life. To me, to my imagination she is real.

Do you remember what it was like to say to your friends, “Let’s pretend…” I hear my kids say to each other, “Hey let’s role play…” Same thing. They are using their imagination to create personas, environments, and worlds. They make up rules and story lines. Imaginative play can include elaborate make-believe scenarios, with extended story lines and lots of character acting. In other words, just about as much fun as a little person can have.

Remember that? Here let me help you….I’ll be the pirate….arrgh! You are a princess and there might be a dragon….Oh, I can be the mom and see him…He can be the mailman….

What if I told you that you can still do that?

It is called, table top RPG gaming.

I have discovered a new species of human. This species is skillful in creating its own environments due to its unlimited imaginations. This life form is social in the environments it has created with rules and guidelines. Others join the creator in this world and add their own elements to the creativity. A social creation of life, as it were. This being is also very talented at bantering within the social group. They use various dice, books, and other tools to create the world they operate in with cunning and problem-solving. This creature is called a Gamer.

Gamers create within rules of the game designer, characters that are as well thought out as any character in a novel or movie script. They roll dice to decide different actions. The dice are not normal with dots on each side. They are triangles, diamonds and squares with numbers, symbols and dots.

These gamers are a different breed of storyteller. They spin tales as they maneuver in the environment that they designed. They are in a sense writers. I am amazed at all the aspects of the games that they have to remember. I see some note taking and consulting of manuals, but for the most part they have to keep in their head what is happening on many levels.

Essentially they are pretending, as adults, for fun.

I would be willing to bet that when these imaginative people get older the incidences of dementia and Alzheimer’s would be less than average in their group. I might just have found my next research project.

Any time you can hold on to your childhood wonder, do it!

Why should we be “on” as adults all the time. Let go, have some fun. Pretend!

~Lori O’Gara

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