Sunday, July 03, 2005

[Blog Entry] It’s Game Time!, Dream Hunters

It’s Game Time!

I’ve been an avid gamer all my life. It started out with console games (video games, something as primordial as an Atari game system which only had two buttons, to later graduate to a Super Famicom), then moving up to Collectible Card Games (CCGs), PC games (I just love anything Blizzard comes out with), board games, RPGs (the pen and paper types, where you meet up with friends, roll dice, and have your characters on paper), and anything in between. Unfortunately, I don’t have an unlimited budget, so I can really focus on only one at any one time. Lately, it’s been RPGs. However, the real problem with having campaigns is that it takes up a lot of time. A typical game could last as long as seven hours, or at times even overnights are necessary.

Right now, I’m having three of ‘em in a week. This can be attributed that our former Game Master (GM, the guy who acts as storyteller, judge, and opponent) is here on vacation, and we have until August to make the most out of it. Unfortunately, I can only do two out of three things: sleep, work, and play. Not much sleep these days, much less any reading or writing.

But it also reminds me of how fortunate I am to be with such great guys. I mean our GM brings us home (we live in Pasig, Mandaluyong, and San Juan), even if he lives all the way in Makati. Got home at 4:30 am today, and an interesting sight was the fact that near our village was a car accident. Honestly, that could have been us, and we were far from alert at that time. But thankfully, that wasn’t the case, and I was able to safely arrive home and collapse. The GM had to bring our other companions home.

I honestly love gaming. Unfortunately, duty calls, and as much as I want to be a professional gamer, life doesn’t permit that at the moment.

Dream Hunters

Neil Gaiman will be here in a couple of days and everybody’s hyping about his arrival. It’s times like these that I realize if I’m excited about it, it’s not because I’m that much of a fan, but rather for the sake of my friends. Why else would I be plugging his events, book sales, and the like? Yes, I like Gaiman, but in all honesty, it wouldn’t be the end of my life if I didn’t get the chance to meet him, or have him sign a copy of a graphic novel or book. Life goes on for me. I wouldn’t mind being there, and it’ll probably be memorable, but I’m not that ecstatic over it, nor will I expend every possible resource just to meet and greet him (but apparently, I will do so for my friends though).

Interestingly enough, exactly five years ago, Gaiman came out with Sandman: The Dream Hunters, a collaboration between him and renowned artist Yoshitaka Amano. I liked it so much that I bought several copies, and ended up giving them as gifts at one point or another (there was even an incident when I left a copy at the office and I thought it got burned when the office went down in flames but fortunately it’s with a friend now). Eventually, there was a point in time where I didn’t have a copy of it for myself since some of my friends really wanted a copy for themselves. Strangely enough, friends would also approach me regarding it whenever they wanted a copy as well.

Thankfully, I was able to get a copy of my own in 2002, when CCHQ popped up in Katipunan and were wonderful comic book clerks. When someone would look for a copy of Dream Hunters, I’d refer them to CCHQ (or now, Comic Quest, in which you can place orders as well). I thought that would be the end of it.

Of course now in the Gaiman rush, another friend is asking where he can get a hardcover copy to have Gaiman sign it. Since it’s on such short notice, instantly procuring it is a problem. Well, there’s my personal copy, which I haven’t read in years and is gathering dust on my bookshelf. And my friend is asking if he could buy it.

So I’m pondering the fate of my last copy of Dream Hunters, for history seems to repeat itself. This is what, the 5th hardbound copy of Sandman: Dream Hunters that I’ve bought, obviously going to everyone else but me. It’s not like I’m going to have Gaiman sign it anyway. But honestly, it’s a book that I love, and holds precious memories for me (considering all I went through to procure such a copy).


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