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Title: Student share gaming pastime

Source: Indiana Statesman, February 7th, 2010

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Student share gaming pastime

By Kaiulani Anderson-Ligget

Published: Sunday, February 7, 2010

Updated: Sunday, February 7, 2010

Kayla Graham, a junior theater and English teaching major, started gaming three years ago because of her fiancÚ, Adam Goetz. Her first Valentine’s Day present from him was the Burning Crusade expansion for World of Warcraft.

Goetz was also instrumental in Graham playing Dungeons & Dragons, and while he was away in Iraq during her sophomore year, she started a game here on campus, which ultimately lead to her to joining the Roleplayer’s Guild, an ISU student organization.

Gaming can bring people together.

For Preston Dildine, a sophomore theater major, this was the reason he got into gaming because it brings people together.

“I became a gamer, I guess, through Kayla’s asking me to join her Dungeons & Dragons crusade so that she’d have a full group,” he said.

Jordan Dant, a junior math and economics major, became interested in gaming through a friend.

“I became a gamer because a friend of mine said he had some books for Dungeons & Dragons, and I said that I wanted to learn to play,” Dant said. “So we spent the whole summer playing Dungeons & Dragons.”

For these gamers, they all have a game of choice.

Graham said her favorite game is “Dungeons and Dragons, but that might change soon.”

She is also “just getting into an RPG called Deadlands, which is essentially a spaghetti-western-themed game.”

Dildine said that his favorite is Dungeons & Dragons, since it is really the only game he has played, but “I’ve been slowly learning Magic: The Gathering, and I’m kind of liking that one, too.”

Dant said right now his game of choice is a game he is making on his own, “blending Dungeons and Dragons, World of Darkness and themes from many other cartoons, anime, role playing games and comics.”

Graham said the reactions to her gaming from her friends were not all that weird.

“Most of my friends are actually gamers,” she said. “I’m one of the very few serious role-players that I know, though, so it’s a little funny getting involved in this sort of culture that stereotypically wouldn’t know what to do with a girl if she fell in their laps. I’ve had several people assume that I’m not a good gamer because I’m a girl, which is fine. It is really a male-dominated sort of pastime.”

Dildine said his mother didn’t mind his gaming.

Dildine said his mother was one of those mom who “wants to be cool,” who likes the fact that he is finding other things to enjoy.

With Graham’s family, it was a different story.

“My family thinks I’m pretty weird, despite the fact that I was raised on Star Trek, and I still play my Sega Genesis that I got when I was seven years old,” she said. “My mom has this weird idea that playing Dungeons & Dragons is synonymous with worshiping Satan and thinks that Gary Gygax [a co-creator of Dungeons & Dragons]  is sending me subliminal anti-Christian messages while I roll my dice and deal damage to goblins and whatnot.”

While Graham’s mom is weary of her gaming, the rest of her family does not care.

“My dad and my sisters still can’t get past the stereotype about gamers that was fed to us all by Hollywood,” she said. “However, with the exception of my mom, they really don’t have a problem with it, but they’re not really involved in any way. To them, my gaming is about as separate from them as what kind of shampoo I use and how I like my tea.”

Graham said there isn’t much of a reason as to why she games, beyond “it’s fun.”

“It’s a good way to spend time with some friends and joke around and create a story together,” she said. “As a writer, it’s great to share my own creativity with others and get to interact with their creative output. If you find the right group, the experience really is something very special.” 
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