The End of Games




Here's another Ask Anything segment from over at Andrew Sullivan's place. The questions was whether I still play D&D. Sadly, I don't and perhaps more sadly, I'm finding that I don't really participate in any of the great literary influences of my youth. Hip-hop, comic books, gaming (both table-top and computer) have all been gradually left behind. "Left behind" is too strong a phrase. They're still with me in spirit, and each of these things exerts a heavy influence over my writing. But I am increasingly a non-participant.


Part of the issue is that is that I've found it really tough to age up with each of these. I can't keep debating women in comics, or women in hip-hop, or women in WoW. (Sensing a trend here.) As I've gotten older the hours in my day seem to have shrunk. I just don't have the energy to fight.

Or rather I don't have the energy to fight on that front. Writing has, increasingly, taken up residence in the space where I used to put fandom. Even nonfiction writing, for me, requires an act of imagination because I am always thinking of ways to afflict the reader with some of what I feel. I'm not simply trying to afflict him/her logically, but also emotionally. The writing must emote. To do that I employ the same imagination I once put into the nasty poison-spewing green dragon (or was she blue? red?) from the Isle of Dread, and redirect to (attempted) acts of literature. Regrettably that means less time for Isle of Dread.

Nevertheless, I miss Tucker's Kobolds.

Presented by

Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

The Blacksmith: A Short Film About Art Forged From Metal

"I'm exploiting the maximum of what you can ask a piece of metal to do."

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Riding Unicycles in a Cave

"If you fall down and break your leg, there's no way out."

Video

Carrot: A Pitch-Perfect Satire of Tech

"It's not just a vegetable. It's what a vegetable should be."

Video

An Ingenious 360-Degree Time-Lapse

Watch the world become a cartoonishly small playground

Video

The Benefits of Living Alone on a Mountain

"You really have to love solitary time by yourself."

Video

The Rise of the Cat Tattoo

How a Brooklyn tattoo artist popularized the "cattoo"

More in Entertainment

From This Author

Just In