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.

A New York City Minute, Frozen in Time

This wildly inventive short film takes you on a whirling, spinning tour of the Big Apple

Join the Discussion

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

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

A New York City Minute, Frozen in Time

This short film takes you on a whirling tour of the Big Apple

Video

What Happened to the Milky Way?

Light pollution has taken away our ability to see the stars. Can we save the night sky?

Video

The Faces of #BlackLivesMatter

Scenes from a recent protest in New York City

Video

Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Life

The Supreme Court justice talks gender equality and marriage.

Video

The Pentagon's $1.5 Trillion Mistake

The F-35 fighter jet was supposed to do everything. Instead, it can barely do anything.

More in Entertainment

From This Author

Just In