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Old 29-08-2008   #1
The Creator
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Michal's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Montreal
Posts: 2,315
PSN ID: popiul99
PAX 2008: Live Keynote Blog

I?m sitting at the front row, stage right, watching trailers and teasers while everyone waits in anticipation for the first main event. We are recording this live in 1080i HD video. Ken Levine enters the stage to applause and country music. He?s feeling pretty F*ck?n good about himself having just finished a little game. He?s telling a tale about him going out to pick up a video game "hey loser, what are you looking at? Gay porn" in reference to the Rome Total War cover. This instantly brings him back to being a dorky kid in the 7th grade.

Let?s just say that when his parents "rolled up his character" they averaged about a 12 in the usual stats. Social? Not so much, but zits and arm punches were a regular thing in 1977. Others have gotten to "second base" and he?s reading The Amazing Spider Man, the pinnacle of his awesomeness. Comics were the geeky gateway drug and loved how it allowed a kid to dip his toe into understanding the adult world and perhaps be a step ahead or more sophisticated, except when it comes to girls. Images of Farrah Fawcett, Cheryl Tiegs stirred the loins of classmates, but Ken just wanted to "f*ck the Scarlet Witch".

<Editor?s note: Images of various comics, words, and charts are on screen to the left and right of stage; think of it as a powerpoint presentation for geeks>

1977 didn?t have an independant news source for nerds, no Wired magazine, no podcast or blog that let this 12yr old kid know Logan?s Run series was cancelled.

[Update 1]
Shortly after Ken describes getting an Atari 2600 and it changing him. But then he found something even more changing 2 years later.

Editor note : This is hilarious

That night he brough home, ever so shamefully, D&D 1.0.

He was a stealth nerd. He was embarressed to enjoy his gaming goods. He wanted to be a jock, not a geek. He tried to drop Battlestar and tried to hang out with the cool kids.

This didn?t last, he had to break it off. He decided to accept his life sentence in nerd siberia starting high school (man he looks like a geek in his school picture)

[Update 2]
Ken describes his bus riding experience, weggies and all. He tried to stay out of the front row, the biggest geeks. Then one day he heard some strange sounds. He eventually made it out. Talks of Owl Bears, Saving Throws, and other D&D stuff. They weren?t just talking about D&D, they were talking about "Advanced" D&D. He wanted to tell them to shut up. They continued on about stuff like double classing and other intricacies of AD&D.

After about 20 minutes he gotup the nerve to approach them. To his great surprise, it wasn?t a trap, he had been accepted into a D&D. He got so into the conversation with them he missed his stop by 3 Miles.

Nothing he saw before could prepare him for what he found there, kids actually having fun playing D&D. "Darth Vader" stood up and walked over to him stearing at him. He didn?t know what to do next "but when the dark lord of the sith offers you a high five, you give a high five back".

The module was right out of Dragon Magazine and he was given a choice between a fighter and a paladin.

3 weeks later he was best friends with a kid from the game watching Dr. Who and playing Atari.

At first the games and scifi were the reason they got together. After a couple years it was more an excuse to get together.

By 1983, things had changed. There were suddenly new faces at the table. Female faces.

[Update 3]
He lets in on a little secret, once your D&D members start handing out phat loot to girls, "the days of your D&D group are f*cking numbered"

Now instead of games every weekend or scifi movies, the group splintered and devolved into family gatherings, picnics, and other "betrayal" events.

Over time, he realized that no, they were just ahead of the game. College was the warning shot and showed them the future.

"When they tried to put gaming into Lotus 123 spreadsheet of adult life, it returned a f*cking error"

So, as his group broke down, he ended up in, yes, "Drama Club". After a brief flurtation with stage presence, he decided, maybe writing was more his side.

By the end of freshman year he was rolling joints instead of D20. And he didn?t need a diplomacy check to get a girl.

He was pitching around an ultra violent vampire movie and they blew him off.

He is discussing Paramount?s plans for a Romantic commedy that they hired him for. Laughing but off at description of how he got the job.
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