It’s been almost two months since I wrote an article now, and frankly, I wish this didn’t have to be it.
Yesterday, I was sitting at my PC, watching CNN and relaying emails to my wife at her office, which didn’t have a radio or TV but desperately wanted to know what was going on. The emails I typed were unreal:
“There’s a large fire at the Pentagon, and two planes have hit the World Trade Center. The White House has been evacuated. Hmm, me thinks terrorist attack? There’s also a report of a fire at the mall at Washington. What the hell?”
“Trading suspended at the NYSE. All bridges and tunnels into and out of New York have been closed. Air travel is shut down across the country.”
“The smoke has cleared up; the second tower is utterly gone, wiped from the skyline. People are jumping from the windows of the first tower. I feel sick.”
“Oh my God, the first tower just collapsed, too. Live on television. They’re all gone.”
“Martians have invaded Grover’s Mill, New Jersey.”
At least that’s what it felt like. It felt unreal; I could only grab it in parts. I used to live in New York, and I would manage to understand that the towers I used to grab a hot dog at and sit at the Borders were gone, when suddenly I’d try to also engulf the fact that two planes, full of screaming people, were piloted into those buildings… And suddenly it was gone. I couldn’t grasp it. Cloaked in a little cocoon of unreality, I watched the news all day with my wife, who came home when her office building was evacuated.
No, I lie.
We took a break for three hours to scrape together a small roleplaying crowd and smashed out a game in Planescape, the best roleplaying setting ever created. The game was absurd, and involved everyone concerned doing battle with a large plush couch which had come to life* and was defending its territory. It made us laugh. It gave us something else to do.
And the couch almost killed them, which was even funnier.
Thank God for games.
I’m opening up StarCity for one day for the opinions which have come in overnight, in the hope that it centers people and helps them to cope with the tremendous sense of loss that most people are going to feel… But that’s for one day only. StarCity isn’t a political site. It isn’t some staging ground for everyone to exhort people to rally behind the President**, or to remind us to not believe the hype about those nasty Islamics, or whatever else may come along. Today is it. If you don’t feel your view has been represented, I’m sorry… But take it elsewhere. I’m not going to accept anything else on the disaster, because this isn’t the place for it.
The value of games is that they give us something else to do. It’s an escape. StarCity is about Magic; it’s about putting the cards together and playing them. It’s about strategy. It’s about the love of the game and the community which brings us all together.
Turning this site into a political debate would only mean that the bastards have won. And that’s not gonna happen on my watch.
* – Not entirely goofy. For those of you who are familiar with the setting, a rip to the Positive Material Plane had opened up and was doing very bad things in the area; animating furniture was the least of it. But still, watching Gini and Jeff screaming,”Get the couch! Get the couch!” was hysterical.
** – To be fair, what we got early was a bit right-wing, but that is to be expected. Interestingly enough, two of ’em are from Canadians.