The more things change, the more things stay the same. Yes, many intelligent, highly imaginative and creative people, whom for the sake of this discussion we shall call “nerds”, gravitate toward role-playing games. Dungeons & Dragons, Palladium, Deadlands, Vampyre, Werewolf, for a few examples, though there are many, many others. Also, for the sake of this argument, I will admit to being among this select minority. But let me tell you, there is a price to be paid for admitting this in public. It’s one thing to pretend you’re an elf wizard while in the safe confines of your mother’s basement, it’s quite another to put it all on display for the playground to see.

For the playground is a vicious, vicious place.

And no matter how old you get, playground rules still apply.

You see, as I found out this weekend, there are nerds, there are uber-nerds, and then there’s me and Brian Keene.

You see, we took the opportunity of WHC 2005 to play nerd card game, Magic: The Gathering aka Magic: The Addiction for true initiates. Brian, oh so high and mighty famous horror author, had been talking trash on Matt Schwartz’s messageboard, he barely beat me in the games he won, but when I won, he knew his ass had been kicked.

Now before you judge us too quickly, realized that there are few men-cum-nerds fit enough to breathe the rarified air of post-uber-nerdom. The aforementioned Matt Schwartz is fit for such air. It’s one thing for author Wrath James White to say “I have to quit watching before I kick both of your asses,” but when the nerds who WRITE role-playing games threaten to beat us up and take our lunch money, that’s when you realize where you stand in the nerd hierarchy.

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Comment on this bit of rantus interruptus anyway you want (I don’t know where you’re reading it from) or just do so at my message board.