Hey, hey, I’m back from Monpoc 2010 in beautiful Tulsa, Oklahoma. Wow. What a blast. Really, it might be hard to imagine, for all you non-gamer, non-kaiju fans, to understand, but it was a fantastic weekend of fun, gaming, and grown men reproducing flawless imitations of giant monster battle cries. Or maybe that last one was just me. Regardless, it was awesome.
I’d like to give a heap of credit to Covenent Games (http://teamcovenant.com/) who created a great experience. And, of course, we can’t forget Privateer Press (http://privateerpress.com/) who created the Monsterpocalypse game and even sent a ton of great prizes and a couple of friendly enthusiastic representatives that made the game that much more fun.
I love Monsterpocalypse, and Moncon only made me realize how great a game it is. I chose the Terrasaur faction with Pteradax, the great flying reptile, as my monster. I didn’t do very good. My record was 1-4, but I had some close matches and with all I learned, I believe I would’ve finished much better. Or maybe not. Either way, it was a fun time.
My spoils were a signed Monsterpocalypse poster, a Mega Pteradax figure, and a certificate for being the highest ranking Terrasaur faction. True, there weren’t any other Terrasaur players (or their might have been one other, but if so, he left before the closing ceremonies). It still counts, and I look forward to many years of reflecting on my victory through my iconoclastic nature.
Have I mentioned I play games, and how much I enjoy them? I really do. And it’s not just because games are fun, especially games featuring a kaiju-based theme. It’s because they help me reflect on life in general. You can learn a lot about life while playing a game.
The big lesson (and the one I think everyone should learn) is that life is unpredictable, and that your intentions and design, no matter how meticulously crafted, rarely work out the way you expect. The most skilled players in the Monsterpocalypse tournament seemed always to be the ones that were the most flexible, the most devoted to playing in the moment rather than plotting and strategizing before the game began. I noticed that I always did better when I was less focused on a particular outcome and more on exploiting the opportunities that presented themselves.
In a way, it’s exactly how I have gotten to this point in my career. I wanted to be a novelologist, but I didn’t focus on anything too specific. I just wanted to get paid to write, and while it took a while to happen, I just focused on writing, submitting, and seeking opportunities. When those opportunities came around, I was ready for them. But if I’d been looking for specific opportunities, if I’d assumed there was a very straight path to publication, then I could’ve missed my shot.
And, of course, games, just like life, are unpredictable in their outcome. The one Monsterpocalypse match I did win was a last second hail Mary pass that came literally during the last turn of the game. With one desperate, calculated gamble, I was able to score a victory. It wasn’t even planned. I just saw the opportunity and took it.
Meanwhile, in my own life, I have a lot of things I never imagined. I have a great group of cool friends, a wonderful fiance, a growing novelology career, and I’m even getting involved a bit in some Hollywood stuff that, frankly, still surprises me. If my life were a game, I definitely feel like I’m winning it, but I can’t say it’s because of some brilliant master plan. It’s just luck, readiness, flexibility, and more luck.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to find a place to hang my Friend of Gaia certificate. I’m thinking above my bed, next to my Alex Award. Truly, I am a Terran of many accomplishments.
Fighting the good fight, Writing the good write,