I've been playing RPGs since I was a teenager.
Once a week or so, I'd sit around a table in somebody's house (usually Niall's - his parents had a big table) with Niall and a group of friends from school and we'd roll dice and wield imaginary swords and spells and generally have a good time.
I left school 40 years ago, but I'm still playing, with the same guys.
For a long time we played in Colm's house - he had a large front room, plenty of space - but he sold the house and moved, and then Covid came along and threw everything into a cocked hat.
Now we're trying to do it online, a fascinating concept. We're using Discord and RollD20 but try as I might, I just can't get it to work properly, no matter what I do, and it's wrecking my head.
I don't do much gaming outside of my social circle, it has to be said. Niall and I go to the occasional convention in Germany where we get to play a variety of tabletop games that we don't encounter here, and generally have a great time. I enjoy the social aspect as much as the game itself; better than spending an evening in the pub (although that can be good as well), and easier on the wallet. But outside of that, I don't have the level of devotion to it that Niall does, so I'm slower to embrace new trends and innovations, like online virtual tabletop, with the inevitable result that I find myself playing catch-up, ruining it for everyone else because they have to help me get up to speed, and come away feeling like an idiot.
Tonight was a case in point. Colin organised an online session in advance, and I made sure I had the software in pace and ready to use. All I had to do was accept the email invite (done) and I'd be in - right?
But no. I got into the game environment, but nothing seemed to be happening. I could see my and the others' avatars on-screen, but everyone's mic seemed to be muted but mine.
Camera and sound both checked out fine, and I could use the in-game chat, but nothing else was working.
Someone dropped a comment that "You have to go into General Settings and click on Voice", but didn't say in which app or where to find the menus. I scoured both Discord and RollD20 for any settings I could find, and indeed seemed to find something, but no luck. Then I was in the wrong channel (or so I was told), but as far as I was concerned I was where I was supposed to be, and in the end I gave up and exited, texting the group that I was having IT issues and I'd catch up next time.
I'm annoyed with myself - I'm an IT professional in my day job, and spend my time fixing other people's problems, so why can't I fix mine?
It's not as though I can't follow a set of instructions - I write how-to guides.
But, self-indulgence aside, I'm annoyed at myself for quitting, for 'taking my ball and going home', so to speak. I used to have more patience than that.
Maybe I'm getting old.
No - it can't be that. I'm not ready to give up yet.
I'll just have to do better...