Good Evening, All:
Back in the day, when I began gaming, my gaming group was fairly large. Not only did we game together, but we hung out and spent time together as friends. We went to the movies. We ate out, or did a huge potluck thing, and spent time hanging out doing things besides gaming. Most of us were involved in a soft-weapon combat society called Amtgard, a kind of padded weapon live-action D&D system. Aside from the weekly battlegames, we went camping at events, feasting in garb, and drumming at revels late into the night. We were there for one another's weddings, our divorces and even the occasional funeral. We were like a household or clan, an order or club, a brotherhood or gang. We were like family, and it was great!
Many years have passed, and now we have fuller lives. We are married, we have kids, we have lives outside the game. We've moved on from our surrogate family. Now, the gamers in my gaming group rarely do anything outside of the regular gaming session. We aren't that close. (Well, a few of them are fortunately old friends from that time period, and I am close to them, but we don't do many of the things we used to.) I imagine it's a product of growing older, of newer responsibilities replacing older ones, of lives that change and thus circumstances that shape our lives. I wouldn't change my life for anything. Still, I miss the old days sometimes, and wonder if it's possible to capture some of that, to redevelop some of it and maintain that sense of community after so much has passed.
With that in mind, I ask my readers: what kind of relationship do you have with the gamers in your group? What kind of things do you do with them away from the gaming table, if anything? What kind of relationship do you think you should have with them?