What would you do if you woke up this morning, in a forgotten realm, in the body of an elf fighter-wizard, and with the skills of a samurai, the charisma of a prince and the intelligence of a sage? If you were a purest Dungeons and Dragons expert like 23-year-old Whitney White, you’d probably know exactly what to do.
White and more than 15 Cove residents faced such a reality Saturday at the Copperas Cove Public Library’s first-ever gaming session.
“Anything you can do or think of in real life, you can do that and better in the ADD 3.5 edition,” said White, referring to the third edition of the Dungeon and Dragons tabletop game. “I’ve been playing since I was 6, and I’m excited that the library is hosting this.”
First released in 1974, Dungeons and Dragons is a fantasy, role-playing and improvisational game based on “The Lord of the Rings” comics. More than 20 million fans play yearly, and according to gamers, they love it because it’s interactive — you determine the personality, ability score and universe your characters live in, and the challenges they face. But there’s more to the game.
“It challenges your creativity and it’s about story-telling,” said Chris Thomas, a former Navy service member who now resides in Cove. “As a writer, it gives me the chance to narrate tales. My kids play it, too, because it’s a great learning tool for arithmetic.”
For gaming fans Michael Borges and best friend Stephens Tibbens, it’s all about the Yu-Gi-Oh! anime-turned-card game they’ve been playing since elementary school.
“It’s all about strategy and analytical thinking if you want to win,” said Tibbens, who celebrates his 23rd birthday this week. “I’m glad they have gaming here now. Hopefully, we can get more people involved and create groups.”
That’s the plan according to Kevin Marsh, Copperas Cove library director and gaming fan. Another gaming session is tentatively set for March.
“The objective here is to have a common place for gamers to gather and share and socialize,” he said. “I’ve been playing since 1979, and I can tell you it makes for a lot of fun. It’s creative, tactical and, most of all, it creates a sense of community.”