Back in my early college days, when we worries were few, my dorm mates and I gamed a lot.  This was the before time, in the long long ago--shortly before I indulged in the myriad wonders of tetrahydrocannabinol, sex, C20H25N3O and sex.

We gamed like men possessed.  Stuffed into a cramped dorm room, washed in dull flourescent glow, cocooned in a thick haze of smoke, surrounded by empty Coke cans, ash and the ominous symphony of Basil Poledouris.  Geek nirvana.  This tight-knit social conspiracy, this shared group illusion, soon extended into our waking world.  And, like any collective social unit, we adopted our own basic lingo.  Expletives, adjectives, phrases, gaming jargon, character experiences--all were included in this lingo, which now spans about 10 years.  Here is a sample of our gaming terminology.

ren-festy  adj.

applicable to anything which presents a woefully inaccurate, thematically flawed or overly-romantic vision of an earlier time-period (generally ranging in time-period from Elizabethan back to the 12th century).  Derived from the Renaissance Festival phenomenon.  As the years went by we modified our classification and this descriptive to anything which fell within these parameters:

  • whenever lutes and/or flageolets are used as incidental music
  • medieval towns and cities where there isn't a trace of grime
  • all "fantasy" television shows produced by Sam Raimi
  • most high school/community theater Shakespeare productions
  • actors who confuse boisterous kookiness for bawdiness
  • actors flailing their arms about wildly to convey emotion (called, by John Lithgow, "AAAActing!")
  • writers/actors who append "-est" to words and mangle the use of "thee," "thine" and "thou"
  • Characters with American mid-western (non-) accents placed anachronistically among characters with British accents
  • mangled Scottish/Irish/Cockney hybrid accents
  • Indecipherable brogues, burrs, twangs, warbles and drawls (what a gaming friend termed "Pakistani With A Harelip" accents)
  • villains of the cape-whirling, moustache-twiddling variety
  • any physical feat with which "huzzah!" could be shouted by spectators and still seem appropriate
  • the use of a large cooked turkey leg as a dinner prop

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