OWCH! 80s Nerd Escapes Self-Imposed Seclusion: Finds D&D Gone MAINSTREAM!

Wealthy 80s nerd accidentally emerges from self-imposed seclusion only to discover that D&D is cool now

Walter Sebastian Wasp Rogers IV suffered an embarrassing episode early in his junior year of high school involving a wooden chair, a lot of chicken, and a rather stubborn door.

Unwilling to cope with the crushing consequences of two full school days of teasing, he locked himself in the basement of his parents’ mansion, purchased with proceeds from his mother’s pet rock clothing line, and refused to come out for ten full years. And only then because he had to meet with lawyers to discuss the details of his inheritance, from the aforementioned pet rock clothing line. After signing some papers which helped to make those lawyers rich, but not luxury yacht rich, he promptly returned to the basement, which housed his extensive collection of arcade games as well as several hundred limited edition Atari consoles.

However, having discovered that he rather liked the first floor of the mansion due to the abnormally high concentration of hot tubs, he ordered that the windows always be kept closed so he could have an occasional change of scenery without having to interact with the outside world. He was rudely awakened from this decades long nostalgic stupor by the insistent whomp-whomp of an Amazon drone crash-landing through a window that a newly hired but apparently poorly trained servant accidentally left open. An eagle eyed neighborhood child with a supersoaker and Olympic tier aim downed the drone as it passed by his lawn with an Apple Watch (readily identifiable by those in the know due to its package dimensions) in its spidery clutches.

The child, who was white, obviously, already possessed two such watches but desired a third with which to do violent experiments for his YouTube channel. In any case, Walter found the sputtering drone, marveled at its construction, and broke every single one of its propellers through vigorous poking.

When he finally moved on to stress testing the watch, he nearly lost his mind. After sending one of his servants to the middle class neighborhood on the other side of an artificial hill to bring back a shopping cart full of used electronics forcibly sold by disbelieving parents of teenagers who refused to hand their phones over for ten grand of cold hard cash, Walter experienced thirty years of technological advancement in the span of five hours. He learned to love and then abandon small screens in favor of larger displays capable of showing images sharp enough to bring him to tears.

At least before he shattered those big screens by looking at them the wrong way.

At long last, Walter discovered the horror and wonder of the modern internet, and thereby received the biggest shock of all. One of the first articles he came across, upon discovering that there was a way to pose any conceivable question to the universe, described how the Dungeons & Dragons live web series known as Critical Role managed to crowd-fund over five million dollars in three days to support an animated series.

Every detail of this story, from the fact that people would promise strangers digital money, to the fact that people now publicly admitted to liking role playing games, was surprising. But perhaps none of this was as surprising to Walter as the fact that girls were now allowed to play D&D.

Disconcerted by exactly how much he had missed during his self-imposed seclusion, Walter promptly used the internet for its true intended purpose, hiring a bunch of influencers to come to his mansion and give him a rundown of developments in media, gaming and entertainment since the 1980s. Most of those influencers were far too young to know the 1980s even existed, but they told him enough for him to realize he might have made a mistake locking himself in the basement.

Asked to reflect on his experience and what lessons he learned, Walter responded that the real moral of his tragic story is that securing top-notch help was really no longer possible. Back in the days of the aristocratic landed gentry, say in France circa 1788, the wealthy could count on hiring servants who really understood their wants and desires, servants who would have known to inform him about developments such as the resurgence of D&D and the existence of Game of Thrones. Sadly, it seems that in the modern era, servants see their jobs as mere paychecks instead of lifestyles and no longer understand the true meaning of good quality service.

Further reading:

https://www.ign.com/articles/2019/03/06/critical-role-dd-kickstarter-hits-5-million-animated-special-will-now-be-a-series

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/03/04/critical-role-fans-finance-dungeons–dragons-kickstarter-in-an-hour.html 

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Author: Alda Yuan

Alda Yuan is usually an attorney based in Chicago. Sometimes she writes satirical books like The Floating Isles series. She lives with her cat, an adorable orange menace who only occasionally answers to the name Artemis.

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