Academic Probation

Magic missile for life

the Gauntlet talks to a veteran wizard

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Most hobbies are like a moped: they're fun until your friends find out. They have their initial flare but can't keep your attention for much more than a few hours. Regardless, the inevitable truth remains: with hobbies come fads. The infamous Pokemon (admit it: you still have a box in your closet), the unforgettable Pogs (who could forget slammers and double whammies? It was utter craziness), and the forgettable Bones (do you remember Bones? Yeah, me neither) were all the flavour of the week at one point. Fortunately few of these survive in a world of money-hungry toy companies pumping out every child's new infatuation. Through all of this, one constant within the hobby realm has always found a way to reel in a handful of new kids every year: Dungeons and Dragons.

There is a good chance you were never part of a 24-hour Dungeon showdown but there is still a very sound probability you know what DD is. Originating in 1971, the game of magic missiles, elves, and 20-sided die enthralled kids of all ages. This complex fascination of witches, spells and enchantments has thrown us for a loop, and to better explain this phenomenon we spoke with a level 26 (that's right, 26!) Wizard of Sorcery and doom. His name is Craig "Morlock, Ring of Fire" Stevenson and he works at Radio Shack. He's just a pleasant 46-year-old trying to get by on one goblin potion at a time.

LM: I would just like to start off and thank you, Craig, for taking time from your busy schedule to talk with us.

Craig: Oh, no problem. And you don't have to call me Craig. I usually go by Morlock or MRF. I prefer MRF, it sounds cooler.

LM: No problem... So, MRF, how long have you been fraternizing among the mystical folk of Dungeons and Dragons?

MRF: I know what you're thinking: DD is just a bunch of nerds who get together and cast spells all night. We may not be your most daring group of philanthropists but we can still have a good time.

LM: I respect that and hey, everyone to their own, you know? So what does a regular day for a Wizard of Sorcery entail?

MRF: First of all it's a level 26 Wizard of Sorcery. Secondly, no day is ever just "regular"--I am a freaking Wizard! But honestly, I am just a regular guy for the most part. I get up and chat with hot chicks on the 'net for a few hours, then spend probably half an hour fragging noobs on an FPS [first person shooter] of my choosing. Noobs piss me off. Really, all this noob pwning is just a lead up to my DD sesh. Stupid noobs.

LM: I am not completely sure what you mean by pwning, could you elaborate? Secondly, you talk about chatting with chicks; do you have a girlfriend?

MRF: Oh pwn, that's something my World of Warcraft buddies and myself use when obliterating noobs during gameplay. Stupid noobs, never freaking learn. Girlfriend? Yeah I had one but she kept holding me back. Well, that's not completely true. Let's just say that DD and girls is often a bad combination. Plus she didn't really like that I still live with my parents. Honestly, how many 46-year-olds can say their mom still makes their bed for them?

LM: I can say you are among the proud few, envied by many. So then what do you have planned for the future?

MRF: Radio Shack is treating me well. I enjoy what I do and even if I am in just some dinky electronics store, at least I'm happy. That's more than can be said for a lot of people today. Plus I get to hang out with my buddy Quaglork (or Steve as everyone else knows him). We spend our days checking out the endless talent that comes our way. Soccer moms are where it's at. What I wouldn't give to pwn one of them.

LM: You and me both brother. Well I guess all I have left to ask is if you have any advice for the next generation of wizards?

MRF: Advice... Well be prepared to give up everything for the pursuit of complete and utter glory. No, but honestly, some will laugh. Actually, many will laugh, but what do they know? Some people like sports whereas there are a few of us who like casting spells and rolling a die. If people can't accept that, they're just fucking noobs. Oh yeah, and avoid the Portal of Pathological Madness in the dark caves of Elmlock. I spent five years on level 19 all because some stupid noob. Well, it was more like a few hours but it fucking sucked.

Nicely put my friend. MRF makes a good point: you may not think something someone does is the coolest thing in the world but the same could be said for some other trend that lots of people do. Hell, look at me--I spend many a lonely nights watching one of my hundreds of movies; it could be Lord of the Rings or The Texas Chainsaw Massacre or Blue Crush. Does that make me lame? Probably. But in hindsight I think there is a little nerdishness and lame in all of us and that's quite alright.

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