My name is Spencer and I’ve been creating websites since the early nineties, with interests in writing and tabletop gaming dating long before then. As a working adult with a demanding day job, a wife with a chronic illness, and a growing family, my passion for gaming, writing, and, heck, pretty much everything else, has always taken a backseat to responsibility.
In 2017, while playing with my two older children, then ages 3 and 4, I realized that what they — what we — were engaged in during our pretend play was startlingly similar to the tabletop role-playing games I’d played as a teen and young adult: I was guiding them, much like a GM, in their play, and they responded and reacted with whatever their little imaginations could devise, just like a player.
So, like any good geek dad, I took to the internet to see if anyone else had stumbled upon this same epiphany. Sure enough, there were plenty of like-minded parents out there introducing their kids to Dungeons & Dragons and other pen & paper games, simplifying the rules down as needed. There were even published rulesets and adventure modules designed specifically for children! I was ecstatic and couldn’t wait to set them down for a good old-fashioned RPG gaming session. It wasn’t quite like I’d imagined, but the flame was lit for them and intensely re-kindled for me.
Kids, as you may know, can tolerate the same activity for a half hour or so, if they’re really interested in it. While I enjoyed the heck out of playing with them — and do to this day — our adventure together was short-lived, so I was left a bit unsatiated in my lust for gaming. I continued to read feverishly about more games and rulesets and to seek out new ways to play them.
This lead me to explore the concept of solitaire gaming, or solo play, which just seemed crazy at first thought. After all, who envisions themselves sitting behind a GM screen looking at a table full of dice, character sheets, and intricately-painted miniatures, spinning an intense tale in the best “fantasy” accent you can muster, but all the players’ seats are empty — or the inverse, from a player’s perspective? The more I read, the more intrigued I became, and eventually I worked myself up into trying it, using none other than Hero Kids — the very game I’d been playing with my children — since I was already familiar with the rules. It turned out to be an eye-opening and enlightening creative exercise that I really got into and I was instantly hooked.
It occurred to me that the concepts of gaming with your children and engaging in solo play were likely to overlap similarly in other working adults, parents, and introverts, and that there wasn’t a good enough resource out there that brought all these ideas under one roof. And, by golly, someone ought to do it — maybe that someone is me?
Here I am now, with Wisps of Time, the intersection of my passions for games, my family, writing, and web development — a place where I can explore these topics for my own enjoyment and share them with you. I look forward to publishing product reviews, “actual plays”, how-to guides, tips and tricks, philosophical meanderings about all of that, and developing resources, tools, and more for both solo and family gaming.
If you’re a follower of Stephen Covey, you’ll know that recreation and family time are prime Quadrant II activities (important, but not urgent) and that it’s not about “having” time, it’s about making time (apologies for the cliche). I hope, through this website, I can help you to make time for games in your life, too.