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Get in the game: Tri-Citians escape reality in role-playing games

Michelle Dupler of Tricity Herald writes: "Here's a secret. For a few hours every Saturday night, I shed my mild-mannered, professional exterior and zip off across the galaxy on a rip-roaring adventure with a rag-tag band of spacefarers.

I'm the tough-talking female mechanic who grew up on the mean streets of planet Coruscant, who takes joy in heckling the overprivileged "rich boy" whose parents paid for our spaceship and hired me to make sure their pride and joy doesn't get into too much trouble. Since we attract trouble like bees to honey, I rarely succeed.

As alter ego Gin Caranthyr, I'm lithe, acrobatic and have mad skills with a wrench, spanner and a roll of space-age duct tape -- things that elude me in my real life.

That's what role-playing gaming offers -- a chance to shake off the mundane and pretend to be anyone or anything, whether it's my tough-as-nails space mechanic in the Star Wars game I play with a group in Richland every Saturday, or an orc-fighting elf in Dungeons & Dragons, the fantasy-based granddaddy of all role-playing games first released back in 1974."

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