Something you wish you could experience again for the first time.

I recently gave away some bookshelves and still need to do something with all the stuff that was on them. A lot of the books and sundry other items are sitting on the table in the game room, piles of guilt glaring at me as I go to my office to work every day.

Returning from a trip downstairs to fill up my ice water, I gave the table the side-eye and barely saw the corner of a colorful book. That instigated me to stop and go pick it up. Instantly, a smile appeared on my ugly mug and then it slipped away as it hit me that I can read these books again and again, but it will never be like the first time.

I put "The Essential Calvin and Hobbes" back down and came back here to the office to continue working tonight, but I can't stop thinking about lying in bed in Jersey way back when, reading one of the early C&H collections and trying not to laugh my ass of when I should have been sleeping.

I'm sure I could think of many things I wish I could experience for the first time again, but C&H is high on my list for sure. What's one thing that comes to mind for you?



Neuromancer. What an incredible piece of writing to discover at age 13, I think? Arguably the best cyberpunk novel ever written, with so many crazy ideas and weird characters. The main inspiration for games like Shadowrun. So mind-blowing the first time.

Calvin and Hobbes is a good one. Though I suppose I've gotten to have that experience vicariously through my daughter. She discovered one of my old collections when she was at my parents house around the time she was just learning to read and proceeded to pretty much learn to read by going through all the old C&H books that my parents still had. The complete collection was an obvious xmas present for her that year and even now, ~6 years later, there's always one of the volumes sitting on her nightstand ready to be read.

For me ... I dunno. My initial thought was Lord of the Rings, but having re-read it earlier this year, I don't think I would need to read it again for the first time to get that sense of wonder. It's so dense that I always find something new when I read it. The only other book-related thing I could think of that would be amazing to experience again for the first time is discovering Raymond Chandler's work, especially since there's so little of it.

Games are much easier -- I'd love to experience Mass Effect and Breath of the Wild again for the first time.

A bit off the beaten path, but I would love to be able to, as an adult, go to Disney for the first time.

Is it the actual reliving that we crave, or re-experiencing the joy we felt, I wonder. What immediately came to my mind was going to see Star Wars at the theater when it first came out. Eleven year old me was totally blown away and transported to a place of wonder. However, I don’t think if I were to watch Star Wars tomorrow having never seen nor heard of it, the result would be the same.

Breath of the Wild would be up there for me, too. My favorite game of all time and it was such a "breath" of fresh air when I first played it. I don't replay games. Except that one.

Reliving the crave vs. experiencing the joy: With me and C&H, it would definitely be the joy.


Those first few months of EverQuest in 1999.

zinckiwi wrote:

Those first few months of EverQuest in 1999.

I started right when Kunark was released in April of 2000 so I missed the release back in 1999. The early game was a little frustrating for me. I didn't know anything about the game and didn't have any friends playing. I met these 2 gals in the game and we grouped up for quite a few levels. We died a lot, though. I was Necro (me), Mage, and Bard. Not the best group of newbies.

With me and EQ, it was the first time through the mid-to-upper levels that had a lot of stuff I'd like to experience again for the first time. After getting further in the game and switching mains, I had a solid group whom I always played with and we had so much freaking fun. Everyone else was competing for the outside camps and we would do the dungeons. Warrior, Cleric, 'Chanter (me), Druid, Bard, and we had a couple of folks who would fill spot 6.

In some of the dungeons (Najena, Kaesora, Nurga, Droga, Chardok, etc.) we'd the the only people in the zone for days. In zones like Karnor's, there'd be multiple groups at the entrance training each other. We'd break in and settle ourselves inside away from the hot mess. Having competent group members made such a huge difference in that game and pushing the limits in scary places was such a exhilarating experience compared to sitting at the Karnak fort fighting with 4 other groups for the spawns.

So many great memories that I will never forget like getting summoned by a level 52/53(?) Rock Golem for the first time in The Hole when I didn't even know that was a thing. That taught me to wait a little longer on casting Tash...

Great stuff, but I've tried playing again, and it doesn't do it for me. That magic can't be recreated when there's so many other games out that do stuff better. But, no other MMO has ever given me the adrenaline rush EQ did because the other MMOs didn't/don't have that level of consequence for failure. Good or bad, the slow leveling and the death exp loss really made you want to succeed.


Clumber wrote:

Is it the actual reliving that we crave, or re-experiencing the joy we felt, I wonder.

Yes, that's what I'm thinking as well, considering the place and time you experience something can be a big factor in how you feel about it, and how many albums, books, movies, etc. were once my favourite that no longer hold the same appeal.

What I think we are really chasing is that drug-free euphoria that happens when we experience something that works for us at 100%, which happens so rarely that when it does, it sticks out for us.

John Byrne and Chris Claremont’s X-Men run. It’d be interesting to see how it would hit me now. I like to believe I’d still appreciate the result of their tempestuous collaboration. Two things that would be missing from the experience would be the sweet agony and excitement of waiting a month between issues, which allowed for much pondering of thrilling cliffhangers and the odd pleasures of reading the story out of order i.e. reading issues 12 and 14 then finding issues 6, 8,9,10 and 11 then finally locating issues 7 and 13, etc. I enjoy non sequential story telling where events are revealed out of order to this day and I’m pretty sure it stems from that time.

More recently Blue Eyed Samurai. I know I’d love it now having first seen it mere weeks ago.

If I’d played Baldur’s Gate 3 I’m sure it would fit here but I haven’t, so, sometime in the new year I will be able to experience it for the first time.

Return of the Obra Dinn!