It was a typical rural Saturday afternoon in early June of 1985. For me, that meant making poison arrows in the woods behind my house. I had a fort back there that I built with some friends and we would spend hours carving sharp tips into fallen sticks, using stolen knives from our kitchens. We’d roll the tips in poison ivy and store the weapons in milk crates around the perimeter. Always on alert, we would take turns patrolling our territory, prepared to defend it at all costs. I was just about ready to start my shift when the bell rang, a signal from my parents telling me that it was time to step out of the woods and back into reality. I did step out of the woods that day, but what happened next ignited a passion for creating adventures that will persist for the rest of my life
When I left the theatre later that evening, I knew I was changed. I had just witnessed a group of kids my age leave their homes, avoid the pursuit of these really disgusting people, and find the key to unlocking a centuries old treasure in one single afternoon. It was amazing and I was determined to do the same thing! I remember looking up at my dad and asking him if I could search the house when we got home, convinced that I’d find a map that would start my own adventure. I burst through the front door and began looking for loose floorboards or false walls. I combed the basement and then I remembered the fireplace from the movie. I rushed upstairs and as I was trying to remove the grate to the ash collection chute my dad stopped me and said, “If you want an adventure, you’re going to have to make one for yourself.” So that’s what I did.
I gathered up all the “valuables” I could find and stuffed them into a box and went out into the woods with a shovel. I created a story around a myth that was circulating in my area around that time and made a map that led to the box. I passed the map to a friend of mine and that was it. My first adventure, complete.
Mikey said it best when he asked, “But what if? You guys, what if this map can lead to One Eyed Willy’s rich stuff?” Well, we ask the “What if?” question over and over at Immersion and every time we do, it leads us down a path to creating a new adventure. Who knows what it will be next time or where it will take place, but you can guarantee that it’s coming. We have to remember that we’re all adventurers in life. Maybe the next time we step out of the woods, reality won’t catch up so quickly.
By the way, to my knowledge the box is still out there. The map has been lost, but you’re welcome to go have a look.