Chris Miller game to visit Jared and I, and while he was here, he interviewed me about Shelter in Place for The Secret Lair. In the interview, we talk about the game, the mechanics, the games at GenCon, and how Shelter in Place is a gateway game for new gamers. If you listen to the very end, you get to hear what my husband REALLY thinks about me.
Chris is a really good interviewer, because he has real insight into things, and in able to get to the roots of an issue. When we were talking about Shelter in Place, he identified, correctly, that much of the game hinges on teamwork and how a team works together helps determine their success.
I used to work in a haunted house. Well, it wasn’t a house, it was a prison – Eastern State Penitentiary. It was an amazing experience. Believe in ghosts or not, the prison is haunting. I worked at one end of the prison, and to get to the dressing room with the rest of the actors, I had to walk though the prison. At night. Usually alone. I do not believe in ghosts myself. I love a good ghost story, but I’m not, personally, a believer.
But then one night I was coming back from the haunted house, walking alone though those twisting halls, the silence of the prision around me, long corridors stretching out on either side, and the presence of the place really set in. This was a place where people suffered. This was a place where some people went insane. It was a place of punishment. I walked down the main corridor to the dressing room, the October cold setting into the walls. I walked towards the sound of the voices in the dressing room, that warm yellow light, and I was nearly there when, at the end of the corridor, I saw a face. It was a horrible, pale, scarred face. The face of a dead thing.
I was so scared that the scream didn’t even make it out of my throat. After a second, I realized that I was looking into a cracked mirror on the side of the corridor. I had seen my own face. It had taken me a moment to recognize myself. It was two am and I was wearing a lot of makeup, paled out and caked in fake blood and scars.
I had scared myself.
I learned the power of fear in Eastern State Penitentiary. I learned that friends will shove each other at monsters, will cling to who they think is the strongest – that people, when scared, are revealed in some way. I have learned that in the face of something scary, cowards attack and brave people protect. I have learned that groups can break down. I took what I learned there, in that prison, and applied it to my game. Fear can break groups apart, but it is only through working together that we survive.