Bio: Russ Wakelin

One of the challenges of being brought up in a military family is that you have to get used to moving a lot.  This leads to two things: 1) You tend to become very close with your family and need to find ways to have fun with each other and 2) You need to figure out ways to make friends quickly.

The first issue was overcome in our family with games.  We had family game nights frequently with a wide variety of classic family games (Chess, Backgammon, Scrabble, Trivial Pursuit, Risk, etc.) and some less common but very fun games. (Yacht Race, Carrier Strike, Chopper Strike, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea Game)


The second issue was overcome with the help of the first.  John (my brother) and I soon discovered that we could make many new friends quickly by either getting involved with gaming groups, or starting one if it didn't already exist.   Of course these gaming groups evolved beyond family games into some of the meatier types of games such as RPG's (D&D,
Traveler, Star Frontiers) and war games (Axis and Allies, Shogun, Fortress America, Broadsides and Boarding Parties, Starfleet Battles, Battletech, etc.)


Thus, gaming became a fundamental tool that my brother and I have always used,
not only to entertain ourselves and our families, but also to meet new people, make new lifelong friends, and share thoughts and ideas with likeminded folks around the world.   We were fortunate enough to discover this when we were young as we literally moved around the world with our family.

Despite the early lesson, I am still amazed at how gaming can so easily bring people together from different geographies and cultures.  This was reinforced for me when I started the DakkaDakka.com website in the late 90's.  This little website designed to let local players keep track of league scores and show off their army pictures to each other was attracting visitors from around the world.   The site was so popular that it eventually led to a family run game store with a focus on providing a place to socialize and play.  The whole adventure with the Dakka Dakka website and store led to a many great friendships that I cherish to this day. 

Eventually it was time to have a family and my priorities shifted.  Nicole (my wife), John, and I decided it was time to sell the store, and eventually I sold the website as well.  But my love for games has never dwindled, especially now that my daughters are becoming old enough to begin to discover the wonder of games.   It also turned out to be difficult for me to stop sharing my love of gaming with others, which is one of the reasons that The D6 Generation was born.

Today I enjoy the challenge of balancing my family life, job, and gaming.  The D6 Generation allows me to share how I go about that balancing act with others, but more importantly, it keeps me in touch with one of my favorite lessons of childhood: Gaming brings people together from around the world. 

 

Thanks for listening & happy gaming,

Russ Wakelin

Category:Host Bios -- posted at: 8:00pm EST
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