I always considered myself a gamer. Not a video gaming gamer. A table top role playing game gamer. I loved playing D&D, the White Wolf games (before they did their reboot and wiped out the World of Darkness), and Arduin. I also played the modified systems my sister and her friends created to see if they could make their own gaming system based on Arduin.
As most of you know, I'm a writer. When I was a kid, I wrote silly little things, mostly fan fiction (though I didn't know that's what I was writing). When I was twelve and started playing Advanced D&D (also known as 2nd edition...THAC0 anyone?) something happened. Suddenly I wanted to build worlds of my own, introduce creations based on my imagination.
When I was fourteen, I created Vassa, the world I play in today. Now it's hardly recognizable compared to my early efforts, and those things I stole wholesale from those books and stories I loved have been either altered or removed altogether. The stories of the teenager I was were full of angst and love at first sight. Now they're more political with wars and more realism in relationships both regular friendships and romantic liaisons.
The reason I'm mentioning all of this is there are still people who say role playing games, video games, and the like are tools of Satan to turn people to devil worshiping and the use of black magic. I speak out against these every time I see them but I'm labeled evil again because I write fantasy and science fiction. I grow tired of these allegations.
Imagination isn't evil. Imagination isn't a tool of a greater evil. Imagination is something that allows us to escape our reality and enter another one. There are some people with dark imaginations who use those dreams to cause a lot of problems. But there are more who use their imaginations to create new things. Authors and artists inspire dreams. Scientists forward the knowledge of our world. Technologically inclined people create new things that help us in our every day lives.
Imagination is key, and I believe that it should be encouraged in children, allowed to flourish in teenagers, and welcomed in adults.