A recent post over on Back To Dungeon, (a Most Excellent Blog, IMHO,) really has me thinking tonight. Go Read IT, then come back.
That smacks me with a reality I didn't get before. This game is so much all about creation--- of something, a world, a place to be in and from, stemming from a person's own imagination. Initially, it was COMPLETELY all about the imagination. Only later did it die under crunch. I had the privilege of talking to +Rob Kuntz once, and he related a story to me about when TSR was approached by someone wanting to publish the first modules (I think JG? Can't remember, and paraphrasing the conversation because I've imbibed some various shit tonight because I have a yearly team meeting tomorrow/xmas party/mandatory good time that I have to go to (AND GET UP EARLY FOR!!) and I'd rather twist my nutsack off with pliers than go to it) told me something like "We couldn't believe people would want someone else to do their imagining for them."
It was soooo one side of the brain focused at the beginning. The rules were there just to support how to explore stuff and fight stuff if you needed to, IN THE COURSE OF EXPLORATION, in order to be able to explore more. The rewards of the exploration were wondrous treasure and magic and the ability to go see more interesting and dangerous stuff. The exploration was like a joint astral journey or acid trip together INTO SOMEONE'S MIND, bound by loose rules of engagement, to experience the wonder and peril and feel the glory and amazement of someone's imaginary universe. The details on paper were just some lower plane points of reference. You weren't exploring a dungeon, you were exploring someone's imagination. A piece of someone's daydream. A creation, no different than a book, full of people and places and things, that you lived not by reading the words in order from page one to the end, but you jumped right into the fucking thing and took a part in the potential play out of every potential scene in this awesome new wondrous unlimited universe that a human being thought of (or has yet to think of because of your actions in their world,) in all its bits, pieces, and wondrous glory. A DM is just someone who asks "Hey do you want to come and dance in my brain for a while? You can be whoever you want while you're there. No Judgment."
We DM's are like Gods. That's fucking cool. :)