Thursday, May 22, 2014

Legacy

I find it interesting that readers here who have bought, or are intending to buy, describe themselves as tools, suckers and the opposite of smart.  There's a company legacy for you.

There was a small back and forth in the comment thread yesterday about role-playing losing its appeal and relevance.  I've heard this of and on in the seven years since re-entering the community (I was self-isolated between '88 and '08, and I must admit I am puzzled every time.

There are three gaming clubs here in the city that offer play and space on a weekly basis.  I'm having an event in town in July that is advertising as a gaming burlesque and we expect there to be about 150 in attendance.  There are, right now, three different game stores (only one runs a gaming club that I know of), whereas I remember there only ever being one.  And I know of at least two coffee shops that, if I took along my DMG, and left it on the table, I'd be in a conversation about D&D within ten or twenty minutes.  Of course, that would be with a dweeb, but there we are.  I could always give it a shot and maybe get lucky.

That is offline.  When I quit the community, we only had offline, and there was damn little of that.  In my day, we had to walk uphill to get it.

With the internet, there is nothing to worry about.  Yet there remains an attitude, expressed yesterday, that if it hadn't been for some 'guy,' or some 'group,' that was truly 'visionary,' no one would be talking about D&D online today.

Thus is the legacy of information that spreads from a single source.  There are still those out there who believe, somehow, that knowledge or 'community' springs from a central source, and that we here in the world wait for that central source to speak.  That kind of network has been dead twelve years now, but there we are, mythologizing people I've never heard of ("Ryan Darcy") as though they are the founder of the internet role-playing community.

This is a pretty simple concept, but we're still denying its existence


I don't doubt that Mr. Darcy was there early.  I confess I wasn't that interested in online RPG discussions.  In 1999 I had discovered that all the porn I could ever need or want was available free, and that there were sex partners who were willing to explore that porn with me through ICQ.  So, really, between 1999 and 2002, when I found a quite demented permanent partner, I was quite busy.

Then, as I remember, between 2002 and 2007, I was discovering how the internet could get me all the freelance writing gigs I could reasonably keep up with, as well as a great job with a business magazine, not to mention the hard mapmaking data that I had been looking for all my life and wikipedia to back that mapmaking data up.  So, during those years, when I searched the net for the purpose of role-playing, it was for design information.  Yes, yes, I appreciate that Mr. Darcy - whoever the hell he is - was inventing the social network we have today, with something call "Open Gaming Lisc" (again, something I've never heard of), I was mostly still working hard on my own game, resourcing the hell out of the net to make it happen.

I came across my first blog in 2004, political of course, so there were a lot of flame wars in those days. I didn't see a D&D blog until December 2007 . . . but somehow, I think, that once blogs had been invented, it didn't matter a pig in a poke what the hell Mr. Darcy had done. People would have started blogs about the game without being told to do so.  And they would have started selling their stuff through those blogs without needing the WOTC to circumvent.  Because, frankly, we love this game, and we don't need other people to suggest we should write about it.

We do not do this thing because it is permitted.

Oh, I can only find two google results for "Open Gaming Lisc," and one of them includes this comment from a John Prescott, "This is the same song and dance that the gaming industry heads spat about when WOTC (Wizards of the Coast) did the open gaming lisc for their d20 gaming system rule set. The fodder will eventually sink down to the dregs. Nothing to see here, except maybe someone who is upset that his publisher is getting a way bigger cut on his ebook sales than he is, and that blame lies with the author, not the industry or the business model."
I love it when someone makes a completely off-the-wall reference to me and when I go look for it, I find disparagement.  Ah, legacy.

Some of you, no doubt, will rush to tell me that the open game lisc was that effort by the WOTC to make pdfs available to gamers.  I vaguely remember something about that, and about the WOTC clawing it back.  I'm only guessing here, because there are literally only two references to the three words and the other one is a vague argument about LOTR and Greyhawk.  I could probably do more research, but frankly I just don't give a shit.  Where it comes to free materials about role-playing, I never went to the WOTC, I went to frostwire, which cured me of wanting to see WOTC materials even for free.  Because, seriously, its all just a lot of unmitigated crap.  The idea that role-playing relies on such crap for its 'relevance' is once more the old myth that the existing network is centrally processed.

That central processor died a long, long time ago.  It serves one purpose on the internet, and that purpose is spam.  This is the legacy the WOTC has for me . . . I'm just enough of a presence that they send me spam every couple of weeks.  They obviously don't read my blog, or have any idea what I stand for, but the spam keeps coming.  Yay, legacy.

I can guess at the reason why people are worried, however, despite the evidence and that amount of material available for piracy, comes from a certainty that children are all about the video game.  The video game will kill role-playing, so they say.  How can pencil and paper compete with rendering on that level.

Well, it can't.  But role-playing, thankfully, isn't limited to pen-and-paper.  Nor is it limited to hygeine-challenged manboys clutching their miniatures in their big, mountain-dew-derived fist fat.  Role-playing is as adaptable as any other social framework one might name, which is evident by the number of skype games going on, the use of distributed networks to create game clubs, the practicality of my writing this blog and so on.  The tools are - slowly - being created to advance the game's rendering, too.  Because that's the way it goes.

Not by WOTC, of course.  At a time when the owner of the game should be creating a 3-D advanced app for digitally representing your character, with additional features to show the damage they're taking, based fully on your stats list - at a visual level that would put Sims 3 to shame - they're reinventing pencil-and-paper D&D.  Now.  In this decade.

One of the worst habits that an artist can acquire is the certainty that something needs to be done again, and again, to get it 'right.'  I feel there's a certain rationale in this, but the process can utterly stagnate an artist's work.  They can find themselves going back to the same thing and doing it over and over, ultimately losing their perspective entirely.  It is a habit that will ensure a good artist never receives any recognition.  Because it cripples.

The WOTC is crippled.  It has been crippled since it gave up on 2nd Edition.  I can personally see the rationale for 2nd Edition, but they did such a crappy job at it that  since the WOTC has been caught up its own loop.  It has lost it's perpective.

Though it may have dragged down tens of thousands of players, er, tools, suckers and non-smart people, however, it hasn't dragged down this game.  This game is being shared like wildfire.  This game is proving the central processor is dead.  The only people who are still turning back to the central processor, hoping there's still life there, are those for whom there never was a game.  Not really. These are the people who were just looking for a fetish god to worship.

Well, god is dead.  Deal with that legacy.



23 comments:

James C. said...

First, I agree with your point. The OGL has nothing to do with Bloggers and DM's working on their games. It seems to have everything to do with the proliferation of so-called OSR publishers re-selling D&D.

My layman's understanding is thus: The Open Game License (OGL) enacted for D&D 3rd edition D&D is/ was a public copyright license that allowed 3rd parties to legally develop game content for D&D. It essentially allowed for Pathfinder and things like the old Dungeon Crawl Classics line of 3ed adventures to exist legally.

Fast forward severla years, and the OSR publishers who made first OSRIC then Swords & Wizardry, Labyrinth Lord and eventually Lamentations of the Flame Princess and pick your clone of the week were at first all invoking the OGL as the legal basis to make and sell their games. Nowadays I htink the general legal thinking is you can't copyright the rules to a game. So far, WoTC hasn't refuted this. Not being a lawyer I couldn't tell you whether they could or not. They seem so far inclined to join and not try to beat them, hence D&D Next or whatever the hell you want to call it.

Alexis Smolensk said...

I knew someone would tell me. Thank you James.

Point of relevance, "legal basis" is something that is fundamentally of relevance to corporate concerns. The premise that was advanced to me was that somehow the success of the game still rests in the corporate distribution of the game - or in the very least, we ought to be grateful for the corporate distribution of the game.

I haven't relied on corporate distribution for my game since 1979. The Christmas of the year I began playing, four months after I began playing. If TSR had, that day, simply disappeared, I believe I would still be running D&D today, and that we would all still be talking about it.

Alexis Smolensk said...

Well, "we all" might not be specifically you people. I'd be talking about it with someone. And the nice thing is, we would be talking about the same game.

JDJarvis said...

I don't know who Ryan Darcy is either but I do know who Ryan Dancey is, never read of anyone calling him the progenitor of RPG Blogs. Dancey is the gentleman who came up with the OGL and SRd concept as it applied to 3rd edition D&D,it was a tool to decentralize the production and writing of RPG materials compatible with D&D so they could be distributed and marketed without folks having to tangle or dance around language with some corporate jackasses more interested in controlling a centralized authority and revenue streams over a healthy and thriving hobby.

Alexis Smolensk said...

JD,

This is who Clovis probably meant, and he didn't call him a progenitor of the blogosphere, I did. But he did suggest I ought to be grateful.

I don't think I'm really grateful. Mr. Dancey made available a lot of materials I didn't want. Big whup.

Matt said...

The OGL had effects beyond the corporate distribution. It helped to cultivate a culture of creation around that current iteration of D&D. That culture would make it a very bad PR move for WOTC's legal department to throw around Cease and Desist orders or DMCA takedown notices every time someone blogged about hit points, armor class, or the terms fighter, thief, and wizard in regards to class.

I don't know much about intellectual property laws in Canada, but in the US they can suck pretty hard. Basically, WOTC (or any copyright holder) can issue a takedown notice to a web service (either an ISP, a search engine like Google, a social networking site like Facebook or BlogSpot, a content site like Youtube, etc). The web service, in order to avoid legal culpability must remove the offending content. This leaves the appeal process on the person who originally posted content.

Now, obviously WOTC wouldn't be able to hold up in court that they own "Fighter," but the takedown notice doesn't care about that. The web service errs on the side of not getting the shit sued out of them. Many web services also have conditions in their terms of service to ban users whose content is the subject of multiple DMCA takedowns.

The average Joe doesn't have the money or time to fight that kind of legal disadvantage. Without a culture of discussion and creation you might see a more corporately interested fan-base, who would whole-heartedly support WOTC throwing their legal weight around to squash blogs with original content, or independent game developers who develop a little too closely to what WOTC is doing.

The OGL isn't the only reason we can talk about RPGs, but it's probably a big part of the reason we can do it so openly and unchallenged on the internet.

Alexis Smolensk said...

Matt,

You're viewing the question as if the Internet doesn't exist.

You make two fundamental assumptions:

First, that if the WOTC hadn't released the materials, the culture of creation wouldn't have happened. That presumes piracy, which exploded after 2000, wouldn't have ultimately produced exactly the same result. I don't believe that any company releases materials out of the goodness of their own heart. The more likely reality was that corporate voices said, "they're going to get it anyway when they start sharing it with each other" - and as such thought they were doing themselves a service by being generous. Of course, they only instigated the change that was going to happen anyway when social media took over.

Secondly, do you really believe that if the WOTC started issuing such takedown orders that it would magically stop the spread of information? Has that worked for any other industry? Or has it in fact garnered media attention and hatred for the source company? Take down my blogger and I'll get on another site, and another, and on facebook, and on a site I make myself, and so on, until they DO take me to court. And that's what EVERYONE will do. Because the Internet does exist.

Your fear of your countries anti-freedom laws hasn't stopped anyone in your country from ceasing to pirate materials, regularly. Why do you think that for some reason role-playing wouldn't obey that same principle?

Jeremiah Scott said...

I have to admit, my mind is boggled by some perspectives.

An industrious person could make his own video game. As an electrical engineer, I can tell you that it's not even as hard as you might think. That said, it does require a good amount of technical knowledge, which most people aren't willing to commit to learning. Plus they like to be surprised by the plot twists that others have programmed into a game's narrative. Okay, fine.

But a role-playing game!? All that takes is time and imagination. My friends and I were brewing our own game systems from 8th grade on. We had a hand-me-down set of AD&D books. But they were more of a jumping off point. Hell, we went through a phase where we thought making a game world and system was more fun than playing in it. (I must still have a part of that, as I far prefer world building and DMing to playing--though I do both.)

So my mind is blown when people act like they have to suckle from someone else's teat of creativity--especially from a corporate entity where they have things like "mandatory fun" BBQs. Gag me.

I suppose I can understand why having some universality to the system is desirable because it makes it easier to integrate new players. But I like my system better than anything published (that I know of) and I sure as hell am not giving it up. How hard is it to learn a new system anyway?

As far as video games vs. RPGs, I do have a sense that children who never learned to imagine before they were introduced to modern video games often have a stunted power of creativity. I am experiencing it with a few players right now. They have always been shown what things look like so abstraction is completely unfamiliar to them. Also, they have not been required to show the same level of agency and autonomy as RPGs demand. I do think video games will get there eventually, which I have mixed feelings about.

Matt said...

I think that because of a project called Crimson Echoes.

Crimson Echoes was a fan sequel to the Squaresoft (now Square Enix) console RPG Chrono Trigger. Square Enix issued a cease and desist order to the people working on that project. The project ended.

The same thing happened to two other projects that were trying to recreate Chrono Trigger with modern technology and graphics.

Are there remnants of the projects? Sure. Crimson Echoes has a nearly complete alpha that is fully playable. If you dig around on the internet you can find discussions of them. The scary thing though is how much of the internet thinks that the teams behind these projects got exactly what was coming to them.

Now, I don't for a second believe that this action stopped the piracy of the existing game that Square Enix was selling. I'm sure that 5 minutes with Google could get me pirated digital versions of every version of Chrono Trigger released, in every language it has been released in. I do believe that it will be a while before someone makes a fan project for a Square Enix game that is as highly publicized and widely talked about as Crimson Echoes.

I think that WOTC let the cat out of the bag because at the time of the release of the OGL their slick, well produced gaming products would be on the shelf next to licensed self-published crap. I think that WOTC created fake competition where their material was almost always superior to the independent products that were available. They gave themselves the image of quality without having to do any real work.

I think that the way that 4th edition's much more restrictive Game System License was worded is evidence that they want the cat back. The third party products are looking nicer, and the internet is full of things more interesting than their books.

I don't fear the intellectual property laws of the US. I detest them. I watch them stifle creativity. I watch as companies issue take-down notices indiscriminately, and with impunity. I don't fear them though, because I know that such rabid reactions are the last efforts of a dying beast.

I don't think that the lack of the OGL would have lead to an internet wasteland where no one would talk about RPGs for fear of the WOTC gestapo. I do think that the presence of the OGL contributed to the thriving online RPG community that now has enough momentum to laugh in the face of any legal action WOTC would try. Could we have gotten there without the OGL? Most likely. A lot of people like RPGs. I think the OGL just might have made the trail a little easier to follow.

No need to worship the OGL. I'm just glad it happened.

Alexis Smolensk said...

May I please, in all sincerity, simply express my general awe.

Gentlemen, I love long comments.

I would like to have Matt's entire response forcibly tattooed on the ass of every person who has accused this site of having no dissenters.

Alexis Smolensk said...

Okay Matt, I'm prepared to concede a fair portion of that. It's a we'll-never-know question anyway.

I haven't heard of Crimson Echoes. I'll shift the conversation slightly over on your vein, Matt, and talk about Chivalry & Sorcery.

As far as I know, C&S fits into your CE example. It's out there, it's limping along, and it has also gone through five editions (the last one being the 'Rebirth edition.'

Now, are there very few C&S blogs out there because there was no company to put their stuff on the web, or was it because it just wasn't as adaptable a game? I remember the first edition; I had a friend who insisted we play it back in '81-'82. As far as the flat rules go, the 1977 release was a much better concept structure than anything contemporary D&D could offer. The rules were solid and very well adapted, and no harder to follow than Tractics (which I used to play in Junior High School, '76-'78.

But C&S was a very limited game. It wasn't as adaptable as D&D. It wasn't as 'friendly.' And even when I played in my friend's campaign, no one in that campaign or anywhere else thought C&S was a better game . . . except for Calvin, of course, who ran it.

I think that the survival of D&D was a guarantee because of the way we all thought about the game in 1979, before any of the after-shit began to come to life. We didn't view it, then, as a value that had to be questioned, supported, condoned or otherwise encouraged. We didn't need encouragement. Oh, hell, we played during those years when teachers and parents thought it was the game of the devil.

The idea that D&D 'needed' anything to be popular just baffles me. I don't argue, having been educated on the matter, that the OGL led to a wide-spread awareness . . . of the OGL. But I firmly believe that there were, and ARE, hundreds of thousands of hard core, long time players who don't know there is content about the hobby on the internet. There are role-players who have never heard of the WOTC. At one of the gaming clubs I've mentioned above, the organizer was one of those surprised to learn that people blog about D&D. Imagine.

We sometimes forget what a small community we live in, compared to the much bigger one out there.

Matt said...

I wasn't alive when D&D was first released. I wasn't alive during the "Satanic Panic" either. I'm a fairly young gamer. I was introduced to the game by my father. I got to pour over his old D&D books before any of my friends knew what D&D was. By the time I started playing in earnest I was using the WOTC published 3rd edition of the game. I of course had more material to draw on than just what was in the core books at the time.

You've argued before that if D&D had not been invented by Gyagax and Arneson that it would have eventually have been invented by someone else. I agree with that. I know that if D&D as a brand had not survived that I still would have had my dad's books for "an old dragon game people don't play anymore." I am certain that even if civilization had come to an end in the late 1980s and society was reduced to road-warrior style junk settlements constantly harassed by roving bands of irrationally dressed motor bandits, that the concept of a roleplaying game would be reinvented. I'm almost certain that the roleplaying game had been invented long before Gygax and Arneson made their game.

I don't at all doubt that the idea of roleplaying, if not D&D, would certainly survive anything that could be thrown at it. I also no that no cease-and-desist order issued by WOTC would make be change the way I run my home-game.

I also know that D&D had an international appeal. I know that in Germany the roleplaying game Das Schwarze Auge is far more culturally relevant than D&D. I know that in Japan the entire Record of Loddoss War series of light-novels, manga, and animations were the result of someone's D&D campaign. With a little research I could probably talk about how D&D spread the roleplaying game globally. American copyright laws don't mean shit overseas.

Of course D&D would survive the WOTC IP Thought Police. Of course there would be discourse about the game (much of it in languages that the WOTC legal department would not be able to understand). There is a huge community of roleplaying gamers that would neither care about what WOTC had to say about the game, nor even be on the radar of a corporate WOTC.

I don't know that there is something special about the makeup of D&D. It was the first RPG that most people in North America were introduced to. It is the most popular RPG on the market today. Hell, D&D is pretty much synonymous with RPG. I never say "I'm getting my gaming group together" or "It's tabletop night," or "we're playing Call of Cthulhu this weekend. It my D&D group. It's D&D night. We are playing D&D, even when we are playing Call of Cthulhu, or some homebrew monstrosity that I decided to test out, or whatever other game system there is.

(continued in a following comment)

Matt said...

(continued from above)

I don't think that D&D has survived in the minds of people because it was special. I think it has survived because it has become iconic. Even the name of Chivalry and Sorcery is purposely derivative of Dungeons and Dragons. It is in the style of Tunnels and Trolls, Monsters and Mazes, Swords and Wizardry, Castles and Crusades, and so on. It is playing on the name structure of D&D in the same way that generic Tastee-o's play off the name of Cheerios.

If there was no OGL, and if WOTC's legal department leveraged itself against the first English speaking RPG bloggers that popped up, would we have the online RPG community we have now? I have no idea. Maybe we would see blogs about Chivalry and Sorcery instead. Maybe we'd have a lot of people talking about Basic Fantasy RPG. Maybe WOTC's legal spam would mean shit-all and we'd see the exact same blogs with just a little more ire for the corporate thugs trying to run the show. I really don't know.

Like I said though. I don't worship the OGL as the legal messiah for the RPG community. I don't expect anyone else to either. I would much rather see games published under licenses that encouraged creativity than those that didn't.

If WOTC licensed 5th edition D&D under Creative Commons, I'd buy a set of books for every person in my D&D group.

That's not going to happen though. Which is good, because I'd much rather buy How To Run from you.

Alexis Smolensk said...

Thank you Matt.

You know, I've carefully worded every passage so that I'm not describing specifically D&D. When I give in-game examples, I include space, steampunk, champions, cthulhu and masquerade allusions.

It has all felt a little unnatural. But there we are.

Your confession argues my position very well.

Alexis Smolensk said...

Jeremiah, I've been thinking about your last paragraph.

What's always odd about arguments that rely upon what the children are doing (and I'm not saying here that you're making any argument at all) is that utter non-static nature of "the children."

The stunted power of creativity that this generation is experiencing is largely due to it being a transitive period in game mechanics/access. The video game industry really isn't very interactive, except in the monkey-see-banana-hit-button sense. Just imagine what this generation is going to be like when they hit 18, after a lifetime of thinking they have to pay coin for every pleasure. Pay-as-you-play video games may at last be the tipping point for legalized prostitution.

You heard it here first.

The paradigm shift is bound to occur that will give video game players more agency. Which is a good thing. I love my world, but I would FAR rather have a D&D world that I could build AND run in electronically. That would be really something. Our kids kids are going to really enjoy that.

Jeremiah Scott said...

This topic of "the kids" and their imagination (or lack of) exists in this peripheral realm of my consciousness where it interests me, but I haven't the time or energy to commit much thought or study to it. Therefore, I rely upon my entirely inadequate, completely unscientific, and borderline uninformed anecdotal experiences and gut instincts to proceed in a more in-depth discussion.

I must also admit that I don't do much video gaming, but most in my D&D group spend at least 30-40 hours each week pissing their lives away (my view of it) playing video games. So I am totally biased. I realize that.

I do enjoy video gaming once in a while. In particular, I enjoy PvP gaming (excuse me if I don't know the correct jargon, I trust you know what I mean) because it seems to provide the countless wrinkles and iterations that human interaction affords. My gaming group mostly detest PvP and prefer PvE, which to me seems like being force-fed horse shit. I suppose it's no worse than watching a shitty movie, and probably better because, as you say, it at least requires the monkeys to hit the button for their reward.

Two of my players (in their early 20s) grew up in this lifestyle of being consumed by video games. I have the hardest time conveying information to them in game because they have no imagination to fill in the "gaps". I know my descriptive powers aren't entirely to blame, as I don't have this problem with others. They also seem to be under the impression that all they need to do is horde treasure and items to "win". I don't have a problem with players hoarding. My problem is, they don't know any other way to play because that's what they're supposed to do in their video games.

I know that this is no good indication of a larger trend. Yet I have this ephemeral sense that there is a larger trend. Maybe it's because of the books people read nowadays, or the movies that pass for quality storytelling. Maybe I just can't come to grips with growing older. Maybe I'm just an old curmudgeon coming of age. I confess that is a very real possibility.

I've seen studies that say playing video games has been shown to increase creativity. But I can't escape this gnawing feeling that what passes for "imagination" in these studies is just the regurgitation of shit they've been fed by the video game industry. Garbage in, garbage out. That's not creativity.

I do believe that the technology is changing--and the way we interface with it--and that may be for the better. Enhanced computer AI will allow us to exercise agency to a much greater extent in a synthetic world. I'm not a nostalgic anachronist. I want to live in tomorrow.

That said, I don't think an electronic world could--or should--ever fully replace what we have in pencil-and-paper RPGs. I'm not against it and I do think it would be amazing, but there is a tremendous power in abstraction that most DMs don't fully comprehend, let alone leverage.

For example, if I tell my group that an enchantment makes someone look like the most beautiful person they've ever seen, it is left to the imagination of each player to dream that up. It empowers the mind. The best that software could hope to replicate of that experience (in the foreseeable future where computers can't read minds) is a shimmering light or some other silly effect. That can be fun, but it doesn't do the same thing. It's the same with the engagement of the other senses besides vision and hearing. Computers can't do that, yet. And even if they could, should that be it? Or is there something about abstract "in the mind" role-playing that is irreplaceable. I think there is.

That's why I don't think every book should be a picture book. But, then again, maybe I just don't have enough imagination.

Alexis Smolensk said...

Don't be too sure that a visual enhancement couldn't be mind-specific in its depiction.

I'm a writer, so obviously I like writing. And I'm old too, and I've seen the same trends in young comprehension. I wrote a post about exactly your point some six months ago, but since I'm old and tired right now, I don't feel like looking for it.

It's funny though; I'm almost fifty, but virtually everyone I meet who is computer illiterate is younger than me. But then, I don't know anyone older than me, except my dad . . . and he's puter literate too.

Jeremiah Scott said...

I seem to remember that post. I would've brought it up and mentioned how effusively I agreed with it, but I'm not flying my sycophant flag at full mast today.

I wouldn't say I'm computer illiterate. I am an engineer, of the electrical sort. Though my field of specialty is analog design. So I do retain an element of "black box" wonder about them. It's just that I spend all my day yearning to write and create and so I don't feel I have time to commit to video gaming.

On a side note: I got my copy of "How to Play" last night. I read it all in one sitting. Thanks.

Alexis Smolensk said...

One sitting? People are going to read that and think it's short!

It's a 114 pages, people. I swear! It's more than 24,000 words!

I hope you liked it, Jeremiah.

Jeremiah Scott said...

Yes, I see how that could come off the wrong way. "I bought it and read it in one sitting...thanks." I wasn't being sardonic!

I read it quickly because it is good, not because it is short.

Matt said...

As a young person: particularly one raised on video games and cartoons, I don't think that Jerimiah's view of computer gamers is entirely accurate. To be fair though, it could just be that I am an anomaly.

I prefer games that tell a story. I like games with innovative gameplay features. I like games where the gameplay and the story play off of one another. I think that a good videogame can make you feel something that a good movie or a good book or a good painting can't due to the interactive element.

I'd recommend getting a hold of and playing Shadow of The Colossus, Ico, Minecraft, Rez or Iji. I won't sit here and try to sell you on these games, but each of these games does something that I think is pretty unique in entertainment (outside of D&D).

It sounds like your players are gamers of a specific sort. It sounds like they prefer Massively Multiplayer Online style games, like World of Warcraft. You see, these games are not really representative of video-games as a form of entertainment. Compare them to Reality Television, or CGI filled summer blockbuster action movies. MMO games are designed to cultivate addiction to support their subscription and microtransaction models.

Basically, I think that if there were no videogames that the players that Jerimiah is complaining about would likely be just as uncreative and impatient.

Darcy Perry said...

"Because, frankly, we love this game, and we don't need other people to suggest we should write about it."

These words. They speak volumes to me. Who did what when and why they did it seem rather insignificant ramblings when compared to that statement.

Clovis Cithog said...

thanks for correcting my spelling error in a civil manner
Darcy --> Dancey (?)
..
if I remember correctly;

2nd edition was a TSR product
(Gary already forced out of the company) while
3rd edition was a WoTC product who bought TSR about 1998
...
WoTC got bought out by Hasbro then
Ryan ( a dedicated gamer) was made executive vice president of something or somewhat,
He quickly became discouraged with Hasbroz corporate goals and he resigned.
...
4th edition was a Hasbro product
(Ron Heinsloo) and rapidly DnD became second fiddle to Pathfinder