Wednesday, 12 October 2011

We Are Ahead of the Curve

You should all be listening to econtalk anyway, because for a thinking person there simply is no better podcast anywhere in the world. But this week's episode, on storytelling and the art of immersion, is a must-listen for enthusiasts of roleplaying games. Covering everything from Dickens to modern-day fan fiction to Lost to the iPad, its main theme is the role storytelling plays in human life and the way in which it is evolving in the age of the internet and the communications revolution.

One of the most interesting quotes is as follows: "I think ultimately where it's going to go is some kind of fusion of story and game, which has not really been accomplished yet. I think that is, however, what's implied in this kind of immersive, participatory kind of story-telling [which is becoming more common]."

It made me want to shout: Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson accomplished it nearly 40 years ago. Face it - despite the doom and gloom surrounding the RPG industry, the fact of the matter is that we are winning the long game, because our type of game will slowly but surely become the dominant type of game that the human species plays.


  1. You can even go high-concept and claim RPGs have already inherited the earth: shamans and similar fireside tale-tellers were engaged in cooperative storytelling and riddle contests long before polyhedral dice became involved.

  2. I'd say professor MAR Barker's story-telling rules meet the criteria of fusing story and game even more.

    If Gygax and Arneson were the princes of this art form, then Barker was definitely the king.