14 June 2009

Live Action

As most of you probably know, table-top roleplaying is just one way of gaming. There's also LARP. This comes in many forms. The two most common are fantasy roleplay, through societies such as IFGS, and Vampire. There's no real reason to limit it to those sorts of games; I don't see why a live-action Wild West game is out of the question.

Of course, if you want to get technical, "Cops and Robbers" is a form of LARP. So is "playing house" and all the other make-believe games that kids play. Which reminds me of an essay I read in one of my Changeling books...

Steve Herman writes in an article entitled "Oh Boy! A Cat's Eye Shooter!" from the Changeling Player's Guide about how the imagination, the firm belief in things wondrous and magical, is the most precious gift that people have, and the loss of that belief as we grow to adulthood is a terrible tragedy. The author describes how he and his fellow gamers got out their old toys, action figures and the like. They tried to play with them, as they had when they were younger. It wasn't fun for them. They couldn't "create jungles from houseplants or deserts from carpet."

So they returned to the table. They played Changeling; they found that wonder again. They tried to steal a Wayne Gretsky rookie card, and chased a purple Snozzwanger through the alleys.

08 June 2009

Film and Book

Hello, and welcome to another week of gaming essays. Sorry it's a day late; I was having all sorts of trouble thinking of a topic for this week. But I finally came up with one: gaming in the world of existing stories.

This has been done many times in the past; I'm sure some of us remember MERP (Middle Earth Role Playing) from I.C.E. Of course, there's since been the new system released around the time of the Lord of the Rings films. There's also the Star Wars and Star Trek games, and the Buffy game, and there's been an adaptation of Hellboy for GURPS, and so forth... and that's not even counting the countless unofficial fan adaptations floating around the internet (like the adaptation of Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere). But we all see movies and TV shows or read books or comics and think to ourselves, "I want to play in that world!"