Sunday, January 9, 2011

Why Game?

I listen to a lot of podcasts, like a lot a lot. My job requires me to read a lot at my desk, and I desperately need something to help occupy my thoughts and keep me for going out of my mind. Why do you care? What does this have to do with the post? Simple! I was listening to the video game podcast A Life Well Wasted all this past week. It's the work of one guy, Robert Ashley who works in the video game biz. Although it's just Robert working on it, the quality is incredibly high, and it's basically This American Life for video games.

While it mostly pretains to the electronic sister hobby to our own, it's applicable to pretty much every form of gamery out there. It looks at the big picture, and one of the episodes was simply titled "Why Game?" Most answer with the fact that it's fun or escapism or just something to do when you're bored.

I got to thinking about what my answer would be for this question. I play almost all the different kinds of games out there. If it's a game, I'm willing to give it a shot. Of course this being The Hopeless Gamer, we tend to focus on tabletop RPG's. So to answer the question of "Why Game?" I'm really going to look at just the one specific form of the hobby.

I game (role-play) because I like big dramatic stories. I like character arcs and strange worlds and fantastic weaponry. I like super villains, hopeless romantics, and hapless allies. I could read a book right off the library shelf and find a complete story from start to finish. Or, I could read a sourcebook, learn about an entire world and people who populate it, and come up with my own story for them. I can take an adventure - a story outline for fully-fleshed out characters - and throw it at my players to see what they make of it. I game because I like potential. More than anything else I spend my time in the tabletop role-playing hobby reading, imagining, and planning what could be instead of experiencing a story that is fixed in time - a story that already was. There's no hobby in the world that let's you focus on the unknown possibilities the future holds like tabletop gaming.

That's why I game. Why do you?

1 comment:

  1. All that, and because that's how I channel my creativity.


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