06 March 2011

What really bothers me

Is that my most consistently popular articles is the ferociously negative Pandering a Game: Doomed to Fail?, where I was pretty upset about people evangelizing 4th edition D&D and it trying its best to be something that it isn't.

It is pretty annoying, and it goes against one of the things that, in my opinon, is most important in any media. You've got to know who you are, and what you do.

Nothing's more annoying than, for example, a teen rock angst-band that thinks that it's badass, or than a country singer that thinks it's rock. Or, bizarrely, a hip-hop artist that thinks that they're rap, or a rapper that thinks they're rock. It's really annoying, since there's nothing wrong with any of those genres individually, but when they try to be something they're not, it's awful.

And so it is with roleplaying games. Nobody's playing D&D instead of video games, and nobody's playing it and thinking they're in some novel, or some movie. The reason it's so annoying to hear about 4e so much is that it's not video games or movies, and they're not for people who'd rather be playing video games, watching movies or writing novels. It's a roleplaying game. It needs to play to the strength of medium, not try and "transcend" it or bring in people from outside the hobby.

The hobby's strengths are enough to make it grow and have it spread. It doesn't need to masquerade as anything else, and I feel it's weaker as a result.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, I like your point about attempting to transcend the nature of a rpg. This is a rather silly idea but I believe you've really hit the nail on the head with what 4e and it's fans an creators believe that are attempting. I, however, would say a better way to transcend the norm of rpgs would be the use of a diceless game system. But, transcendence doesn't mean Zen for everyone.

    Your comments about music seemed to sum up all the things that are wrong with modern music too.