Tuesday, September 9, 2014

In With The New

Recently, the ever thought provoking Noisms of Monsters and Manuals, put up a post which I can not help but be inspired by.

Mainly because I am of the opposite opinion.

Sure, it's possible I'm just being a jerk, but then again, I really do have a strong opinion on this. I guess that could still mean I'm being a jerk, but at least it makes me feel like I'm one with conviction and purpose.


Noisms makes a point that as he gets older, it not only gets harder to invest himself in new systems, but he seems (and I could be reading into this, so please correct me if I'm wrong my friend) less motivated to do so.

Now it could be the RPG he uses by way of example, Ryuutama - 'Dragon's Egg', a heartwarming, Japanese Tabletop, Medieval Fantasy game. He sites elements of the game that both appeal to him and don't, and he seems to be less than moved to grasp its positives at least in part due to those bits he sees as negatives. This is completely in line with the basics of Human nature. We actively pursue things of interest to us and are less motivated to learn about the things that don't.

In addition, other interests and priorities vie for our time, attention and mental processing power. We each have things that occupy our minds, be they family, work, school, others hobbies, etc., but we are fans of this hobby, otherwise we wouldn't even be discussing this.

In the case of some of us, like Noisms and I, we are interesting in the hobby enough to bother posting our thoughts about it to our own little internet corkboards.

It is my opinion that the prospect of learning a new game should be something we savor. Perhaps not if the genre, theme or overall style doesn't grab us, but if it does (enough), we should be eager to learn more about it, including how to play. I know that as I get older, it does indeed take more energy, and effort, to sludge through a new rulebook to learn a new game. Unless it's a game that sounds awesome. Then, simply put, I can't absorb it fast enough.

Another Japanese RPG was translated into English recently...

This, ladies and gents, is Double Cross, a Japanese Superhero RPG with several clever and intriguing features, brought to the U.S. and translated by Ver. Blue Amusement.

And I for one, can't wait to try it.

It is new? To the US, yes it is.

Does it use an established rule set we know like FATE or D20? No.

Will you take the time to learn it? Yes. Absolutely.

Why? Why indeed...

What is it we do for a hobby? I mean sure, we play games, but...wait...no but...however, I'd like you to hold that thought. I'll get back to this in a moment.

Sure we play games, but this isn't Checkers, or Chutes and Ladders. This is a creative endeavor that involves writing, reading, storytelling, acting and even visual arts for some.

Do we stop making art because we already have Michelangelo's David, and Starry Night by Van Gogh? Are we done with music since we've already listened to, and recorded Bach, Beethoven, the Beatles and Queen? Are we no longer writing, and reading works of fiction, or poetry, since we already have ones we like?

Hells no. That way lies stagnation and the loss of the motivation to imagine. This is the disbelief that dooms Tinkerbell of Neverland, the banality that undoes the protagonists of Changeling: The Dreaming.

If I should stop wanting to learn new games, try new mechanics, and new approaches to doing what I love, I might as well stop gaming. Why bother? There must be no more for me to learn, see, experience, or enjoy.

Now back to what we do for a moment...we play games. While (I hope) the vast majority of my audience viewing this knows these games are not the same as those we played as small children, I think we kid ourselves it we think ourselves better because of it.

No, my friends, we are merely the lucky ones. We managed to find a way to retain and expand our sense of child-like wonder and fun that all too few Human Beings lose as they grow up. We, the RPGers of the world, took that piece of ourselves, and advanced it. We evolved it. The result is, well, the result is what you make of it.

To say you are growing too old to learn new systems...perhaps that sits well with some of you, but it honestly bothers me down to my very core. It scares the bejeebers out of me is what it does.

If I said it, if I believed that, the child-like wonder part of me would die a little. It would be then, and only then, that I would feel old.

Barking Alien