What Is a ‘Role-Playing Game’ Anyway?

John Peterson is the author of Playing in the worldIs widely seen as an extensive history of Dungeons & Dragons, As well as the basis of visual history Dungeons & Dragons: Art and Archana And this D&D Cookbook Feast of heroes. In his new book, Elusive shift, How D&D And similar products came to be called “role-playing games”.

Peterson said in episode 446, “This is the story of the people who picked up these games and saw this wealth of ‘role-playing’, and how that label was first combined and what people felt ? ” Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy Podcast.

while studying Dungeons & Dragons Not all fun and games. Peterson spent five years writing Elusive shift, Containing 16 pages of 16 footnotes and more than 50 fanzines, many of them rare collector’s items.

“It’s a very crunchy book,” he says. “Compared to things like I’ve worked Art and archana And Feast of heroes, I’d say it’s much less accessible. It is published by MIT Press. It is targeting a very, very hardcore audience who are into RPGs. If you’re designing an RPG, I think it’s of interest, but it’s probably not for casual readers. “

Dungeons & Dragons Originally published as a “wargame”, but due to its character-centric, free-spirited nature came to be called a “role-playing game” a few years later. Douglas P. The debate about the “right” way to play with the arguments of writers like Bachman became increasingly emotional D&D Can help guide players on a real-life spiritual quest. “You don’t see people watching Wargame and claiming that it gives you access to the realm of Faerie, which is exactly what this guy argued,” Peterson says.

The biggest debate was between the warriors who watched Dungeons & Dragons As a game of strategy and achievement, and fantasy and science fiction fans, who saw it as a place to tell stories and try out different people. Peterson noted that despite the endless inkling of such arguments, they continue.

“I think its purpose is Elusive shift To show how these tensions were created in the role-play from the beginning, and they would probably not accept any satisfactory, definitive solution, that would work for everyone. “

Listen to the full interview with John Peterson in episode 446 Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy (up). And check out some highlights from the discussion below.

On john peterson Dungeons & Dragons: Art and Archana:

“I’ve never done anything like this [book tour]. We were at Pixar. They were working ahead Then, who has this huge RPG component, and so it was great to talk to them, and they really engaged with us on this. We were at Lucasfilm, we were at Google, and there were so many great bookstores. … It was a bit gruesome, maybe. We were bouncing around the country a little bit for that week. Felt as if in a band. Our friends Joe Mangano, Who wrote Forward Art and archana, This company is Death Savings, which makes heavy metal street wear, and so it made us a tour t-shirt, listing all our tour dates on the back. “

On john peterson Feast of heroes:

In the early 1980s, TSR, which was then published Dungeons & Dragons, They were licensing everyone, and they actually decided to give the license Oscar MayerOscar Mayer in wieners – and so they produce them D&D Branded Meat Products. It was for European audiences only, so these were available in Spain, mostly, and included bacon. this was it Dungeons & Dragons There is branded bacon that they sold there. Internally TSR employees used to call that ‘orc bacon’. … and so I was like, ‘Okay, we’ve got orc bacon. There is no way this book does not contain orc bacon. We will find a way to do it. ”

John Peterson on RPG rules:

“The more you believe that there is a deterministic world that is responsible for collecting the things that the referee is telling you, that there is some nail-down model, it doesn’t always help you guess the other, always. There is no uncertain why events happen, because you experience it in the same way that you experience a real world, where there are physical rules and physical rules that are accustomed to being in our mind. And to bump up against something , Which seems to be, whether it’s a total paper mAché or a well-thought-out system, is just colliding against something that feels like it is enough for us to believe in imagination. “

John Peterson playing the role:

“When I played a lot Vampire: Excuse, Was a friend of mine, and he and I wandered in Boston for hours, and everything we saw, we resolved into a world of darkness. Any person we saw, we were guessing if they were a vampire and what lineage they were from. Every building we saw, we said, ‘Ventures clearly live here.’ If we see a manhole, we will talk about Nosferatu. These are the things that we have started to understand as reality. Now I do not mean that in the sense of Steam tunnel baby, That we were confused as to whether these games were real or not, but they created such an ideological dimension that helps you understand reality in a more interesting way. “


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