Friday, 11 March 2011

Game culture; Does it express a need for Escapism or the search for Community?


We had finally managed to persuade a local fisherman that there was a school of magic fish just off the coast of the small island on the horizon and he agreed to ferry us across. It had been a very successful bluff-check and we weren’t sure if he would still be waiting for us when we returned, but it was a risk that we had to take. We had business on that island; we were looking for the final dismembered body-part of a demigod. The safety of the world depended on it.

Once across, we discovered that a local tribe of lizard-folk had discovered the leg that we were looking for and that they worshipped it as a relic; a piece of their God. It was not going to be easy to get it back. But Morris had an idea. He had recently emasculated a rather troublesome bear and carried said trophy in his pocket. If we could persuade this group of idolaters that this was a more valuable body-part from their God, we might be able to trade it for the leg that we needed. True, Morris did place great value on the bear-penis himself, but this was a trade worth making.

Somewhere, in a fantasy world of our creation, there is a tribe of lizard people worshipping a bear-cock. Only in the world of role-play could such a wonderful thing happen.

I have been adventuring and dungeoneering with a party of misfits for around 3 years now, and I am hooked. But let’s get something straight. I don’t dress up in strange clothes, or ride around on an imaginary horse clip-clopping with two halves of a coconut. That would be LARPing (Live Action Role Playing) and I am not quite ready for that.

I came to realize that Dungeons & Dragons (4th Ed) might be the best game I have ever played, but began to wonder what it is about games that keep people playing.

I spoke with Editor-in-chief Dave “The Game” Chalker and  regular contributor Phil “Chatty DM” Menard about their gaming habits. 

© All rights. Richard Watts 2011

1 comment:

  1. I've never done real life role playing, though I've always thought it would be fun. The closest I came was playing Magic: The Gathering for a year or two. I'm interested to see how you answer the question posed in the title.