Thursday, October 12, 2006

A Breakthrough Testimonial

I still remember one of the earliest breakthroughs I had with gaming (and no, not that roll-a-dice, professionally produced nonsense lol) soon after Professor Curtis and I met. We were to head up to an indie gaming convention just outside New York City (which was cool, because during high school I always wanted to move there, where things would be different), and the Professor and I ended up sharing a room (though I told him he didn’t have to insist on sharing the bed, as the cot they furnished was plenty comfy) at the local Motel 6. Over continental breakfast the next morning (“continental” refers to the way they properly eat breakfast in Europe, just so you know), we ran into one of his other gaming friends who was staying in the same hotel! His name was Lionel Marker, and his black-frame glasses and ironic t-shirt immediately marked him as a man of intellect and bearing. After I pointed out the smear of grape jelly on his goatee, we struck up a conversation about gaming. I guiltily admitted sometimes I missed the tangible mechanics of games such as D&D and GURPS.

“Those things you miss about those games—playability, coherency, solid rules—why do you miss them?” he asked.

“Well,” I responded, “they helped me enjoy the game and feel like I wasn’t just part of a Theater 101 class exercise”.

“Cornell,” he said, “what you need to realize is what you used to play was just a child’s game. You, my friend, are intelligent enough to partake not in mere "games", but in psychosocial exercises and experiments, to explore themes and social dynamics, and to partake in activities that are building an entirely new school of academia! You don’t play with your dice, you play with your mind”.

And it suddenly clicked. Wow. I play indie games because they cater to me and my kind. I could no longer enjoy GURPS or Rifts because I had evolved, anymore than a grown man could find enjoyment in a dog’s chew toy. And conversely, you can’t expect GURPS players or infants to enjoy a fine wine, or a well-stocked library featuring Shakespeare, Noam Chomsky, and Anne Rice.


Blogger The RPG Griot said...

You say;

"I guiltily admitted sometimes I missed the tangible mechanics of games such as D&D and GURPS."

Sure, GURPS is a pile of horseshit because it doesn't use d20, and isn't as successful as D&D.

But leaving D&D is the worst mistake a human being could ever make in their entire lives.

It's the facists like you who tell people that your way of gaming is the only way to play, and that no other form of play is acceptable. That is a ridiculous Pig-Dog position, and just proves how elitist that you are.

In Truth, with a capital T, the only game that is fun or worth playing is D&D. MILLIONS of roleplayers simply cannot be wrong. By Occam's Razor, either the millions of people having fun gaming are wrong, or you ten Forge Game Pig-Dogs are wrong. Guess which side I pick?

That's right, I'm above your elitist speech and your One True Wayisms. A million smart gamers know that D&D and d20 is the only game worth playing, and anyone who says otherwise is ontologically wrong.

If people are tired of this Ivory Tower facist Pig-Dog drivel and want to participate in a real community of like-minded intellectual supermen in a secluded isolated community under my total control, they can check out my own blog at .

7:30 AM  
Blogger Cornell Richardson said...

Pah. Pimp not your site of low expectations and lower intellect on here, sir. You've one more warning, then you will find yourself banned from yet another gaming site, which I believe will bring the total into the low hundreds.

If I am elitist, it is only because I am part of the elite.

7:38 AM  
Blogger The RPG Griot said...

You can ban me if you want, like Ron "Kool Aid" Edwards does all the time on The Forge to people that don't follow the party line.

But I believe that you are scared of the enormous amount of backlash you will receive from your peers.

And also, I wasn't banned from RPG sites for being an Asshole or disrupting every conversation on it as I posted all day long. No, I was banned because of my Anti-Forge Stance. The moderation at every internet site has it out for me. They're all in cohoots.

RPG Griot

7:46 AM  
Blogger Zweihander said...

I learned about the power of emotionally exploratory gaming when an incredibly intense game of Lacuna help me to quit smoking.

I can't even believe I ever made a Mega-Juicer who also was a Veritech pilot in a RIFTS game!

7:47 AM  
Blogger The RPG Griot said...

By the way, in case you didn't notice above, I used the words "Kool Aid" in between "Ron" and "Edwards". It was like I was comparing him to the infamous Jim Jones cult, who all followed an insane prophet and committed suicide together. I wanted to make sure that you noticed, because it was very clever.

RPG Griot

7:48 AM  
Blogger Cornell Richardson said...

How dare you befoul the name of Ron Edwards, sir! The man remains one of the masters of using italics, and here you sit with some Jim Jonesery foolishness. I suggest you return to whatever 3-legged Peruvian gaming table you call home, bed, and mistress, lest you force me to denounce you further, and write an indignant essay on story-games to that effect.

8:19 AM  
Blogger Cornell Richardson said...

@ zweihander: Good for you. I have heard of several people using HeroQuest (back when it was still indie and not a total commercial sell-out) to cure arthritis or battle their alcoholism. I've heard one notable indie game designer even used Burning Wheel to cure his genital warts. However, that was a signed copy, so your mileage may vary.

8:35 AM  
Blogger roleplayingjesus said...

Cornell, we are all so glad that you broke free from the chains of enslavingly bankruptist play.

Kory Curtis missed one important thing though: Not only have you broken free of childish gameplay, you've broken free of illusionist railroading wankery.

So you can also, quite fairly, make the metaphor of "I was freed, and I no longer wanted to go back to slavery".

10:05 PM  
Blogger Cornell Richardson said...

@rpj: You are making some excellent points here! However, Professor Curtis did not miss this--he mentions it at least once a day. The mistake was mine in not revealing it to you.

10:22 PM  
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