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
“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.