God, I Hope You’re Being Ironic

For me, super powers and SfX only screw things up and make the game boring. You can have very fun five hours of gaming just talking about your angst leaving your (in the game…) girlfriend. I promise.

Excuse me while I shudder.  Thanks, but no, I do not wish to play in this game.  5 minutes, sure.  But if all you’re gonna do is wank about how much your life sucks, you might as well talk about real life, because at least that way you might be working out actual issues.

Just read this post, I guess, and marvel at the arrogance and condescension that come off it in waves.  Read the bit by Ron Edwards, who manages to produce good games despite no apparent ability to distinguish between “what I like” and “what is good”:

I’ve had it with games in which the characters are specially-powered in any way whatsoever.

And yeah, I wrote games about sorcerers, magical elfs, and tall babes with horns on their heads. That’s done with.

No more. People in situations, from now on.

Explain again what it is about having extraordinary powers that makes a person any less of a person, or their situation any less of a situation?  Seems to me, from my plebian, low-class, unenlightened position, that having the powers increases the range of people and situations you can talk about–which ought to be only a good thing.  But what do I know?

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One Response to “God, I Hope You’re Being Ironic”

  1. Carrie Says:

    1. Mo left…
    Wednesday, 7 December 2005 5:35 pm :: http://spaceanddeath.com/sin_aesthetics/

    Powers might increase the variables, but I’m not sure that just increases the ways in which you can talk about human drama, not the potential for human drama itself. This doesn’t really matter one way or the other, though. Your point is that there is no less potential for stories and human drama in “supernormals” games than there is in “normals” games. I heartily agree. There’s a place in the world for both, obviously, as people play both Truth & Justice and Breaking the Ice.

    What I don’t get is why Ron is talking about it like it’s something he just thought up, and why Matt is responding to it that way. I mean, I haven’t read the whole thing, but I’m pretty sure there’s no Super Powers in Dust Devils.

    2. Carrie left…
    Thursday, 8 December 2005 8:02 am

    *Your point is that there is no less potential for stories and human drama in “supernormals” games than there is in “normals” games. I heartily agree. There’s a place in the world for both, obviously, as people play both Truth & Justice and Breaking the Ice.*

    One does occasionally get the feeling, reading some sites and blogs, that people oughtn’t–play both, that is. I think the Forge had some great stuff on it, but its relentless push towards “practical” and “narrative uber alles” did sometimes leave those of us who enjoy theory and a rousing dungeon crawl feeling a bit…left out. There was a definite air of having found the One True Way, for all the Forge regulars would fall over themselves assuring you that having fun was the important thing.

    You know what? This needs its own post.


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