Role Playing - The New Folk, Which Was The New Black.
It appears that one of my secret shames is finding a new generation of social outcasts to huddle under it's wing. When I was a young teen my only vice was comic books and role playing games. Sure I played D&D and sure I played Gurps too. I also had a bad moment with Star Wars, Marvel and Champions. I don't want to even speak of Teenagers from Outer Space. Galaxy High it wasn't.
Through all these games I was trying to re-live that first feeling of an over active imagination delving into role playing. An experience from what I consider to be one of the most exciting, clever and enjoyable RPGs ever, 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and other strangeness' or 'TMNT' to those in the know. TMNT was a game were a character (usually a mutant human/animal hybrid) was created initially through chance dice roles to exist in a world were everyone hated and/or feared them, were they lived a life of hiding and rarely had the chance to flirt or do normal things. A weird concept for a fantasy game, probably one that you would consider to be a little un-fantastical.
I remember playing a russian turtle (a very lucky dice role) for a while. Called Gorbachev, he was an insensitive moron with little feeling for others, no love for life, usually depressed and a loner. Having poor language skills I was only allowed to hear a few words from spoken sentences from my team mates. This usually lead to me doing the wrong thing or making war with everyone I met. Consequentially I died fairly early on.
My friends and I bought other add-on supplements. One I remember, a time travelling book called 'Transdimensional TMNT'. It was full of weird machines and old weapons. I remember it having a fairly rough, though interesting time line of the earth which had led predictions into the future. I ended up playing an Ankylosaurus, quite large, slow and stupid. Other characters included a floating humanoid with a white baby face and a huge head. The drawings were beautiful. Eric Larsen I believe... but now I'm boring you.
If you couldn't be bothered with the whole thinking and imagining there was always Fighting Fantasy Books. These 'Choose your own adventure' books were so popular when I was still at primary school. Flicking from page to page, making a choice, picking a number, you would guide your character through numerous possibilities to their inevitable death. The great thing about these books was if you cheated, (Via way of having a look at the choice, and if it was a death or a bad choice, just flick back to the previous paragraph and choose another) you were only cheating yourself. So?
Anyway... What was I talking about? Oh Yeah... Role Playing has now gathered it's fans again. Sure it's still very uncool. Sure it's probably just thirty somethings like myself trying to find our youth, and sure it's really not going to last. The real shock comes from the growth of the World of Warcraft series. So many people are living their lives in a fantasy world. Wasting thousands of hours chatting, exploring virtual environments and even trading and purchasing virtual items/people from Ebay.
One of the latest fads from this genre has been the Leeroy Jenkins phenomenon. Basically a short film showing the demise of a group of players due to one man's stupid actions. I have to say that I don't really know how the game works but when I watched the video I thought it was pretty funny. Being a troller who loves going onto chat sites to get a rise out of people. To annoy and aggrevate them, I felt a real joy in seeing the death of this, what can only be described as, group of nerdy bores.
Fear of Girls holds an Office-esque charm. A short documentary style film, it features Doug & Raymond, two gaming losers with a love for a little 'Blue' Role Playing.
What gamer would you be if you didn't own an Ivory set of RPG Dice?
Or you could try and sue for the death of your geek son.
I know what you're thinking, can I sink any lower? It's the internet, there's no end to the depths of depravity, apparently porn is quite popular. More on that another time...