Role-Playing - Storytelling For The Modern Era
Role-Playing Games

In this section you shall find the collected information on various role-playing games that have caught my interest over the years. This is by no means a complete list of all the information about all of these games, but an overview of why they have interested me and my own view of the ideas presented in each one. Before I start however, I would like to address a problem that has plauged gamers for many years now. It is odd to me that something as innocent as role-playing has gotten such a bad name. For while these games my seem foolish or even dangerous to some, I tend to look at them in more a enlightened way. There is nothing inherently evil in role-playing that perverts young minds. Likewise there is nothing wrong with wanting to explore a darker side of your own personality or imagination with the help of some friends. A quote from White Wolf's "Vampire: The Masquerade" may help to illustrate my point.

"Long ago, before movies, TV, radio and books, people used to tell each other stories: tales of the hunt, legends of the gods and the great heroes, or gossip about the neighbors. They would tell these stories aloud, as part of an oral tradition of storytelling, a tradition which, tragically, has been cast aside.
We no longer tell stories - we listen to them. We sit passively and wait to be picked up and carried to the world they describe, to the unique perception of reality they embrace. We have become slaves to our TV's, permitting an oligarchy of artists to describe to us our lives, our culture, and our reality. Through the stories constantly being broadcast, our imaginations are being manipulated for better and, all too often, for worse.
However, there is another way. Storytelling on a personal level is becoming a part of our culture once again. That is what (these games are) all about: not stories told to you, but stories you will tell yourself. (These games are) about bringing stories home and making the ancient myths and legends a more substantial part of your life.
Storytelling allows us to understand ourselves by giving us a tool with which to explain our triumphs and defeats. By looking at our culture, our family and ourselves in new contexts, we can understand things we never realized before. It is entertaining because it is so revealing, and exhilarating because it is so true. Storytelling plays such an enormous role in our culture that it can't be accidental. Stories are somehow basic to our psychology. Our obsession with them has a purpose to it: of that there is no doubt. Storytelling is integral to our nature, and has an influence which cannot be denied."
~ Mark Rein-Hagen, 1992



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