6 Comments

Snow's article really lit a fire under me (in a good way). Roleplaying games have a fraction of the scholarship and ecosystem of other creative endeavors. And a lot of us ask, "why?"

Putting aside the pure difference in scale. After years of this conversation, I still haven't read a satisfying argument that interrogates this difference without blaming, or at least whinging about individual effort or community platforms. Clearly, the passion and sub-communities are as strong as that of indie movies, punk music, and pulp fiction. People are spending their nights and weekends writing and talking about rpgs. Some people devote their entire lives to it.

My thesis: "capitalism." Capitalism has made itself essential to the survival of everything. What's at the heart of every other industry's scholarship or touchstone? It's not purely passion or skill, it's profitability. The New Yorker made people rich. Writing books about the punk scene made people rich. Cataloging the queer history of Greenwich Village made people rich. Not the members of that community. Not necessarily the authors. But someone profited and fueled the fire. The problem is that the mutual benefits were temporary. Ask any punk scholar, academic, or historian and they'll tell you it's getting worse. I've had mentors say, "I can't imagine building anything in today's world." Everything capitalists helped in building, they're now absorbing and stripping for parts.

I think rpgs found their profitability too late for early capitalism but just in time for late stage capitalism. Except for D&D (and look at how that's going).

Anyway, I trade my short essay for this short essay. I loved reading it. Keep asking the hard questions and I'll keep reading them.

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Let me know when you get your Atari arcade set up. I'll start saving my US quarters now, and hopefully the exchange rate will be kind when I come over to play at your flat!

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Jul 29, 2023Liked by Wyrd Science

HIERONYMUS is the game to play using the Medieval Marginalia Miniatures :) https://laurieoconnel.itch.io/hieronymus

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Jul 28, 2023Liked by Wyrd Science

I have 4 keys I can give out for BlueSky - tell me how many and where to send them 🫡

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