Nobody’s Ever Reborn

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LARP, 1997

It’s true. Great faiths frame it as attachments leaping from body to body. Even dust has history. Everybody talks about being made of stardust but nobody wants to admit how ordinary it is.

I backed up a decade of posts and purged them from here. They’re not gone. They’re just a different kind of dust. Now I’ll grind out some new words. Such a waste of stardust, like everything else. I find comfort in it.

Don’t worry, I’ll talk about games.

Midway through a second decade of disaster, experimentation and in fact, my own second decade as a writer, I can feel the cycle of dust. People forget. Game designers forget. Game designers in search of novelty forget things a whole lot. It’s too their advantage, and sometimes the fanbase can’t tell because its membership cycles rapidly except for a hardcore few, and many of those are buried in one game or another. They’re never digging themselves up. They lose interest.

I can’t wait for someone to apply relationship maps to games again.

But that’s not a bad thing. Good ideas leap from cohort too cohort, even after being ground down, misattributed and reduced to fleeting intuitions. Sometimes the old standbys need to be weakened and made malleable. That’s how we got from character classes to factions. Nobody really forgot them — they’re D&D, after all — but folks forgot what they were for and that let Ars Magica and Vampire and such screw around with them.

But the flipside is that we still forgot what they were for. And game designers tend to forget that their predecessors do things for good reasons, and not because they were stuck banging the rocks together. I’ve never believed RPGs were a science. Innovation broadens the toolkit but as the OSR had demonstrated, it doesn’t make anything obsolete.

Sometimes though, game designers crawl up and remember. The folks that lost interest respond. It’s about them again. Mage20. Frickin’ 7th Sea.

I started in 1999 and the first folks I worked with were sure their predecessors had done lots of things wrong and we were going to fix it. That state of mind gave us a license to do cool things but of course, we didn’t always understand what we were rebelling against.

So I suppose I want to look back to look forward. I did my formative adult gaming in the 90s, so I’m going there, first. (And hell, I’ve written for some of the most 90s lines around: Mage and Vampire.) I’m sure other things will catch my eye but yeah: That’s a decent basis for a blog.

I do like The Sisters of Mercy, but you won’t see their lyrics. I have limits. Recently, I’ve been into Chelsea Wolfe, and I suppose that’s a bridge to now.

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2 thoughts on “Nobody’s Ever Reborn

  1. “I backed up a decade of posts and purged them from here. They’re not gone. They’re just a different kind of dust. Now I’ll grind out some new words. Such a waste of stardust, like everything else. I find comfort in it.”

    That’s a nice turn of phrase. I wouldn’t call your words a “waste of stardust” though. Even if you’re the only one reading them, they are still your words.

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