Episode 163 – taking roleplaying games mainstream

* I hate Skype.

* Happy birthday to Chris!

* Pat finds Devil Cremes.

* Sherlock Holmes, the upcoming movie, and reimagining popular stories.

* Old games that we miss…!?

* The creep of roleplaying elements into non-roleplaying games.

* Failures of outreach in geekdom.

* Bringing roleplaying games into the mainstream.

Hosts: Chad, Chris, Dan, Pat, Wayne

Comments (12)

NathanielSeptember 16th, 2009 at 5:31 pm

Hey, guys. Old boy is definitely Korean. I live in Korea and my Korean friends rave about it all the time…. still haven’t seen it. If you like that movie check out the movie 친구 Chingu translated as “Friend”. Awesome movie about the evolution of relationships between a group of friends, two of whom are gangsters. Very Awesome.

AkiSeptember 17th, 2009 at 2:38 am

Yes, it’s Korean. Also, it’s part of a trilogy about convoluted vengeance. It was preceded by Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance and followed by Lady Vengeance. All great movies.

ScottSeptember 17th, 2009 at 7:19 am

On the subject of Sherlock Holmes, you guys need to go back and read the Doyle. You are substituting what you remember of the Basil Rathbone/Jeremy Brett Holmes, and NOT the Holmes that Doyle wrote. Doyle’s Holmes NEVER smoked a calabash (and kept his tobacco in a sock), WAS a pugilist, and DID use other faculties than his intellect to solve crime. Steampunk notwithstanding, from the trailers, this Holmes looks a lot more like the Holmes Doyle wrote about.

AkiSeptember 17th, 2009 at 10:07 am

I agree with Scott. There was a reason why Moriarty and Holmes would agree to settle their score with fists rather than other measures (like guns or chess). Although the trailer has more action than the books, the books did include fair amount of it.

Have you seen a different trailer than I have? I haven’t seen any real steampunk stuff in there. Perhaps some of the gadgets seen on the trailer are a bit anachronistic, but if so, not much. If steampunk was a big part of the movie, I think they would have been more open about it in the trailer and flaunted whatever huge machines they have come up with. Didn’t see anything like that…

DanSeptember 17th, 2009 at 1:52 pm

Unlike Chad and Pat, I’ve never seen any of the Holmes screen adaptations. My only exposure has been reading Doyle’s serial fiction. My issue with the movie is that it appears to be an explosion-laced, slapstick, sexually-titillating action flick. As you noted, he was indeed a pugilist, he was physically impressive, and at times he solved crimes using social manipulation or other methods that had nothing to do with walking around hunched over with a magnifying glass and notepad. But I think it’s pretty fair to say the general feel of the movie is still pretty far off the ranch from the feel of the original stories.

AkiSeptember 17th, 2009 at 2:54 pm

It is being marketed that way, but it’s hard to say what the movie will be like in the end. Like Wayne (and probably someone else too) said on the show, no point in marketing to the people who are going to go see it anyway. Use your marketing magic to draw in the masses. For example, Inglourious Basterds wasn’t anything like I was expecting based on the first trailers. I sort of knew what to expect because I had read enough reviews, but still the aspects of the film focused on in the trailers aren’t there to the extent I was expecting.

(Although, I probably enjoyed it a lot more than I would have if it actually was like the trailers staged it.)

I bet the movie isn’t going to be nearly as gratuitious as the trailer.

aphrael6September 18th, 2009 at 10:38 am

On a totally different tangent, I just finished listening to this episode AND my husband had just finished playing Batman: Arkham Asylum. (I’m a video game voyeur; I usually watch and multitask.) Along the same lines as the comic book that they included with the game, they also made the websites for both Arkham Asylum and Gotham city–yay! Immersion! If you follow the web addresses that the intercom voices tend to say in the background, they really do exist. There’s even a login for Arkham Asylum employees but you have to find an email and a password to get in. They are http://www.arkhamcare.com and http://www.gothamcitymunicipal.com.

MarkusSeptember 21st, 2009 at 2:29 pm

Chad, I think that we live in a day and age where the trend is going away from passive consumption. People watch less TV and instead use interactive multiplayer videogames, or generate content for Twitter, their blogs or social network sites like Facebook.

If that helps RPGs I don’t know. And I’m not sure RPGs will ever be mainstream again, simply because it is a hobby that takes some effort and time, which many people are not willing to spend on a single subject.

However, I do agree that RPGs have the potential to reach more people. I regularly host games for non-gamers, and they almost always get it within minutes and have fun.

Maybe all it takes is a great, great game. I mean, strategy board games have gone mainstream in the German speaking countries mainly due to games like Settlers of Catan or Carcassonne that just bridged that gap.

All the best from Vienna, Austria,
Markus

Michael PhillipsSeptember 22nd, 2009 at 1:34 pm

Free Comic Book day, at least manages to capture a lot of people who are sliding out of comic books. Comics have a major issue with declining readership, so introducing a bunch of current customers to other things they aren’t currently reading (also web comics have had books with FCBD, and did advertising for it, hopefully creating cross pollination in both directions.)

Another major issue with Free RPG Day is that it costs the host store a fair amount of money. Unlike the free kits from FCBD, FRPGD’s organizars charge for the materials.

My roommate just bought a poster from Serenity from a comic book store and in the packaging they included a Green Lantern Comic, a dark horse sticker, and a Black Lantern Corps ring in the package.

GAMA has several flyers for introducing assorted sorts of people to the concepts of role players (like Parents, Teachers, Librarians, etc. Wizards created the same sort of info packet a while back.)

Michael PhillipsSeptember 22nd, 2009 at 1:46 pm

The NCIS and Criminal Minds sort of show tend to have entirely geekish casts, and while there are akward geeks in them, there are also non-awkward geeks in them.

OmnusSeptember 22nd, 2009 at 3:38 pm

Free Gaming Day and Free Comic Day should be carried out at Wal-Mart to expand coverage and try to bring new players and consumers, not in the gaming stores alone.

BenOctober 14th, 2010 at 3:54 am

I’m going through the archives and listening to your guys’ older podcasts… and I’m making my first comment on this one, because: whoa-whoa-whoa-wait-what? “people don’t want to create their own entertainment”? people LOVE to create stuff. The Sims, Second Life, Spore, Sim City… even designing your own characters in Rock Band, where there is no point to what your character looks like. whenever a game gives people a way to create stuff, people create it: people make mods for Civilization, maps for first-person-shooters… it doesn’t matter the game, if you give people a way to create, they create. and the internet has become what it is because people love to create stuff: YouTube, I’ll even say give LOLcats credit here… Wikipedia, maybe even? and all the free blogging and web hosting sites… I think every fanfiction writer and webcomic writer is a DM waiting to happen; that everyone who’s spent hours designing their Gaia Online avatar is a PC in the making. even TV is getting in on this with “tell us what to do next – vote for it.” and yes, that’s very bare-minimum “creation”, but I think that’s because TV doesn’t know how else to do it at this point, but people love shows that do that. people get excited that they feel like they can have a say in the direction a TV show they love can go, and if television can find a way to give people more creative control, you can bet they’ll do it, because people will want it.

anyway: sorry to rant in my first ever comment >_>

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