It's a Big, Big World We Play In
Last time I spoke about things which fell pretty closely to role-playing as in role-playing games (RPGs). Now let's examine some that fall outside the limits presented.
We'll start with 'solo' games. Erring towards the boundless side, I'll start with one suggested in the course of my original discourse on the subject. Let's take a moment to consider how 'lying' could be an RPG. (Being a liar or a con man was held up as an example of playing an RPG without anyone noticing.)
It does have a lot of the qualities most people associate with RPGs, but can anyone give an example of where it differs? I'll start: the person playing (inside the chara or liar) isn't really relating to anyone socially. Imagine bluffing your way into a fancy dress party; it could be fun and all, but in the end, you're all alone. Even the 'spoils' aren't really shareable; you can't reveal 'role-playing lies' without a certain amount of negative response. You might get your jollies, but you're all alone.
Given this, how could we change to making it more like an RPG? What would you do? I'm kinda naive here so I could use some suggestions. My first thought is to recruit others...and set some boundaries. No one should get hurt with this (how is that fun?), even bystanders. I'd also limit the participants to a sort of uniform or shared milieu. What I wouldn't do is require them to know each other or begin at the same time. For the most part, this sounds like an alternative reality game. We'll close; what do you think I'm missing?
Another suggestion was Holiday Villages (I love these, I don't know how I missed it¹). These are little dioramas that people often display during the winter holiday season. They have small houses and even smaller figures (sometimes moving about them). Aficionados really try to tell a story or two through this kind of sculpture. The question is, if you thought of this as an RPG, where is it deficient?
That one is a tough one. I can't really think of what it's missing or how to 'fix' it. I just have this vague sensation that it isn't. Can anyone help out here? (In the comments below.) I suppose the same answer would almost be true for model railroad layout builders (who do much the same, but with moving trains...and keeping to scale-sized schedules). But I'm stumped.
I do know I have some of the most well-read and thoughtful readers, so I thought I'd reach out to you. Thanks!
Next time we'll look at many of the different kinds of writing.
¹ We're planning to start a small on for all-year-round Halloween in our apartment!