Friday, February 26, 2010

Game Systems As Languages

In reading other blogs over the past couple days, I've come upon discussion of the 'language' of certain games and how it creates a sense of solidarity, a common ground, from gamer to gamer—even those of slightly different 'generations'. This is certainly the case in my experience, especially when you're talking about how gamers talk to each other. I personally don't have a lot of contact with gamers outside of my own circle of friends, but I did notice a bit of a disconnect the last time I went to a convention (last month) and had some people throw some d20isms at me, as if I knew what those things meant. It was a bit strange, especially when it was a setting that I was so intimately familiar with—Star Wars.

As other gamers put it, they really don't hold a 'grudge' against people who play other systems. I know I don't. Its just that I see so much good in the 'language' I was brought up with—like the D6 System for Star Wars—that I want to share it with other folks. And I am continually baffled when people reject it. But then, that's not the system they were 'brought up' with, so I have to understand where they're coming from, even if it is frustrating to me.

But then, I think I'm used to that kind of thing in other aspects of my life. Take my computer for instance—I am an Apple guy. I KNOW that PCs can do just about everything I want out of a computer and at half the price, and yet I still LOVE Apple. Is it logical? No. It is a 'gut feeling' kind of thing. Apple connected with me on a personal level, just as the Star Wars D6 system did. I KNOW the d20 system is workable—and like all systems is as good or bad as the people who run it MAKE it. And yet it doesn't feel right to me. It never connected and never will the same way WEG's game did.

Yeah, its part nostalgia, I totally have to admit that—but that doesn't make my feelings or my judgement 'wrong' as to the merits of the system. Anyway, its just a random thought I had and had to put down in writing.

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