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Nobody Is Trying To Kill RPGs

Posted in Games

It’s an unfortunately common RPG scare tactic to claim that someone is trying to kill RPGs. Nobody is trying to kill RPGs.

Or at least nobody inside the RPG hobby. I guess some misguided religious folks would like to kill RPGs, but I don’t see any of them doing that by making RPGs (or RPG-like products if you’ve got a strict definition of RPGs). Here’s my thinking:

Some people are in RPGs as a job. Well, that’s only half the story—you’re only going to be in RPGs as a job if you’re at least slightly in them as a hobby, most likely. Being a game designer doesn’t exactly have the pay or cache of being a movie star, doctor, or rock star. But, anyway, some people do make a living in the RPG industry. None of those people are trying to kill RPGs, because that’s where they make their living. That’d be like a writer advocating for illiteracy.

Some people (just about everyone) are in RPGs because they like them. I hope I don’t have to explain that you don’t deliberately destroy things you like.

The only theoretical person who’d want to destroy RPGs from within would be someone who just wanted to watch the world burn, but frankly RPGs are a pretty small world to burn. It’d be more like watching the world get mildly too warm and sweat stain its favorite shirt.

If you make money from RPGs there’s no reason to destroy them. If you like RPGs there’s no reason to destroy them. Even if you hate them, they’re hardly worth destroying, and certainly not from the inside.

Nobody is coming to take your RPGs, so let’s just play our games and talk like adults about how we game and what we like.

Sage LaTorra is a game designer and engineering manager at Google. You may know him from Dungeon World.

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