A bit unfairly, this is the last game played during the two-pal pow visit, after Jared had left for home and Simon and I had a bit more time. We'd been talking about French games, as he'd just visited there to investigate the crazy-indie design scene, and he had a bag full of weirdness. One of them seemed just right for the atmosphere at the moment, so here it is, Happy Together by Gaël Sacré.
I'd like to talk about "cazh" games, i.e., casual, not in terms of the attitude toward it by the players, but in terms of topic. It's when the imagined fiction is about people doing ordinary things during ordinary life, without ninja(s) crashing through the skylight or Elder Gods clawing through portals or what have you. I know about some of them, and my own Shine a Light leans that way for most of its content. Simon mentions It's Complicated during our conversation, and a while ago, Ángel told me about a game set in the bleachers during a football (soccer to U.S.) match, which was composed mainly of casual dialogue that was constrained not to be about the game. But there are very, very few such games, as a glance at any of our shelves will tell you.
Compare that to film, in which along with all the ninja/Elder God/what-have-you these sorts of topics are the majority. Nor is there any indicator that people in general have any problem with that, that they are bored with "regular people" fiction and yearn for ever more over-the-top Rifts-esque action. To the contrary.
So putting aside the no doubt interesting question of why gamers are obsessed with the excess (cue much talk of "power fantasy" and "failed to grow up," which may be disturbingly true sometimes), let's talk about those role-playing games which do it. I can think of a few more titles but let's see what you might know about.