Usually I wait a week to post Monday Labs, partly to get enough time to edit properly, partly to keep at least something on a regular cycle at the site. But this time I couldn't help myself, it's been only two days and here you go.
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Apologies for the buzzword ...
The idea here was to examine our respective region when we encountered role-playing, and to think about how role-playing got there, and in what form. It's only four people, representing two slightly different parts of Califoria divided as well by about six years (mid-70s vs. early 80s), the Netherlands at about the same time, and Argentina during the 1990s.
It is crazy how common and how widely-developed craziness is, in role-playing. As much as world-building, as much as combat options, as much as magic systems, this is a definite feature of the hobby with its own schools and aims. It is clearly a primary path toward characterization, character development, player agency (through its managed lack in many cases), and emergent plot.
Ken Oswald is a game and comics retailer in Alabama, who'll be giving an ambitious introduction to role-playing later this summer, He contacted me for sort of a brainstorm, let's compare notes session. The question is, how might a non-role-playing, or sorta-semi, heard-about-it audience be best oriented? Without manipulating toward specific products, and without falling back on the familiar hobby framing-terms.