Computers suck at stories. We’ve been trying to create AIs that will make writers redundant for decades and it’s just not happening. Even clever, experimental systems like Storybricks are using sophisticated technology to create stories which amount to “There are bandits on the road.” If you want plot twists more complex than “And then I killed the guy”, you’re going to need a writer.
That’s why I’m interested in Storium, a web based card game inspired by ideas from pen and paper RPGs like Fiasco, FATE and Apocalypse World. It’s a game in which the players collaboratively tell a story and the computer only exists to do the housekeeping and ensure they play by the rules. It’s a game where everyone is an author, not an actor, and you don’t play to win, you play to find out what happens. And if none of this paragraph made any sense to you, then don’t worry, because in order to fully explain what Storium is, I’m going to have to give you a crash course in the last ten years of pen and paper RPGs.
Read the rest of this entry »