About a year and a half ago, the idea struck me that RPGs had a particularly odd phenomenon that required investigation. Now, I don’t pretend to be the first person who thought it strange that in the majority of role-playing games, strangers will march up to you and ask you to do their chores/rescue their daughters. But I do pretend to be the first person to dress up as a wizard, go into the streets of Bath, and find out if it was realistic. Below is the story of my adventure, originally published on The Escapist, and now in its full glory for you, today.
Quest For Glory
There are conventions in media we become perfectly used to, despite their having no place in reality. If we watch a movie, and someone is given CPR in the street, on the beach or dangling on a rope from a hot air balloon, we know they’ll come back to life. Nevermind that CPR merely sustains things until proper medical equipment arrives – we know, and accept, that with a couple of compressions and a few puffs in the mouth, they’ll be up and about and back to shooting zombies in a couple of minutes.
All romantic comedies will end in life-lasting true love, and all soap operas will have a 100% relationship failure rate. All cops will announce, “There’s no time for back up!” when they arrive at the scene of a crime, before being asked to hand in their gun and badge to the furious captain (what with the mayor being in town) on a weekly basis. All aliens are bipedal, and of all the languages spoken on Earth, choose English. Shopping bags always contain a long stick of French bread. And if you bump into someone of the opposite sex carrying a large stack of files, you will fall in love while picking them up. These are truths.
Conventions require time. Videogames have finally reached an age where such imaginary stalwarts are becoming firmly established, most especially within roleplaying games.
Prithy sir, clicketh upon mine linkth?
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