Tuesday, May 27, 2008

D&D and Plato&Aeschylus

Ray Huling has a fun and thought-provoking piece at The Escapist this week. He's arguing among other things that the RPG is a sort of paradigm-shift in storytelling in world-culture, and he brings in Plato and the Athenian tragedy-guys to explain why.

I'm not a big fan of paradigm-shifts in general, because it seems to me that they're always in the eye of the beholder, and that much, much more often they actually represent swings of the pendulum. In the case of Huling's article, as I commented over at the mag, I think it makes more sense to see RPG's as a swing back towards improvisation from scripting. The nice thing about such a quibble, though, is that it doesn't really vitiate Huling's point at all, and also gives us lots of new ground to explore.