Destructive Myths and New Storytelling

Posted on 06 January 2015

Computer game design, improvisational theatre, roleplaying games, and oral storytelling have a habit of falling into well-recognised story tropes and myths. People are familiar with these sorts of stories, so the creator doesn’t have to fill in as much detail or think as much about the genuine ramifications of certain circumstances. With improvisation especially, since you have microseconds to come up with something, performers may comically drop into a trope as the most readily available tool to move their performance forward.

The problem is many of these tropes and myths need to be re-examined due to their destructive nature. “Five Destructive Myths Perpetuated by Roleplaying Games” is an excellent article on some of the more pernicious myths.

The most important thing to remember when examining these roleplaying myths is that none of them are insurmountable. They don’t mean that roleplaying is a bad medium for storytelling. Quite the opposite. Addressing these issues in your game is a great way to get players thinking, because they can actively participate. That said, not every game has to be about raising awareness or combating a flaw in our pop culture. Sometimes you just want to have a fun night without worrying about this stuff, and that’s fine. But if you plan your game to avoid these problematic myths, you’ll be taking a step towards improving both the medium and our society as a whole.

~Oren Ashkenazi, “Five Destructive Myths Perpetuated by Roleplaying Games“, Mythcreants: Science Fiction and Fantasy for Creatives.

Peace and kindness,

Katherine


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