Daniel Sell

Stepping away from the reader

The position of role playing books in relation to their readers is very close. We are talking in the same room with a writer who wants to be understood, to give you everything now, you can touch them, tell them how you feel. I don’t want to talk to the writer I want the book to be an edifice. Or a facade. If you are telling me the truth then you are limited to exactly your extents, if you lie to me then the horizons open up.

There is a pernicious commitment to honesty and clarity in game writing that is only seen in the most milquetoast novels and comics. We are headed to a world where everything is Marvelesque, the weird” is only Marvel-weird, the walls grow higher and we’re encouraged to turn back inwards. The bravest want to push the walls out, take everyone with them, when what we should be doing is vaulting the wall and leaving it all behind. All the people, all the money. There are plenty of people outside the garden but money doesn’t grow there quite as easily.

Maybe we’re fooling ourselves. Maybe we hopped a decorative rock garden and think we’re outside the garden. Maybe we got outside and dally by the gates looking in. All of these would be fixed by picking a direction and running.