But uh, have you ever been experienced? Well, I have… Not necessarily stoned, but beautiful….
RPGs are all about the experience. We don’t get to take anything home with us. Maybe we buy memorabilia of a sort, kind of like buying a t shirt at a rock concert. But all of the art and books and dice aren’t going to give us the experience of actually playing.
Just like a concert, those RPG experiences are ephemeral. Yes, we can record both, but listening to the tape I made of the Grateful Dead at Saratoga Springs in the summer of 1985 and watching our uploads of All for One Regime Diabolique aren’t the same as being there in that moment.
Everything we bring to the table contributes to that experience. The particular game, our knowledge of the game and our skill using it, our expectations, baggage from other games, the people, how we are feeling that day, how we play, how we interact with each other, our engagement, and so on and so forth ~ all of this contributes to the experience we have in the moment.
In a very real sense, the end product or experience that we have is not only created by the process we use to play, it is the process in its entirety. The RPG experience is where cause and effect merge, and trying to grab ahold of it can be like clutching smoke.
Being a fan of Sisyphean tasks, I am fascinated by the unraveling and analysis of the RPG experience. Not only can we understand how it comes about, but also how to mold into the shapes we want. There’s always a certain amount of the process that’s hidden in the black box, but my goal is always to shrink the size of that hidden area so we can change the parts to improve the whole.
It’s been fun sharing my experience, I hope that you will share yours.