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Understanding Roleplaying

So, I’m a roleplayer, and that doesn’t mean what it used to. I’ve written a bunch about it, all of it with an eye towards making the hobby a little more understandable to the curious generalist. The more recent stuff digs deeper into what makes the medium tick (and yes, it’s a medium), while remaining as accessible as I can make it. My goal is eventually to have here a body of texts that provide a fairly complete conceptual picture of roleplaying, both through developing my own concepts and introducing those of others.

First, a post my friend Joli kindly hosted at Story By The Throat, adapted from something I did for the Portland Zine Symposium in 2011, that serves as a good preamble:

- Taking Stories Back


- What is a roleplaying game?
- Reconsidering the open loop: more on defining role-playing games
- Defining roleplaying, part 3: “impactfully” is *too* a word
- But what do the rules have to say about the story?
- Roleplaying and the brain: when you can’t “just roleplay it out”
- Conservatism and roleplaying

And if you’re really interested, a couple of earlier ones:

- Roll for emotional damage
- I gave a short talk and nobody died (video)

I’ll try to keep this page up to date as I do more.