Saturday, March 30, 2024

Good Video: Why not 5e?

This is a good video by a newer creator. It is very honest and reflects my feelings on 5e. Check him out and subscribe.

I had an article on this over on my GURPS blog, but I see many games with a clear difference between a West Coast game and a Midwest one. I use those terms loosely, but they highlight the major design trends and the areas of the country they are centered around.

A company anywhere in the world can write a "West Coast" game, so these are more named after the style's origin rather than saying, "These places only make these games."

West Coast games will never admit they are games. They don't want to be games. They want to be lifestyles and social platforms. This is the tech companies' influence on these games, and there is an expectation they are written to take over your life and identity. They will get you on "content streams" of books; they expand and fill shelves with filler until they die of obesity-related diseases (shelf rot and collapse). They tend to be so complex and in-depth that you have no mental room to play anything else. They also need computers to create characters, tying you into additional subscription services. You see this in every game Wizards put out (3E to 5E), Magic the Gathering, and every published Paizo game.

West Coast games sell themselves as a concept, utilize heavy mental and social manipulation, and ask you to "See yourself in the game."

Midwest games are more like the original D&D. They are happy to admit they are games, like Monopoly or Squad Leader, something you can put in the closet or on a shelf and take out when you want to play. These games have no desire to take over your life, no need to serve as an identity for your fantasies, and never want to build social media platforms around them. They are just games. They are simple, come in a few books (or just one), and you can create characters by hand on paper. These games also do not ask you to subsume your identity to them, and they pander to cute trends and current online fads far less than a West Coast game.

Midwest games have this humble and grounded feeling: "I am what I am; come tell stories with me."

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