Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Question: Internet Discussion vs. Actual Play

What RPG or RPGs do you think are underrepresented online in terms of discussion vs. how much they are actually played? RPGnet tends to skew how much games such as Exalted are discussed vs. how much I suspect the hobby at large plays them, so what about the other way around?


Rob Conley said...

I think some RPGS have more interesting premises than other. Ones that lead to extensive discussions. This does not correlate to playability or how often a RPG is played although if the RPG has a good rule system it can help.

For me Traveller is one RPG that I talk about more than playing. The Third Imperium setting is endlessly fascinating from my POV and I can talk about it all day.

Jeff Rients said...

I think there's a huge net skew towards the latest games. Over the 19 years I've been involved in the local scene I look at actual campaigns run and see a much more even mix of stuff that's hot on the net and stuff nobody talks about much. There's a popular d20 Modern game right now. Before that it was Mekton Zeta.

Rognar said...

I get the sense that D&D 3.5/Pathfinder is underrepresented in terms of online discussion. Beyond Paizo's own site and a little corner of ENWorld, there seems to be few sites dedicated to these games. Contrast that with the tsunami of "old-school" D&D blogs. To a casual observer, you would assume many more people play Labyrinth Lord than Pathfinder.

Anonymous said...

+1 Rognar
I agree that 3x/PFRPG seems to be underrepresented in internet discussion. But this may be simply b/c the Paizo forums are so lively or it could be a matter of game complexity...I dont know but I would LOVE to see some PATHFINDER blogs but they seem to be about as rare as 2e retro clones lol. -Azhriaz

James V said...

I agree that 3x/PFRPG seems to be underrepresented in internet discussion. But this may be simply b/c the Paizo forums are so lively

I think you got it in one. Pathfinder seem underrepresented because there's one clear place online where their community can get together. A well supported and lively house forum should make personal blogs unnecessary. At least I could see a publisher taking that POV.

Rognar said...

The problem with Paizo's site is that it's too lively. If you post a new thread, you better hope it attracts some interest in the first hour or it will be buried.

Gleichman said...

I always see a huge diconnect because I've never played the 'in' game since the late 70s. So from my PoV the Internet is always off base.

This is true even when I went to sites dedicated to HERO System which has been a consistent choice for me. They may be talking about about the same books, but the usage was so different that they may as well have been a D&D site.

The people who go online and actually post are a narrow selection, and frankly I doubt they are in position to comment upon the hobby's larger trends outside their own groups.

1d30 said...

There's a place for blogs even if there are excellent fora.

An internet forum is a place where the person who screams the loudest without getting banned gets to shape the discussion. People come, don't read the conversation, and put their own views at the (current) end. A solid majority of posters don't return to the thread, or only read a couple posts after theirs, and so they don't learn anything. Nobody's opinion changes.

A blog is one person telling it how they see it. If you don't like it, you probably won't continue reading the blog. So the blog tends to attract likeminded people, who want to come and learn what the blogger offers. They take what they want and leave the rest. Sometimes readers' comments refine or inspire the blogger or other readers.

Ideally, the forum creates an environment where ideas are tumbled around until a few good arguments arise, which people can look at to form their opinions and spur them on to further investigation. In reality they often become cesspits spawning viral garbage.

Ideall, the blog is like a personal publication, somewhere between a diary, local newspaper, or professional journal. In reality they're often insular and are alternately slow to adapt and yet mated to the whims of the author.

But regardless, they each do something different. Just because there's an enormous forum doesn't mean there's no reason to have blogs (or vice versa).