Talk about the passion
[Note: The events and persons described in this are part
truth, part fiction, and part fiction-embellished truths.
Any resemblance to real persons is probably not
I was sitting at my desk and thinking the other day. Besides noticing that the most times in a row I could flip a coin and have it land heads is four, I formed a rather earth shattering theory about RPGs. Yes, yes, I know,
I've been told many times to keep the brain waves straight
and stick to staring blankly at inanimate objects such as Al
Gore, but I couldn't help myself. The
theory has two prongs, because single-pronged theories are
boring. I call it "The RPG Theory," and it reads as such:
1) Some people think RPGs are fun.
2) Other people think RPGs are not fun.
The notable dichotomy stands out like the nose on
Link's face. The true question is, "Why?" A
weenie answer is because every person is different and owns
unique preferences, such as preferring apple juice to orange
juice or preferring chocolate-glazed donuts over plain-
glazed donuts. I wouldn't be able to call myself a super-
studly investigator if I accepted that as a simple truth,
however, so I "delved deeper."
I've seen plenty of cheesy detective flicks where
the gumshoe hero feels the need to "delve deeper," and the
favorite place to do so is in a bar or place of exotic
dancing. I was too cheap to pay the cover, however, so I
went to the nearest Starbucks instead so I could investigate
and hit on the cute girl that works there at the same time.
Unfortunately, I'm not a big coffee fan, so I jokingly asked
Michelle for a burger, fries, and her phone number. She
blinked a couple of times and stared at me without saying a
word. (The poor thing was spellbound by my stunningly good
looks, or perhaps my unnaturally blonde hair was blinding
her. Hard to tell.) It was at that instant that I hit the
jackpot, as a young man with a horrible looking beard and
moustache with poofy hair strode with confidence up to the
"People have different tastes in games; some people
prefer the visceral thrill of defeating another opponent -
often a human one - to the more paced, cereberal pleasure
of watching an RPG unfold," the man said to Michelle. By
now Michelle was baffled and slightly frightened. She
turned around and started making a latte.
The man turned to me. "Furthermore, just because
you personally don't like fighting games doesn't mean that
the genre is worthless. People who like fighting games are
some of the best and greatest gamers out there! ... FOR ME
TO POOP ON!"
He then walked out.
I took a seat by the window and stared at the
passing cars, trying to find words on license plates while
pondering the Poofy Statement (what I decided to title the
mysterious words of the mysterious stranger) and my own RPG
Theory. Then it clicked. Video games are like cars! Each
car is different, some are faster, some are bigger, some
have better stereos. Each driver is different, and each car
gives something to the driver that someone else's car
doesn't have. Some drivers get obsessed with their cars,
taking absolute pristine care of it (such as putting in the
really expensive gasoline), while others see it as an object
to get from Point A to Point B and that needs an oil change
every now and then.
The poofy haired man re-entered the cafe and sat
down next to me. "You've drifted too far astray from the
intended point. In other words, you're babbling, dummy.
Bring the car analogy to a skidding halt."
I shrugged off the fact that this stranger sitting
next to me was reading my mind. I looked him in the eye
and spoke my mind. "What the world needs is peace between
fighter fans and RPG fans. Die hard RPGers who hate
fighters and fans of them need to see that fighting games
have a secure place in the gaming world that RPGs can never
replace. Sometimes it's fun to just beat the snot out of
something or humiliate one of your best friends by
finishing him or her with a stupid Hadoken."
The man quickly countered. "RPGs have a more
passionate audience, however, because RPG players often
associate themselves with the games they play, hence the
title 'role playing game.' They enter the worlds they
create. They identify with characters and become immersed in
the storyline and graphics and ambient music. They make fan
clubs with fellow players to role play with others, continue
story lines, and fix plot holes."
"You're right," I said with a nod. "But that
doesn't mean that some people can't enjoy BOTH fighters and
RPGs! And there's nothing wrong with people that prefer
fighters to RPGs."
The man was momentarily silent as he peered through
his glasses across the store, deeply in thought.
"That girl behind the counter is cute," he noted.
I concurred. "Quite."
We didn't say another word to each other, but we knew
an important bridge had been crossed, a bond had been
formed. Maybe someday, fighter fans and RPG fans could
live side by side each other. Until then, though, I'm going
to rest my brain. This thinking stuff takes a lot of effort.
Feature by Andrew Kaufmann.