I was browsing through Lumpleys site
I read the line “You need to have a system whereby narration becomes in-game truth.” (it’s from a few years back) and it struck me, atleast with what I know today, how wrong that is. It probably sounds all naturaley and roleplayeyeyey and what-not, but that’s what I mean – it takes what I know today to just see the wrong (though I realise I’m one line quoting).
The reference to ‘truth’ is the uncomfortable seat of it all. If I started talking to you about this tortoise, right, and this hare, right, who decide to have a race – am I talking any kind of truth to you? Of course bloody not, you know I’m telling one of them old stories where everything in it is just part of conveying a central moral.
See, in the past if I’d heard roleplayers talk about truth in the game, I’d think they were just being a bit over the top with their wording. But seriously, roleplayers actually refer to truth in their game. Perhaps, if your lucky, they’ll add the prefix ‘in game’ before the truth. But ultimately, ULTIMATELY, they are ACTUALLY talking about the truth. No metaphor, no funny amorphasized animals used to convey a moral or a message or even a question – they actually refer to fik’n truth existing in the game.
It’s bizarre – it’s like they can’t work out who wins the race, rabbit or hare, unless they treat the shared ideas of rabbit and hare as ‘truth’. It’s as if they live in a parralel world where stories are started, then just exist in a flux state that needs to be resolved by some truth internal to them. Actually, I suppose that is where most roleplayers live – the bald truth of stories seems to evade them. If someone pulls their pockets out, then flops out their willy calling ‘White eared elephant!’ the ‘source’ of the elephant is pretty bloody obvious. But to a roleplayer, the rabbit and hare are some sort of creature that exists – they aren’t an extension of some other human, like the white eared elephant is, no, somehow the rabbit and hare just exist. The essential idea that they are puppets and someone has their hand up their bums, completely slips the mind of the average roleplayer – even when it’s their hand up the puppets bum. At those points, they tend to wonder why play is dull and lifeless, seemingly unable to see that the only hand in the puppet is theirs.
Anyway, I’m cruel – I’m pulling out the laser cutter on one line. But it’s like finding a landmine in a third world country – sure, there are millions more, why am I picking on this one being planted here? I guess I gotta take things in bite sized chunks.