Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Ludicrus Gaming: Why This is Ludicrus


Hello there! I'd imagine that most of you folks are coming here from my old blog, The Player's Side of the Screen. You might be wondering a few things. Most importantly, why a new blog (and name)? Of secondary importance, what the blazes does "Ludicrus" mean; am I just a bad speller? The answers to both of those are, unsurprisingly, linked. So sit tight, and let me lay it all out for you: what Ludicrus is, and why I deemed it necessary to shift things up a bit.

What's With the Switch?
I've pondered switching blogs for a while, actually. I started "The Player's Side of the Screen" a while ago, when things were very different. I had exclusively played (and not run) RPGs, for one. I didn't know much about the wide world of RPGs, for two. I wasn't dipping my toe into RPG design, for three. The sum of it all--the original point of the blog (with it's odd and perplexing name) no longer accurately reflected my perspective, and I think that's been stifling my approach. Because, really, talking about how to improve RPGs from the player's side is not a very inspiring topic, nor is it something I have a lot of experience in.

 So with the switch in my priorities, experience, and objectives comes (finally) a switch in the blog. I've noted for a while that I've liked exploring the ties made between story and gaming, in the world of RPGs. Now that I have some experience under my belt in that arena, I'd like to focus on on it. Ludicrus will be about examining RPGs, with an eye to seeing what makes them tick, and seeing what happens when you mesh games with stories. But it's also going to be about having fun. You really can't afford to take this all too seriously.

A Little Bit of Latin
Now you're probably wondering about the name. No, it's not poor spelling. I'm hearkening back to my roots here. My Latin roots, that is. (Okay, the sole extent of my Latin roots was two years in high school. So sue me.) You might've noticed my catchphrase on the logo image: "ludicrus agit fabulae". I'm sure I butchered something in the translation, but the gist of it is, it means "the sporting/gaming/playing leads into the story". That's what I really want to capture with this blog: how a game can lead into a story, and even into something unexpectedly awesome, engaging, compelling, and insightful.

But there's another meaning to it. As I muse upon the indie RPG scene, I'm struck by a sort of impression--just like the Bohemians (well, theoretically, at least) of bygone time, they get wild ideas, pursuing them while they are captivated by this utterly absurd concept that you can make something meaningful out of a game. It's gorgeously, dazzlingly ludicrous. It's that ludicrosity (is that a word?) which captivates me about the entire movement, and that's what I want to embrace on Ludicrus.

But remember: the word still means being playful. That's the one part that can never be forgotten. It keeps us grounded, and it keeps things interesting. Game on.