Roleplaying as art – a collaborative project

I have been thinking a lot about art lately – doing photography, participating in an online art group, reading books on the subject, doodling – all that sort of thing.  I suppose that it was inevitable that sooner or later I would start thinking about the relevance of creativity and expression in the art form of roleplaying.

An interesting sort of project I have tried with other art forms is the collaboration, a work created by several individuals who all contribute to the completion of the project.  As gamers, we are all familiar with this sort of creative work in the form of campaigns that are created collaboratively, or via round-robin GMing.

I thought it might be interesting to tackle the design of a long-term campaign as a collaboration, but to do it in a slightly different light – as an art project, a n exercise in creativity, rather than as something that was being designed to throw in front of players at some point as “my new campaign!  Wanna play?  Pleeease?”

So I wrote up my ideas, made a few creative decisions, and set up a web page for it here on the ECG website.  As the project progresses (and I hope it will) I will be posting here with updates.

I would like to get as much input as possible on all steps of the process.  Mostly I am going to be setting up polls at important branching points for the project, but I would also welcome inputs in the form of comments, recommendations, suggestions, etc.

I have set up the webpage for the collaborative project here. Please check it out and follow the links to the first poll!

I look forward to seeing how this pans out!

– Edmund

What do you think of this monkey?

Here’s a preview of the art for this year’s Emerald City Gamefest (click on the image to see larger version).

At the last Gamefest planning meeting, we decided to go with “frugal monkey” as the theme for our November 2009 game day. We figured that in these crappy economic times, a free game day was pretty good!

I’ve been asked to draw our flying monkey mascot accordingly, and I just came up with a draft (with my apologies to Norman Rockwell.)

All comments, critiques, suggestions, etc. are welcomed!

Happy birthday, Dr. Seuss!

Monday, March 2 is the 105th birthday of Theodor Seuss Geisel, alias Dr. Seuss.

He was a wonderful cartoonist, storyteller, and observer. In his books he spoke for environmentalism and against consumerism, racism, fascism, arms escalation, and isolationism.

He also portrayed loving families that differed from the accepted nuclear model, facing problems rather than running from them, trying new things even when they seem too strange, and much more. He was a good guy.

If I had realized earlier that this was his birthday, I would have bugged Mark to run one of his famous Savage Lorax games this week!

Happy birthday, Dr. Seuss!

Non-gaming game fodder: Environmental Graffiti

JetLev-Flyer

Environmental Graffiti (“Seriously Awesome Environmental News”) is a blog I subscribe to for its interesting take on environmental news.  But it finally dawned on me that it also makes a fantastic source of visuals and setting ideas for role-playing games.  Seriously, browse a few articles — all of them are lavishly illustrated — and see if that doesn’t give you a bunch of ideas for adventures, settings, or characters.

For example, the photo above makes me want to play Blue Planet again!

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