Why are so many gamers, especially those who consider ourselves part of the core RPG community, so drawn to medieval settings?
Is it the simplicity of life we imagine took place?
Sure, being a peasant with an overlord isn’t all that romantic. Yet the world was large. There was the ever available opportunity for adventure …right? That’s what we all think. Medieval life isn’t anything pleasant to dream about, but maybe we find some of those same unpleasantries in our modern, high-tech world. Maybe we crave a world that’s easier to understand. Our medieval fantasies put that world within reach.
Is it the magic?
There’s a strong association between medieval life and magic. Literacy was literally considered magic. Writings on sheets of thin objects called paper were spellcraft. It seems absurd to us today, but we treat them like a throwback in Zelda or Dragon Age. Is this why there’s always princesses in need of rescue? Is this why some warrior knight is on the cover of all our favorite RPGs (or dragons)? What’s the draw?
Is it the game?
Games are well structured simulations. All the parameters are finite and understandable. The rules are all known. The object is clear. Your abilities are all that stands between you and success. OMG if real life were this simple! If all the rules could be known and the object clear. It’s probably not that medieval settings are attractive. Maybe it’s just the entire concept of games that’s attractive and the medieval setting is simply familiar to our generations. It’s a setting used in all fiction a bazillion times a year. The simple life. I don’t think I even know what that means.
I wake up very early mornings, grab my favorite kid and have a hot cup of tea. We sit on the porch eating usually bread or fruit, enjoying the California sun and light breeze. She can’t really speak English, but she talks to me. And I’m her dad, so I know what she’s saying and we have this conversation for a while. Until my other two babies join me and remind me that their little sister can’t talk. They half believe me when I tell them I know what she’s saying. Dad is always tricking them, you see, so they can never be sure I’m not telling the truth. Those mornings are the only part of my life that’s simple.
Scree Tags: #blaugust #fantasy #life