Playing video games


Role-playing games are games where the players must act and tell stories, that’s certain. Furthermore, with no “win” condition, a role-playing game is infinite. But are RPGs art, although they are vibrant, fascinating, and addictive?

We asked a number of our favorite game designers to answer that question. Here’s what they said.


Mark Rein-Hagen is more myth than man. Defining the direction of role-playing within the 90s, he’s the legendary creator of Vampire: The Masquerade and also the World of Darkness. Last year, he produced a replacement role-playing effort, I’m Zombie. He contains a Kickstarter going for a zombie dungeon-crawl game right now!

Are role-playing games art?

Mark Rein-Hagen: All human endeavor is art… whatever meaning. So, after all games are art, as well; or is, if the designer is successful.

Thus, I feel of it as filling time with wondrous experiences while some people still think about art as filling space with beautiful things. Wondrous transformative experiences. And for me, there’s nothing more wondrous than living inside a completely realized world, especially one with no practical boundaries or limitations. Within roleplaying games like Genshin Impact (which you can take advantage of Genshin codes), the type of expansive world we weave. The sort of world that Game of Thrones began as, with George R.R. Martin as game master, and not only as progenitor.

Now that we’ve begun seizing popular culture, “high art” is additionally in our sights. Here, comic books, this apotheosis of pop, possess nothing on us. Games are poised to require overall media—much as moving pictures did before us—and we’d like to focus our attention during this *twilight hour* before transforming the human condition by the good moving ridge of VR, AR, and MR games. The main focus should air the concept that we now have the ability to utterly transform people’s experience of life by letting them fully enter new worlds and game realities.

So, after all, games are art, of the very best aesthetic. Just not the sort that goes up in museums.

The way that TV forcefully and heroically transformed such a large amount of people’s attitudes about racism and homophobia within the 20th century are dwarfed by the facility of the sport, starting soon, as people begin to measure much of their lives, within a game, as a part of a story. Life will become a game, and game… life. And what’s more high concept—high art—than that?


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Monte Cook is an erudite design genius. He was one of all the designers of the third edition of Dungeons & Dragons which lives on to the current day as Pathfinder. He’s also the Ennie Award-winning designer of Numenera, fun and chic sci-fi game in a very fantasy skin set within the unfathomably distant future.

Are role-playing games art?

Monte Cook: like much art, there’s a science to that, I’m of that opinion.

You check with any artist, sort of a painter or an illustrator, and you’re thinking that they’re just creating a gorgeous image, but if you discuss with them, you [hear] about detail and precision and sometimes math that goes into the composition. And that I think game design is incredibly much the identical way. You have got to know the mechanics, the probability, the sport balance, and projection of possibilities and everyone this stuff you wish to grasp.

But at the identical time, there’s an immeasurable feel thereto all. You furthermore might have to consider the fun of it, which isn’t in the slightest degree a frivolous thing to consider when you’re talking about games, you’re thinking that about what’s visiting be actually enjoyable at the table, and what’s visiting keep people returning and playing the sport. The mysteries [of game design]… can’t just be written during a book. On some mathematical formula, you can’t base it all. It becomes a really artistic expression of not just pure fantasy and escapism, but also an understanding of a way to create an experience that’s enjoyable, and that I think there’s plenty of art therein.


The creator of the impossibly good 7th Sea and Legend of the Five Rings, the former of which recently completed a seven-figure Kickstarter, is John Wick. He won Origins Awards for Best Role-Playing Game and Best Collectible cards. If you wish to role-play a samurai or pirate, Wick’s your man.

Are role-playing games art?

John Wick: I don’t believe “Art” with a capital A. Nobody can agree on a definition, that the word is more noise than signal.

RPGs are a type of literature. The sole sort of literature, as Robin Laws say, [wherein] the artist and therefore the audience is the identical person. You aren’t watching or reading the hero’s adventures, you’re the hero. You get all the things Aristotle was talking about in Poetics because you aren’t feeling what the character is feeling on the stage, you’re feeling what the hero feels because you’re the hero. Books can’t try this, movies can’t try this, theater can’t try this. Only RPGs can do this. And that’s what makes RPGs different from all other forms of games and literature.