Fun for One - RPG Carnival
It's December, and we're taking part in the RPG Blog Carnival. The flavor of the month is "Fun for One", but I'm going to start with a slightly different tack and tell you when it's NOT fun for one.
Most gamers are creative souls, and many of us (though by no means all) are social creatures. Some by necessity ("I have to have a group to play") and others by choice ("I love playing with new people") but the fact is that most of us find our fun in games where we are together.
But did you know that the people BEHIND the games you play actually do the same thing? The popular myth of an author is that they're sat alone in a dark office typing into the late hours of the night. And that's partially true, but we get our inspiration from the things we see and experience, as well as the people we encounter. As an example, I've had ideas for games while I've been sitting in an airport watching people go by, while I was waiting for my plane. I've had more epic writing sessions at the local library than I have at my home office, and you may wonder why that is. The answer, at least for me, is a rather simple "It's about input". When I'm sat at my desk at home, it's the same view every time - except for the weather changing. The noises are much the same and so are the smells. Obviously, there are seasonal differences (At the moment there's snow on the roof of the house on the other side of the road, which I can see from the window next to my desk), but it is the SAME. And SAME kills your creativity, both as a writer and as a gamer. (I'd argue that editors and layout probably suffer less from, at least from personal experience, but that seems to be likely due to the focus that it takes to work on that end).
So why do I bring up something this depressing? Well, because it is to start off with WHY these "Fun for One" games can be good for you. They bring you out of your comfort zone. They bring you into new and engaging worlds. They stimulate you and help you produce dopamine which makes you happy and content. In short, because it's good for you. :)
And while "Solo-games" aren't something that Beyond the Horizon has really engaged much in, it is something we've considered a few times. It's why you see things like the Pocket Lint and 50 Encounters products being made. We want everyone to have fun, even while they're building games for others to enjoy. And it SHOULD be fun, that's the whole point. If making your game or planning your next gaming session or character isn't fun, then you need to look at why. Perhaps you need to branch out into a different game entirely? Perhaps it's to try a new approach where everything about your character is determined randomly? Or perhaps — like so many creatives — it's to reach out to friends and talk about this really exciting idea you had or upcoming project so that you can all get hyped together.