Friday, July 20, 2012

The Internet And The Art Of The Actual Play In RPGs

Updated: I will add our new videos to this post as we make them.

I have to first admit that I'm really not a fan of reading, listening to or watching other people's actual play reports/podcasts/whatevers. I've been running a Swords & Wizardry game for a couple of months now, using the Google+ Hangouts for its video chat services. It's been a lot of fun. The last two weeks, we decided to use the Hangouts on the Air function to broadcast and record our sessions.

This is our first recording:

And this is our second recording:

Our third recording:

Before I had started running this game, I was strongly anti-running games online. I'm what you would call a social gamer (in that I game for the social aspect of things, hanging out with people and that sort of thing), and I didn't think that using online tools would come close to equally the feel that I get from gaming. It turns out that I was wrong about that. Maybe it is just because of the group of people that I have met because of this game, but this group has been every bit as engaging for me socially as any face to face group that I've ever been a part of.

I'm still not a big fan of actual play however. People seem to be watching and getting something out of our posts, so I guess that's a good thing for them. I can see the benefit of actual plays for games that you have never played before, and would like to watch others doing it so that you can make sure that you are doing things right. I'm not saying there's no use to actual play posts or reports.

What do you get out of seeing someone else doing an actual play?