The institution of the circus made sense when you had to wait for the spectacle to come to you. Now we have the unprecedented ability to find our own entertainment and information. Even better, we have the tools to create our own amusements. That includes roleplaying games and associated reference material. Not your circus, not your RPG.
Not Your Circus, Not Your RPG
In this video I talk some more about the Black Box Manifesto, through the lens of a documentary on the history of the circus that I watched recently. Before the television and the internet, prior to the ability to travel long distances quickly and (arguably) affordably, people in remote areas didn’t get to experience certain things until those things came to you. Barnum not only traveled with a show, but a menagerie and museum.
I equate this to the huge reference books we used to have for roleplaying games, back before we had access to Google, Wikipedia, and a plethora of photos services and online museum collections. The question is, do we still need those items? If so, do they need to take the same form as they did back in the day?
About Dancing Lights Press
Dancing Lights Press publishes story games that embrace a minimalist aesthetic in design and presentation. Our print books are affordable, at $10 or less. The 6×9 digest format makes them convenient to carry around. The spotlight belongs on the creativity of the players as they converse and collaborate on plot, worldbuilding, and character development. Roleplaying is an activity, not a book. Our titles are merely part of the delivery system.