An Oral History of Gaming - Interest?

edited September 2011 in Story Games
Hey there friends,

I'm thinking about starting up a project that aims to be a sort of oral history of gaming culture(s)--not necessarily comprehensive, mind you. The idea is to interview gamers/designers/publishers/podcasters/people in the gaming community, about:

-their history
-their experiences
-how their personal history intersects with gaming history
-what games mean to them
etc.

The idea is very broad right now, though if it happens the project will most likely focus on roleplaying. If I do this, the idea is to put up audio files and maybe also transcribe the interviews.

Are you interested in such a show? Are you not interested in such a show? Why or why not? Who'd you like to hear on it? Is there a project/show out there that I don't know about that already gives this to us?

Thanks!

Comments

  • I am interested both as a potential listener/viewer and a potential (gamer) interviewee.
  • I am interested in your ideas and would like to subscribe to your newsletter.

    Oral history is important for any kind of folk history, and I think we're getting to the point where we can have that for this community. I'm game for listening, talking, spreading the word…

  • I'm interested too. I would definitely watch/listen to/read it.
  • So much of early RPG gaming history is unavailable. One of my favorite interviews from Canon Puncture was Kevin Siembieda talking about what it was like at the Detroit Gaming Center. If you dig into lost gaming history, I'd be all over it. Ed Heil told me a few months ago that he'd started gaming with a group that had been playing the same D&D homebrew for twenty years. It made me want to interview every member of the group. I really like how Scott is asking his interviewees to tell him who to interview next on his New Style podcast. Maybe that's a way to find inroads to lost history.

    Paul
  • Let me know if you want to talk to aforesaid been-gaming-original-D&D-homebrew-forever folks, I can hook you up.
  • I am totally down, in whatever capacity you need me.
  • I am interested in anything that takes a longer and wider view than just asking a bunch of random people "how did you get started in gaming?" for the umpteenth time. So yes!
  • Posted By: Paul CzegeSo much of early RPG gaming historyis unavailable. One of my favorite interviews from Canon Puncture was Kevin Siembieda talking about what it was like at the Detroit Gaming Center. If you dig into lost gaming history, I'd be all over it. Ed Heil told me a few months ago that he'd started gaming with a group that had been playing the same D&D homebrew for twenty years. It made me want to interview every member of the group. I really like how Scott is asking his interviewees to tell him who to interview next on his New Style podcast. Maybe that's a way to find inroads to lost history.

    Paul
    I probably won't delve into deep history initially--mostly because of lack of connections*--but I do want to do that. Also, yeah: asking people I talk to who I should talk to is something that occurred to me this morning, and seems like a good way to go about it.
    Posted By: edheilLet me know if you want to talk to aforesaid been-gaming-original-D&D-homebrew-forever folks, I can hook you up.
    *well there you go.
  • Okay, I'm wincing a little as I say this, but I'd love to see a podcast or something about games with a tone similar to TAL or Radiolab - about an hour long, kind of conversational, a theme for each episode, different people's stories stitched together. Perhaps one episode could be about Braunstein, another about people's reflections on GPNW over the years, another about "bad" games that people love, etc. Would that be in line with what you were envisioning, Hans? And of course, I'd be thrilled to help in any way I can.
  • Posted By: EnricPDXOkay, I'm wincing a little as I say this, but I'd love to see a podcast or something about games with a tone similar to TAL or Radiolab - about an hour long, kind of conversational, a theme for each episode, different people's stories stitched together. Perhaps one episode could be about Braunstein, another about people's reflections on GPNW over the years, another about "bad" games that people love, etc. Would that be in line with what you were envisioning, Hans? And of course, I'd be thrilled to help in any way I can.
    That isn't what I was envisioning, but that's a great idea! Hmm. I need to think and write.
  • Harry, yes please! That would be fantastic.

  • If you're talking history, like, not just the flavor of the month but of things that happened years and years back, and looking outside of indieland, then totally.

    If the bias is about more recent times and centered around indieland, then I'd pass -- those are easy conversations to have, since folks with those stories are more or less on here.

    - Ryan
  • edited September 2011
    Posted By: Ryan MacklinIf you're talking history, like, not just the flavor of the month but of things that happened years and years back, and looking outside of indieland, then totally.

    If the bias is about more recent times and centered around indieland, then I'd pass -- those are easy conversations to have, since folks with those stories are more or less on here.

    - Ryan
    The idea is to have it not surrounding indieland, but "indieland" will definitely be a part of it. It may start there. And those are easy conversations to have, but, for example, how many times have you heard Jonathan Walton on a show? I think maybe once, or maybe not at all, and it seems that his personal history intersects with gaming history as a whole in a lot of interesting ways. There're a lot of untapped experiences around here.

    All of that to say, though: yeah, the wider the scope, the better. The project will start humble and seek to grow, because that's the only way I can do it.
    Posted By: WordmanIf possible, try not torecord episodes on a train.
    I think this is my favorite thing I've ever heard on a gaming podcast. I listened to it twice when it came out, and I should probably listen to it again. Does anyone have any idea how to get in touch with David Wesely? If I could talk to him I think I could get access to a whole bunch of fascinating people.
  • edited September 2011
    I think there's a bigger problem with the concept than just looking outside of indieland or the fact that a lot of the older folks are no longer with us. It's that there are simply far too few historic events or developments in the hobby, and most of them are commercial, that is, information about those commercial developments are held in secret by the businesses who hope to profit from the data. (This is not a bad thing, this is a natural thing and very good for them!)

    The history of this hobby is the history of D&D, with a smattering of Vampire - both of those are properties controlled by companies who have no incentive to give you solid information, and contributed to by so many people across the decades that you are unlikely to be able to tease out even a simple historical through-line from them. Suffice to say that "what really happened" at TSR and WotC is hotly disputed, and we're awfully close in time frame to the disputes to resolve them as history instead of, say, litigation.

    Unless you were going to make a really thorough geographic analysis of D&D play over time. West Coast play from 1979-1981 was like THIS, and Chicago play from 1980-1983 was like THAT, and so on.

    Actually, that would be really interesting, carry on.
  • edited September 2011
    Posted By: JDCorleyI think there's a bigger problem with the concept than just looking outside of indieland or the fact that a lot of the older folks are no longer with us. It's that there are simply far too few historic events or developments in the hobby, and most of them are commercial, that is, information about those commercial developments are held in secret by the businesses who hope to profit from the data. (This is not a bad thing, this is a natural thing and very good for them!)
    That's not really my aim, though you bring up good points. By "history" I just mean "people do things, time passes, we look back on it and call it history." I mean personal history, history as story. I don't mean capital H History. I mean history like this.

    I definitely don't mean the commercial history of roleplaying, though some of that's bound to come up.
  • Posted By: Hans c-oDoes anyone have any idea how to get in touch with David Wesely? If I could talk to him I think I could get access to a whole bunch of fascinating people.
    I'll send you his email Hans. He's a hell of a lot of fun to talk to. He's got stories upon stories about the old days.
  • That'd be great, Ben. Thanks!
  • Sounds interesting, Hans. If there is anything I can do to help, please let me know.
  • Come to Oslo! I'll talk with you.

    And I would be interested in the history of some game-smiths.
  • edited September 2011
    Posted By: TomasHVMCome to Oslo! I'll talk with you.

    And I would be interested in the history of some game-smiths.
    Yeah, I am new to Story Games. I'd love it if someone went over and talked to those cah-razy Scandinavians and then editted it into a one hour show. I just need the highlights. Like when the entire gaming community was nominated for Diana Jones in 2004? I was not there for that and I want someone to give me the skinny after having discussed it with many people and pouring journalism sauce all over it.
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