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Beyond The Storm - Gaming in New Orleans

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the shadows-of-the-big-easy dept.

Role Playing (Games) 16

An anonymous reader writes: "A group of game designers from the pen and paper world have come together to create a sourcebook about the city of New Orleans. The pdf book includes fiction, mini-games, and source material for using the Big Easy in settings from fantasy to Cyberpunk. The book includes contributions from gaming talents such as Matt Forbeck, Adam Jury, Sean Riley, and Seth Johnson." From the introduction: "It is a collection of visions of New Orleans and its environs. When I sent out my call for contributors, I said that I believed that modern role-playing games owed a debt of creativity to New Orleans and her culture. I still believe that. Th is book is a way for writers and artists to repay that debt in part. Th ose involved in the creative professions might not always have extra cash laying around to contribute, but they do have their muse. And I firmly believe that every individual who contributed to this project shared generously from their muse."

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16 comments

Inconsiderate? (0, Offtopic)

AndreiK (908718) | more than 8 years ago | (#13985022)

Am I the only one that feels this is very inconsiderate to the people that lived there? It's giving people a way to roleplay the disaster?

Re:Inconsiderate? (3, Informative)

Gothic_Walrus (692125) | more than 8 years ago | (#13985099)

Yes...because you didn't even glance at the article, apparently.

Beyond the Storm: Shadows of the Big Easy is a collection of short stories, essays, art and role-playing game materials inspired by the culture, landscape, and city of New Orleans. With contributions from three continents and from across the spectrum of role-playing, all the proceeds from the sale of the book will go to support Katrina Disaster Relief. Join the authors and artists as they explore the Big Easy as it could have been and how it might be...

At no point in the page did they say what the roleplaying was about, let alone claim that it allows you to "roleplay the disaster."

Re:Inconsiderate? (1)

BigZaphod (12942) | more than 8 years ago | (#13985236)

In fact, it kind of pays homage to them and their culture as a way to remember it as it was - even if you roleplay the destruction. It *is* inconsiderate to just pretend that it never happened and not talk about it just because it might offend one or two oversensitive people who don't understand that their rights don't trump the rights of others.

Re:Inconsiderate? (1)

Dustav (929593) | more than 8 years ago | (#13985645)

Its sort of inconsiderate, but like all games, if you don't like it, you don't have to play it.

Re:Inconsiderate? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13986545)

You need to think beyond the here and now. With the Bush administration's colossal incompetence during the disaster, I would not be surprised to see records of it "disappear" over the years. Who knows, in 100 years time the only memory of the disaster may be carried on by intrepid role-players in a modern day form of the oral tradition.

This is however somewhat unlikely, as the innate homosexuality of those attracted to roleplaying makes knowledge unlikely to be passed on through successive generations.

Re:Inconsiderate? (1)

samldanach (823455) | more than 8 years ago | (#14028846)

Can I just ask why you think it's inconsiderate? I've seen this several times over the last half-dozen years. It ranges from including 9-11 as part of a modern setting (as a rather significant historical event, with wide-reaching implications, not a scenario for play) to postulating in-setting explanations (occult wars, etc.) for the tsunami disaster. And now, a book inspired by New Orleans. Not by Katrina, but by the city herself. Why would these things be inconsiderate to the victims? Do they trivialize the event? Do the various video games trivialize WWII? Does Platoon trivialize the Vietnam War? I don't think so. In one way, they pay homage to the gravity of the event (when done properly and seriously). In another, they give us an outlet to deal with the event, in a way that gives us a little distance (wouldn't it be nice to play the espionage agents who stopped the 9-11 tragedy?). And, finally, for me at least, it helps make them more real. For those of us who play in modern settings, incorporating current events into the game is part of the genre. Ignoring them means that they aren't important enough to play with. I'm honestly not trying to troll or anything. But, I've seen this attitude come up several times, and I don't understand it.

Hm, imagine a MMO on this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13985923)

Would have a serious ninja looting problem!

Isn't that nice... (2, Interesting)

Blaaguuu (886777) | more than 8 years ago | (#13986119)

Well, not too long ago, me and my family were cleanign out our little office room, and found a massive stack of fairly old video games that none of us play anymore. We were going to throw them ina box in the attic, but a friend mentioned he was donating lots of his random stuff to an organization that was taking it to new orleans survivors... so we gave him all of our old games to add to his loot. Im not sure how many of the survivors had/have access to computers, but that seems like a much more interesting "Gaming in New Orleans" story to me... hopefully someone down there was able to get away from the chaos fora few minutes, and enjoy a game of WarCraft 2.

Direct links to the book (1)

salutor (664890) | more than 8 years ago | (#13989187)

Lulu.com, the site David Wendt used to publish the book, has been really slow for the last few days, so if you want to buy it then using a direct link will be (slightly) faster:

Print version: http://www.lulu.com/content/168302 [lulu.com]
E-book version: http://www.lulu.com/content/168212 [lulu.com]

Or you could just wait until 1 a.m. and then place your order.

[On a side note, Newsforge posted a l-o-o-ong interview with Bob Young, Lulu founder and CEO, yesterday. You know... the Red Hat guy.: http://business.newsforge.com/business/05/11/01/15 34231.shtml?tid=3 [newsforge.com]]

New Orleans Resident Here (2, Interesting)

EngineeringMarvel (783720) | more than 8 years ago | (#13989223)

I was born and raised in the New Orleans metro area. I have a house in a N.O. suburb that was damaged during the hurricane (no flooding in my neighborhood) and I have many family member, friends, and co-workers whom have suffered extensive damage, including complete losses to flooding. I returned to the city 2 weeks after the storm and I have been here working at my job ever since.

I am a casual gamer and I wanted to add that video games has been a main form of therapy for myself and a few of my colleagues. You have to understand, this city use to have so many forms of entertainment, especially for a male in his mid-20s. I use to play volleyball and flag football, go bar-hopping etc, and almost all of that is gone now. So that leaves me with a lot more free time. Granted, I use a lot of that to fix up my house, but using all my free time just to do work will drive anyone crazy. In comes gaming. World Of Warcraft, Battlefield 2, and a few other games have been a main source of relaxation and entertainment. Not to mention, it can act as a small social network, which helps relieve the stress of not having the same social oppurtunities than before. I know this is not directly related to the article, but thought it had some relevance.

As for the article, the book has potential, because it's not just the buildings, Bourbon St, and Mardi Gras that make up New Orleans, but the attitude of the people that live here is probably the most important. There is a reason we can have a big open party for 2 weeks straight here. It's because the people are laid back and fun driven enough to allow their town to be turned into one big party. Otherwise, Mardi Gras would turn into one big riot of locals against tourists. There aren't many cities that could open up their doors like we do down here on a yearly basis. It's a ashame that so many people and regions have already closed their doors to us after Katrina after our city has kept it's arms open to everyone for so long.

Re:New Orleans Resident Here (1)

nadadogg (652178) | more than 8 years ago | (#13990728)

I'm a Baton Rouge resident, so I can only partially understand where you're coming from.(For non-locals, Baton Rouge is a 30-45 minute drive from NO) I second that gaming is a good way to take your mind off things. Also going to heartily second that the people are great. When friends come in from out of town, the first destination isn't a museum, or the Aquarium of the Americas, it's just "New Orleans." The entire damn city is awesome, the fun literally never stops.
I'm going to read through the sample of the sourcebook and pray that they managed to grab the spirit of new orleans, and not just bourbon street/mardi gras. Ooh, and I also hope they managed to get some locals(from different ways of life) on board to help them out, so that they get things from multiple perspectives.

White Wolf already had a New Orleans sourcebook (1)

Kickassthegreat (654117) | more than 8 years ago | (#13990240)

The most recent sourcebook [white-wolf.com] they have produced for New Orleans was for their 'Vampire: the Requiem' game line.

Not saying that it isn't good about the donations for Katrina victims and all, just that roleplaying sourcebooks for the Big Easy have been around for a while.

Interesting side note though...the sourcebook above, though written several months before Katrina, had an introdutory story, called "The Coming Storm", which ended with a very prophetic line, which went something like this: "Have no doubt, the storm is coming."
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