Are you The One?

The ever-questing hero, the one born of modest means who ultimately triumphs over evil and fulfills an ancient prophecy, is a story often told in RPGs. This storyline appeals to those of us in the West, where the culture strongly values individualism. For certain, there’s more than one myth in the world. Myths, stories, even analyses of myths, are barometers and functions of culture.

During high school, I studied creation myths to gain an understanding of different cultures and their outlooks. Of course, there’s the Judeo-Christian story where God created the earth. The Hindu version is not so clear-cut. Indeed, some variants of Eastern religion do not even delve into a creation myth. The Middle Kingdom exists between Heaven and Earth. It simply IS.

Applying an analysis of mythic storytelling to all stories as if they are the golden rules leads to formulaic, cookie-cutter writing. Tread carefully. Always be aware that analysis comes bundled with an ethnographic or hegemonic viewpoint. I would posit that there’s room for mythic stories beyond what we’ve seen in games.

Wouldn’t you like to experience that?

And you don’t even have to be The One.

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Published in: on August 8, 2007 at 7:48 am  Comments (1)  

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  1. […] us real writers?  We’ve learned to master story like programmers do C++.  We know that the Hero’s Journey is not a catch-all solution.  We’ve studied character development, motivation, and dialog at the feet of established […]

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