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As I write this editorial from the penthouse suite of Places To Go Towers, I can look out across the Gold Coast, past the Barrier Reef with its smiling dolphins and out into the wide blue yonder. As night draws its curtains on another day well spent, and the sun sets the sea alight, bathing my yacht, Tejón del Malestar, in warm splendour, I thank providence for my chosen career as the editor of a roleplaying fanzine.
And I pity those who have to scrape a living as Formula 1 racing drivers, living on the brink between life and death, eternally circling for the amusement of docu-drama viewers; or musicians, known to millions but ruined by the downloadable MP3.
Wealth, glory, adulation! Such is my daily lot. No longer can I enjoy the easy anonymity of the common man with whom I have lost touch, surrounded as I am by groupies, flunkies and yes-men.
So it is fortunate for you, dear reader, and indeed for me too, that my network of friends and acquaintances includes some of the leading lights of the G we call RP.
So without further ado, for I am attending a gala premiere this evening with my wife (GURPS 4th Ed or some such), here are those titbits of roleplaying splendour that we promised you before our schedule was rudely interrupted by yet another world promotional cruise (Yawn! if you don't mind me saying, I don't care if I never see Princess Stephanie of Monaco again - she still has my d12. And as for Dubya, why does he always have to play fur-clad Barbarians? In Cthulhu LARPS?!).
Our first piece is from Claire. She's a repeat offender having reviewed Gen Con UK for us a few years ago. This time she's giving us low-down on getting the roleplaying groove in the urban jungle that is Romford. You go, girlfriend!
Our second piece is an academic paper from Dr David Waldron. This may seem a strange development for what is mostly a hedonistic occupation but D&D is now 30 years old. Many roleplayers have children, or even grandchildren, and roleplaying is a much more common term in people's vocabulary, particularly with reference to computer games. As public awareness of the hobby has increased, as the games have come of age, so has intellectual interest in the game grown.
Various groups are developing the theory of roleplaying, notably The Forge or Scandinavian groups such as Sverok and others, such as David, have been looking at the Sociology of Roleplaying. It's good to see that such academics, whilst developing theory, still play the games and are keen to involve the gaming community in their research.
David's paper is entitled "Role-Playing Games and the Christian Right, Community Formation in Response to a Moral Panic" and was presented at the December 2003 Tasa conference at the University of New England, Armidale. He is keen to hear from anyone who would like to comment on his article and I think it would be very interesting to hear from anyone personally affected by the clash of Christian and Roleplaying cultures.
Next up we have two pieces about finding new players. You know the problem, you leave university and suddenly all your players are getting married to non-gamers and you had never realised that they actually have lives away from the gaming table. Or you move house to some godforsaken game free zone and at the merest mention of D&D, the locals get the barrel of tar and the chicken feathers, and when you finally find some people, they don't seem to be playing quite the same game as you, as Belinda Kelly found out. Robert Ahren then takes us through his personal history of triumphs, and gives us the benefit of hindsight from his failures.
Our final piece from Steve Darlington (who he?) in which he interviews one of roleplaying's pioneers, Eric Wujcik, creator of Amber and many Palladium books such as that Australian Favourite Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Other Strangeness. Steve caught up with Eric when he flew in to attend SteveCon.
We're starting a new section for Roleplaying Conventions in this issue. We used to have roleplaying news in the zine, but that was soon out of date and besides, there are plenty of great RPG news sites (such as Gaming Report).
The new section is on our front page and the first two cons we have are a new one, L-con in Liverpool, and Consternation, one of the best gaming cons in the UK. Please send us your conventions details and for free advertisement in this space.
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