Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Anthropological RPG

While looking for the European journal, Anthropos, I stumbled across another Anthropos--this one an anthropologically-informed RPG start-up comprised of a PhD student in anthropology (Calvin Johns) and a linguistics/ literature Ph.D. (Travis Rinehart).  It looks like they'll be releasing "Early Dark" soon--although I can't tell whether it will get any kind of distribution or whether it will be strictly print-on-demand (POD).  It's a typical, table-top RPG, but with the anthropological twist.

What does it mean to have an anthropologically informed RPG?  In a July interview with Park Cooper (posted on the Comics Bulletin column,  "The Park and Bob Show"),  Rinehart describes their goal as creating "a world that as accurately as possible represents an anthropologically correct vision of human reality (besides magick)," while Johns adds that "We take influence from cultures traditionally demonized, feminized, stereotyped or homogenized in other games."  Moreover, players move across a culturally heterogeneous landscape--"each nation in the game (there are no races, because any intelligent person realizes that race is a mythic category that wasn't even an issue in the world until the last 400 years or so) is a blend of at least two other cultures."  Basically, anthropology old (the emphasis on systemtic generalization) and new (a multicultural, pluralist vision).

No comments: