Ken Rolston Talks Story, Kinda Scares (Excites?) Us

rolston3.jpg"I'm spraying you guys hard in the mouth, knocking you down," said Ken Rolston, his brow glistening. And other than that awkward innuendo, no, including that innuendo, Rolsten's creamy white beard and stoic to animated dynamics remind me of my junior year high school English teacher.

Rolston is referring to all of his writing philosophies —a lifetime's worth of genius or folly—being pumped into our open and willing/possibly-still-intoxicated-from-last-night ear drums. He presents us with his BIG WRONG IDEAS, a deconstructionist approach that makes bold claims like theme is more important than character and paper is better than plastic to clarify point and purpose.

It was outright insanity I tell you.

He explains that linear forms like film and novels are better at telling stories than games—something that's looking to be flat-out true at the moment—and concluded that inference (such as the ruins in Morrowind) is the best way for gamers to experience compelling narrative which can, at peak, invoke an intangible melancholy.

In the Renaissance, melancholy was a sign of genius. We don't think he was necessarily referring to that interpretation.

Whether or not you enjoy Rolston's opus RPGs, he is certainly trying to accomplish new feats...other than that 50-person mouth spray. That's totally been done before (just check out the German primetime).


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