Sunday, August 08, 2010

Who killed the RPG Star?

With another GenCon over, I find myself how it has changed over the years - and I've ha quite a few years to follow the changes. In the previous century, finding a warrior, wizard, elf, or orc was easy stuff. Stand in one place for a minute or so, and soon a costumed person would pass by. I think for years elves and wizards dominated.

Of course, there has always been a fair number on pop culture icons - Klingons, Darth Vaders, stormtroopers, and "redshirts." After all, GenCon was and still is the largest gaming convention, and the above characters were all part of a role-playing game at some time or another.

But this year something changed. Finding one of the classic RPG classes was difficult. Instead, there was an abundance of anime characters, film costumes (most from dead RPGs), and a plethora of video game characters. Is venture to say "Solid Snake" was one if the most popular ones. At one point, I saw a group of guys asking two bikini-like clad girls to step out of frame with Solid Snake. And Snake seemed to have his own entourage of anime females.

Other video game characters included John Marston (Red Dead), and several Big Daddies and Big Sisters (BioShock).

Sadly, most of my photos are blurry, but you get the point. Where are the traditional RPG characters, and what is the present RPG icon. Or is the RPG hero dead?


Andi Newton said...

I think it has a lot to do with what has grabbed people's imagination at the moment. People like to dress up as their heroes or favorite fantasies - as who or what, in their imaginations, they'd like to be. Which is very much at the heart of playing RPGs. I read a blog post not long ago that mentioned seeing a lot of folks dressed in steampunk attire at a con. Looks like maybe anime and VGs are the big thing now; they're what people are involved in, so they're what's grabbed people's imaginations. I'd be interested to see what things look like after The Hobbit comes out -- I know wizards, elves, and dwarfs were big when the Lord of the Ring movies were in the theaters, so when The Hobbit comes out it might spark a resurgence by grabbing the imagination of the populus.

Charles Gramlich said...

And so TV/FILM's conquest of the world continues apace.

TonyKenealy said...

I didn't see a lot of your traditional D&D type characters I agree. There were a lot of Anime costumes which I didn't recognize, but that is not unusual. Unfortunately it has got to the point with a lot of custumes these days is that it is hard to tell if it is a costume or just how the people normally dress. :)
I did see about 4 different Dr Who's, plus a Cyberman so I was happy.
I would say Anime characters still hold the prize for a large majority of the costumes but TV and Film are creeping in more and more. Well perhaps not so much creeping as dashing headlong. :)

Akasha Savage. said...

I agree with Charles. Tv/Films are taking over the world! Each year at school we hold a book day, the children can dress up for the day as their favourite book character, but more and more are coming in dressed up characters from TV & Films...they don't seem to realise there's a difference.

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