the Fairgame Archive

2009-03-06: Jeep Talk
by Emily

When I first played it, Jeep it hit me like a ton of emo porn laden bricks of goodness.

The sometimes cruel, sometimes touching antics of the contestants in The Upgrade, (which was my first jeep and has become the intro jeep game of choice) was just the beginning of exploring emotional realms usually glanced over in other role playing games. It was also a head-first immersion into a world of gaming techniques that crafted stories in ways wholly novel to me, and completely compelling.

We then lucked out. One of the jeep heavy-hitters, Tobias, happened to be stationed in the US, and we got him to run some great games at Dreamation and GenCon these past two years. It's been an incredible pleasure to watch others be introduced to these games, and catch fire for it. Since then, I've written Under my Skin, and Seth has publishedA Flower for Mara, and we've even started getting a cross-pollination going on with Frederik Jensen putting out Montsegur 1244, which takes story game ideas and intertwines them with Danish scenario play for an intense and thrilling experience.

So now we want more.

After the recent fun at Dreamation, a few of us came home pumped up to work on new games. And also to start weaving in more consciously the different approaches that we bring from our gaming context that is very different from theirs. The arc of development that indie games have taken in pushing off from traditional US tabletop games, is very different from the path from Nordic larp culture to jeep. We also have various homegrown freeform traditions, from improvised system tabletop to structured freeform using elements from board games to provide a framework for story.

We've got new territory to explore, and Dreamation seems like a great annual benchmark to use as a launching place and deadline. So, we created a forum:

Stuctured Freedom

The forum has a purpose and a life-span. It's there as a place for us to talk about our experiences with games that fall in the freeform spectrum, to share the game ideas we're working on and to share about our play.  The goal is to get a whole new crop of American (in the continental sense) structured freeform out there to play by Dreamation 2010.  We'll put our own stamp on it, we already have, but it's great to have community to help put the pieces together.

If you love jeep and structured freeform, or are curious to learn more, come on in and join the conversation. We'd love to have you.

2009-03-12 17:41:04 ScottM

Speaking of structured freeform, have you seen Rob Donoghue's Wheel of Fate? He discusses his approach here:

2009-03-14 15:59:55 Emily

ooh! No I hadn't. I'll go check that out.

2009-03-14 16:03:29 Emily

That looks like a neat, streamlined system. Rob and Deborah did a great job, and it is the sweetest gamer's love letter ever. :) I'd love to hear her perspective on things.

2009-03-15 19:34:19 Sven

I just now heard about this. It sounds really great.

I hope you allow expat Swedes, as myself, to join in. I have really for a long time longed for a place to talk about these things. Strangely enough, there is no place on the net where you can do this in Swedish.

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