Yesterday, we spoke about exposing yourself and your crew to new and different games to keep the creative juices flowing. Today, I’m going to make another suggestion just for you.
Genre Deprivation. Yep. You heard it right. You’ve heard of sensory deprivation where all your senses are blocked out which leads to greater inner clarity? Genre deprivation is the same sort of thing. Most of us are supersaturated in our affections for swords & sorcery, science fiction, comics, and so on and it’s easy to find them every day now thanks to cable and the internet and instant streaming. You can get too much of a good thing. For example, the servant class back in Victorian England protested getting too much salmon, something many of us consider a nice treat. It sounds odd, but truth is often stranger than fiction.
What I propose for you is a bit of a challenge, but disconnect yourself from your passions. This cleans your palate and enables you to return to them rejuvenated with a deeper appreciation for the things you hold most near and dear. Rather than watching old episodes of Star Trek or Hercules, look at police procedurals or gritty crime dramas, such as The Shield or watch Band of Brothers or even check out the old Rockford Files. Getting away from the classic tropes of science fiction and fantasy and looking at these other types of stories can enrich and inform your own design aesthetics and lets your mind consider ways of breaking down the barriers commonly held in most games. Give it a go. Try it for a week, and when you return to the fold you’ll be better for it. Until next time, I bid you, dear reader, adieu!