“To play D&D, all that is required is a core rule book, D&D dice, a pencil, some paper, and imagination.” And, apparently, an eight-hour online course.
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Mike, you were extremely quick to get the point of Otherworld Excursions, so I’m surprised to see that you aren’t grokking that D&D has successfully exfoliated to the point of such delicious complexity that people who want expert-level training in it now have plenty to chew on, and that both OE and the D&D B&N course are examples of the RPG-as-service-industry idea you heralded.
Actually, Wyatt’s is a free course, but I guess WotC can afford to give up all the revenue streams it likes for the sake of publicity & the mass market; I’m confident there’s a micro-market who’d pay for an online “D&D University”.
Or am I reading too much into a classically snarky OgreCave subhead? Thanks for the link, in any case; it’s prompted some interesting discussion.
The service industry mostly means restaurants. Otherworld Excursions is a restaurant; “D&D U” is a cooking school. I think you’ll agree that the former is a lot more popular than the latter.
Busted analogy. Otherworld Excursions and “D&D U” / on-line course cater to opposite ends of the gaming spectrum. OE is slated to experienced gamers with more time than money. D&D U, or at least the on-line course mentioned above, caters to people who don’t know how to play D&D.
You can say OE is a restaurant and D&D U is a cooking school, and – wink, wink, clever, clever – restaurants are more popular than cooking schools, but that doesn’t make it a decent analogy.
For one thing, the broken down shack of a restaurant certainly isn’t more popular than the CIA, is it?
The course sounds like a good idea to me. I’d think OC would present a more positive spin (as opposed to a pot-shot, snarky one) around using technology to lower the access barrier for new gamers and the #1 RPG brand …
Lowering the access barrier is great. Using technology to lower that barrier is one of my favorite things. Unfortunately role-playing’s single biggest access barrier IS its number one brand. The amount of complexity in D&D is so high that most people aren’t even willing to attempt it – people who will be won over by the peresnce of a class are few and far between.
I guess you’re right that it’s a flawed analogy – OE is like a bunch of experienced chefs getting together for a cooking session with a big pile of grade-A fois gras. (Chris, is that how you spell that?)
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