Surreal Games, Beyond Words

Over at A Kingdom Is, Abstract Machine has written a poetic and evocative freeform essay on the influence of Nørwegian Style, and the unique feel of roleplaying games that involve a surrealistic dimension. The games he discusses in this context are: The Society of Dreamers by Matthijs Holter, Itras By by Ole Peder Giæver and Martin Bull Gudmundsen, and DayTrippers.

What do these games have in common? The short-form answer is an interpretive narrative mechanic that goes beyond mere success or failure. But there's a more subtle aspect to the relation, and Abstract Machine - who gets it in a way that many don't - manages to condense the telios of the surrealistic game into a pithy quote:

[These games] recognise that many of the most important moments in our lives are neither linear nor explicable. Their gameplay offers the fullest opportunity for creativity: being more than real means being rooted in the reality of the human psyche.

Read the full essay here. You'll also get a trip through some of the developmental years of Abstract Machine himself, and that's a fascinating tour bus to ride on. For a guy who struggled with reading at an early age, he is a remarkably deep and close reader - and that's the best any writer can ask for.