An Ode to The New Hotness

A con is coming up. There’s always a con coming up, or a kickstarter. And we’re waiting. Waiting to see the new games.

Waiting and hoping for The New Hotness.

Anticipation is palpable. There are always whispers, then promises, then reveals… and then often disappointment. This new hotness is hot for just a little bit, but we quickly move on to newer, hotter, hots.

Gamers, particularly in the indie tabletop role-playing scene, are always looking for the new hotness. Maybe all humans are looking for the new hotness, to some degree, but I think that elemental desire burns particularly bright within us niche RPGers.

Are people just fickle? Always bored with what we’ve got, always wanting something shiny and new? Sure there’s some of that, but I don’t think that’s the heart of the matter.

The heart of matter is that we are drawn to the promise of the new hotness because, deep down, we don’t feel the games we’ve got are hitting the mark. They aren’t going as far as they could, or even comprehending their own potential. Yes, many are great, but even in greatness some games just hint at how far we are from where we could be. We can’t even put into words what the play-form we want looks like — by definition, if we knew what that was, we would have already invented it, and then we’d have it.

We mock the perpetual craving for the new hotness, but that urge is really telling us something important.

So we’re left wanting something but not knowing what or why. The vacuum haunts us. After hearing even the merest scrap of a description, an upcoming game can capture our imagination, because we subconsciously project all the things we want onto it, filling in the unknowns with our dreams and ideals, without even being able to say what those things are.

This new hotness might be the one. This might be the game that takes us all to that next level. That next level we don’t even know we can’t imagine. Yet.

    Ben Robbins | June 11th, 2019 | | show comments