“Pen & paper games will be forgotten in ten years”

No, that line is not from me, but from game designer Steve Jackson, co-founder of Games Workshop and creator of the Fighting Fantasy gamebooks. He has said these words in a recent interview with the German news magazine DER SPIEGEL.

And please note that the translation to English is from me, since the interview was entirely in German language, so it might be that some things got lost intranslation.

According to this interview he also believes that the tradition of pen & paper roleplaying games is continued in computer games, since “the most computer games today are just Dungeons & Dragons with pretty pictures and software that rolls the dice and uses the rules behind the curtain.” He continues: “The rules might be more complex but the game concept is the same“.
When he was not misquoted he also stated that one of the problems of pen & paper RPGs “was” that they are depending on the creativity of the players and game masters.

In my opinion Steve Jackson makes the same mistake that a lot of people do, they think that the new technologies, like computers and the internet will replace our hobby entirely. And that’s where they are probably wrong. The new technologies changed and continue to change who roleplaying games are played, created and sold, but I am pretty sure the hobby as a whole will survive.

Steve Jackson is currently developing computer and video games at Lionhead Studios which he co-founded with 2005 together with Peter Molyneux. If you ask me, he just lost touch with the pen & paper roleplaying scene a lot of years ago. Or am I wrong here and our hobby is doomed? What are your thoughts on the matter?