The New York Times has an article about dweebery supply company Wizards of the Coast's attempts to make Dungeons & Dragons into something people actually want to play again. Their plan for how to bring it back to life: Asking hundreds of thousands of jilted, opinionated nerds to turn off Skyrim and instead weigh in on what the new edition of Dungeons & Dragons will be like. I'm guessing that if they think this is going to work they have never read a comment thread on the internet.
On Monday, Wizards of the Coast, the Hasbro subsidiary that owns the game, announced that a new edition is under development, the first overhaul of the rules since the contentious fourth edition was released in 2008. And Dungeons & Dragons’ designers are also planning to undertake an exceedingly rare effort for the gaming industry over the next few months: asking hundreds of thousands of fans to tell them how exactly they should reboot the franchise.
The game “is a unique entertainment experience because it’s crafted by the players at the table, and every gaming session is different,” said Liz Schuh, who directs publishing and licensing for Dungeons & Dragons. “We want to take that idea of the players crafting that experience to the next level and say: ‘Help us craft the rules. Help us craft how this game is played.’”
I'm not exactly sure crowdsourcing a game will make for the most unique or coherent experience, but then, I'm not exactly an expert, either: I've drunkenly played old-school, tabletop Dungeons & Dragons exactly once, and even though that Community episode made me want to give it another go, that might say more about me wanting to hang out with everybody on Community than it does about me wanting to spend hours filling out spreadsheets of player attributes. That said, I know of one sure-fire way to make sure this reboot works: Once the nerds have stopped angrily squabbling over exactly how many hit points a dwarf gets when he uses an enchanted arrow to strike a gelatinous cube, you box the whole thing up and have James Franco do the TV ads. I'm pretty sure that handsome son of a bitch could convince anybody D&D is worth trying.