Risus is a work of genius. A wonderfully complete game that uses wonderfully few resources to realise a wonderful wealth of potential. Nevertheless, it has been sold off.
The inventor, creator, and mastermind of Risus is S. John Ross, whom I do not know in person, but as an enthusiastic fan of his work I can only imagine him as a titan among men, 8 feet tall and so beautiful to defy description.
But enough with the slimy fanboyism.
S. John Ross has sold this cornerstone of… err… has sold Risus.
Not included in this description is a certain disillusioned view of the gaming community at large.
He talked quite a bit about “hight trust” and “low trust” in RPGs, and he seems to be quite convinced that there is no audience or at least only a dying audience for “high trust” gaming, which is, gaming that does not rely on fixed rules to keep things in check. Rules that support the gaming experience rather than keeping wild ideas in check.
Which is not a statement about rules-light versus crunchy rules, it is just a statement about playing intent and style at the table.
For some reason, he is convinced that the future of gaming lies elsewhere, in low-trust, in rules that steer play, and that the gamers, and even the Risus-gamers, want that.
I am not sure why. I firmly believe that his impression of high-trust dying and low-trust being the future is a fluke born of a slanted perception, akin to an echo chamber, but not quite the same. Is that comprehensible? If you look at the world with a mind that fears to see war and death, you will have no problem to see war and death, regardless of where you look. But that does not mean that there is *only* war and death, or that peace is dying off. It is still there, it just does not draw that much attention.
In a similar way, rules arguments and rules debates draw a lot of attention, and newbies who come into a gaming space always start by asking about the rules, and people who hack a system usually bolt on some extra rules that are, often, not really productive. But that does not mean that people are only interested in tight rules or that free play is dying. It just happens.
Anyway, here we are, and Risus gets sold.
There was some vague talk of the fan community pooling cash and buying it, but this must be regarded as a failure at inception: A horde of gamers who cannot agree on the time of day would never be able to develop and publish anything remotely coherent as a game. The realistic option was to let the dice fall as they may.
And then, all of a sudden, they did.
Well, Big Dice Games people, you have bought an important piece of history.
Handle it responsibly.