PnP RPGs are

 
Alive and Kicking
47% (886 votes)
Not Quite Dead
18% (334 votes)
Obsolete
3% (50 votes)
Quite Dead
4% (74 votes)
Undead
29% (540 votes)
Total votes: 1884

I feel it to be my absolute duty as a gamer to throw in the obligatory Monty Python quote:

"I'm not dead."
"What?"
"Nothing. There's your ninepence."
"I'm not dead. "
"'Ere, he says he's not dead."
"Yes he is. "
"I'm not. "
"He isn't. "
"Well, he will be soon, he's very ill. "
"I'm getting better."
"No you're not, you'll be stone dead in a moment."
"Well, I can't take him like that. It's against regulations."
"I don't want to go on the cart."
"Oh, don't be such a baby. "
"I can't take him."
"I feel fine."
"Oh, do me a favor."
"I can't."
"Well, can you hang around for a couple of minutes? He won't be long."
"I promised I'd be at the Robinsons'. They've lost nine today."
"Well, when's your next round?"
"Thursday."
"I think I'll go for a walk.
"You're not fooling anyone, you know. Isn't there anything you could do? "
*WHACK!*
"Ah, thank you very much."
"Not at all. See you on Thursday."
"Right. "

Alive and kicking, but largely under the radar of big business - and the kind of people who imagine them to be obsolete - which is maybe no bad thing. I can't see much evidence of death, what with people queueing up to join our RPG nights and players who've moved away spawning local sub-groups.

My turn to quote:

Creedy: Defiant to the end, huh? You won't cry like him, will you? You're not afraid of death. You're like me.
V: The only thing that you and I have in common, Mr. Creedy, is we're both about to die.
Creedy: How do you imagine that's gonna happen?
V: With my hands around your neck.
Creedy: Bollocks. Whatchya gonna do, huh? We've swept this place. You've got nothing. Nothing but your bloody knives and your fancy karate gimmicks. We have guns.
V: No, what you have are bullets, and the hope that when your guns are empty I'll no longer be standing, because if I am you'll all be dead before you've reloaded.
Creedy: That's impossible. Kill him.

[the fingermen open fire on V, but he still stands after their clips are empty]

V: My turn.

[V proceeds to kill all fingermen with his knives before they manage to reload]

Creedy: [desperately shooting at the approaching V] Die! Die! Why won't you die?... Why won't you die?
V: Beneath this mask there is more than flesh. Beneath this mask there is an idea, Mr. Creedy, and ideas are bulletproof.

I love that movie!

*old man grumbling sound* Read the book whippersnappers! Kids these days...

No whippersnapper here. I read the book in '91. :-)

You?

My reference was more to Lorthyne, but I'm definitely younger than you. I was 3 when you read the book, and read it myself I believe in 2006 or thereabouts. I just gotta say, the book is far superior to the movie, in that it truly is a tract on government while the movie is merely propaganda about a Democratic superhero and an evil Republican regime (before you political types attack me, I'm not conservative and tend to agree with the Democrats more than the Republicans - I just don't like being pandered to). Hopefully the book will be remembered far longer than the movie, but I doubt it. :(

I quoted the film (movie) version as I thought it would be more widely recognised. But my essential point is encapsulated in the last line of the scene, which is the same in both versions. Ideas are bulletproof. Tabletop RPG is an idea, a method, a way of doing things. You can no more render it obsolete than you can win a war on terror.

Sure, I'll jump in.

No, I haven't read the book. I'd like to. I did see the film, and liked it (politics aside) for the same reason that Gherkin mentioned. For me, the film was about Ideas, and that Ideas can be smothered, buried, burned, and otherwise hidden from the public view, but never fully extinguished. Because Ideas and Truths are bigger than governments and organizations and individuals.

Those very things are what makes the book so amazing, as compared to the film. The film touches on that, the book explores it in depth.

But your point is taken and is a good point. I just get mad because the book is so much better and most people only know the movie.

Alive and kicking; but in the healthiest of examples I don't think they're what they used to be. Those enthusiasts that have been into it for decades (and those that are new to it but have a more wide angle view of the hobby than "smash, kill, grab, repeat") are probably not so different from me; they've found ways to make the artform into something completely different from the "running the game" section of most RPG rulebooks.

PnP RPG's are an art-form that belongs to a sub-culture. We all see the art of it, but collectively don't know if it is pop-art, deviant art, or high art. Like any art, much of what happens at the table is scrap -- crude rough drawings that are not drawn to the right scale, or lost in the details of too many brush strokes.

Infected by some transcendent experience in our gaming career, we chase that experience and look to repeat it. At its best it is unlike any other art form. At its worst it is an addiction that leads to repetition, dull sensations, and withdrawl.

"At its best it is unlike any other art form. At its worst it is an addiction that leads to repetition, dull sensations, and withdrawl."

-Good call.

I find the piece of art created by roleplaying isn't what happens at the table. I often tell new writers something during sessions on world development: "The only true version of a story exists in the memories of it's readers". Most of them don't get it at first...