D&D Invented Godmode?
I was reading the latest OFFICIAL U.S. PLAYSTATION MAGAZINE (OPM, Issue 83), and on page 47 noticed a WOTC ad for the 30th Anniversary of Dungeons & Dragons. Although I can't say I like the ad (text was in the wrong place, art was too chaotic, etc.) it purports that "We Invented Godmode", the "We" being the Dungeons & Dragons game system.
I won't deign to argue with the invention claim - Set 5 of the original D&D was the Player's Guide To Immortals (TSR1017) published in 1986 (or so says my copy). An immortal, while not necessarily a god, certainly describes the godmode of video games: no death, no fear. What I find more questionable, however, is that they're advertising in a video game magazine; not for Baldur's Gate I, II, or III, not for the upcoming Pools of Radiance, but rather, our beloved tabletop rules system. And from what I can tell, this is the first time they've done so (at least, in OPM).
Why now? The 30th anniversary hasn't been THAT magical. And godmode is largely the last resort of desperate folks or cheaters. Why would WOTC be using that as a selling point for a tabletop game that is as far away from a visceral graphics, twitchy fingers, finish-in-a-weekend video game as possible?
Finally, does the placement of the ad constitute an opinion of OPM? It appears directly after an article on the "thugging" of gaming, popularized by the Grand Theft Auto series and its clones, and furthered with high-profile sequels and "street" titles like NFL and NBA Street, Driv3r, Def Jam Vendetta, True Crime, and so forth. The strongest point made is the evolution of the industry to modern day tastes: When discussing the move away from pure fantasy to realism in Midway's games, [Midway's chief marketing officer Steve] Allison characterizes the "dragons and robots" fraternity as "Old school. And when I say that, I mean old boys old school. The guys bitching about this new trend are inching up on 35 years old, and they grew up on old-school gameplay. They're a very vocal bunch, but they're just not the market anymore ... Today, you have to provide what people want, and dragons, elves, and fairies just aren't on the top of their lists right now.