If one's willing to entertain the notion of RPGs as art, it's probably the more obvious role playing aspect of the game that first seems to justify the view. The voice acting and discussion of what the game's characters say and do is the most spontaneous and dynamic aspect of the creation of the meta-space (or playing field). It’s also the most overtly collaborative, and for most people the part that's the most fun.
However - if we continue with the idea that, as I said earlier, in many ways the creation of the imaginary entertainment environment (to use McKay’s term again) is the game, then the game is still being played (that is, the art is still being created) even when the actual role playing isn’t occurring. It’s being played when the GM creates the campaign world: when he maps it, populates it, when he creates new magic items or spells that will be discovered and used in it, etc. Similarly, when players roll up a new character, they’re using the game rules to help them create a framework from which they’ll know how to interact with the shared meta-space. They may go on to invent a personal history to deepen the meta-space and further inform their actions - in short they're creating a unique brush with which they will add their own flourishing touches to the larger canvas. From this point of view, anything you do with creative intention that will impact the shared play meta-space is in essence playing the game.
Adventure-Building and The Ecology of Murder
10 hours ago