What is a role playing game

Role playing games can take many forms. In the case of Stonewall 1969 – A War Story it is a conversation mediated by rules. Players tell a story collaboratively, playing the role of one or more characters. During the course of the conversation, the players create a narrative universe where the facts happen. The rules of the game explain how and to  what extent players can influence what happens inside of the narrative universe, each one giving their own contribution, and guiding the emergent narrative so that each character’s story follows a coherent development. The players are both the authors and the audience of the story they are telling. Like any good conversation, a role playing game is primarily made up of mutual listening and openness to the other.

A role playing game provides tools to consciously and critically explore the situation and the events leading up to the riot. In order to do this, we bring into play the aspirations, loves, fears, desires and problems of the characters, because in that moment they are alive and real in the story we tell. Seeing the story through the characters’ eyes and experiencing it with their experiences allows the players to have a human, empathic and emotional perspective of the facts. 

During the course of the game we can discover that those characters are us, in a protected and non-judgmental environment where it is possible to experience the emotions arising at the gaming table. The game becomes the pretext for abandoning one’s own certainties and beliefs for a few hours; in this way we are transported to an era that is far from us, but which at the same time has strong connections with our present and which has brought us to the society in which we live today.