Now and then I find that I gain valuable insight as a GM by exposing myself to the talks and writings of those who work in the field of storytelling. Andrew Stanton (“Wall-E”, “Finding Nemo”, “Toy Story”) is one such storyteller that has had incredible success in being able to tell non-traditional and yet deeply moving stories that have changed how most people view the animation industry.
The points that he makes on this video are particularly enlightening as a GM. I’ve been at this hobby for over a decade now, but I’ll never brag that I’ve got this thing down to a science. Instead, I’ll only say that I’ve still got much to learn, and the only way that I can learn more is to keep an eye out for things like these that present insights that I would never have come to by myself.
There’s little doubt that running a game is a form of storytelling. Whether it’s a beer-and-pretzels dungeon hack, or a sprawling political epic akin to A Song of Ice and Fire, every GM works his hardest to come up with a narrative that ties all of the events together in a manner that satisfies. Tension, conflict, plot, themes… all of these are present no matter how simple the game might be, and it’s by paying attention to these elements that we learn to refine our craft.