I've been rather busy of late, and haven't even read some of the recent comments (I'll try and get to them). So much to do.
I did however run across a interesting little article here that I wanted to comment on. It basically breaks down Star Trek (the recent movie), The Matrix, Harry Potter, and Star Wars to their basic storyline and finds out they're all the same.
There's nothing new to this, and one shouldn't be surprised. All are versions of Campbell's Hero's Journey after all. And this is perhaps the most common and successful 'plot' of all time. The core ideas are successful because they speak to something in mankind, everyone can relate and everyone knows how the story should go and are happy when it does indeed go that way.
Any sense of discovery along with the way is not over the major plot points- but rather is found in the details. The setting, individual character descriptions and action, etc.
On the other hand, when someone attempts to completely avoid those major points- the result is a disconnect with most of the audience. They can no longer relate, finding no joy in the main story and little in the details which now seem pointless. It may achieve cult status, but the mainstream will pass by with little interest.
What this reminded me of of with respect to the rpg hobby is how much time so many of the online personalities spend trying to do something different, often attempting to avoid key elements of the Hero's Journey (or any other of the classical plot arcs). In so doing they disconnect from most people- seeking the approval of their own little cult which may consist of a population of one in many cases.
Such a waste.
I prefer the open embrace of those elements that have always worked combined with the details that individual groups can bring to the table. It may not be 'cutting edge' but unlike that rather foolish goal which typical requires more ego (and cultists) than talent - it can actually work.