Welcome to 2011! It's not just a new year, but a new decade. I'm somewhat horrified to admit this will be my fourth decade of playing tabletop games. Not that I feel old; rather, I just thought I'd be higher level than I actually am by now.
What will the years ahead hold for tabletop RPGs? Many pundits grimly predict a future in which the games we love fade into slow oblivion. But these pessimists are the same sorts who advised us to sell our real estate in 2008. Ignore them, and read on, as I share what the future will really hold.
Stagflation Leads to Imagination
With oil prices soaring, inflation sending prices higher, terrorism on the rise, and jobless stagflation gripping America, the 2010s are shaping up to look a lot like the 1970s. While this is cause for alarm for everyday working adults, tabletop gamers should embrace the trend, as the 1970s represented the height of D&D mania.
Laid off thirty-somethings and college students with no hopes for employment will find that they can numb the pain of their bleak existence with the escapism of role-playing games, and for much less than the cost of doing it with beer or dope. As a result, D&D clubs will re-surface throughout the nation. It will once again be impossible to get a seat at Starbucks because of all the damn Magic: The Gathering players. Yahtzee Croshaw will have to begin ranting about tabletop RPGs in order to stay popular. As inflation drives the price of a World of Warcraft subscription up to $49.95 per month, WOW will finally begin to lose subscribers to real RPGs. 70s inspired fashion trends will bring polyhedral bling to the mainstream as D20 earrings and key chains are best sellers at Hot Topic. RPG mania will peak when Stephanie Meyer releases a Twilight live-action RPG that comes with body glitter. Written by Monte Cook, the rulebook will be too complex for actual fans of the series to understand, but they will buy it anyway.
Role-Playing Games Gets Sexy Cool
The role-playing game resurgence will not be confined to young men. Following the trend started by D&D With Pornstars and I Hit It With My Axe, role-playing games will be broadly embraced by strippers, pornstars, and other hot chicks everywhere. Axe star Satine Phoenix will become the most popular pin-up girl on the planet, and will soon star in an animated series based on the exploits of her D&D character. ENWorld will become a subscription site offering exclusive behind-the-scenes of popular RPG babes. Live action role-play books and costumes will be sold in sex stories nationwide, and having a high-level character will finally help get you laid. Furries, however, will still be considered weird.