Steve Jackson Extended Interview from Munchkin - TableTop ep 5

Uploaded by geekandsundry on Jun 1, 2012

I'm Steve Jackson.
I design games.
And I am a gaming geek.
I was a gamer before I tried to create a game.
I created my first game because I wasn't completely
happy with what I was playing at the time.
And I said, I can make this better.
I did Illuminati, Car Wars, Ogre, Killer, Munchkin--
and a whole lot of others.
OK, I don't know how not to make games.
It's what I do.
But I know that I start by turning my right brain on and
coming up with all kinds of stuff.
And then the left brain comes on and tries to get it
organized and coherent and fair.
Well, the Munchkin characters, all of the cards are really
little individual pieces of characters
that you put together.
You don't have an individual, specific
character when you start.
You're a human with no distinguishing characteristics
of any kind.
As the game goes on, you pick up races like elf and classes
like wizard.
And this all draws from the stereotypes, the very banal
stereotypes of classic role-playing, because Munchkin
started out as a completely random, whimsical parody.
It was just a satire of role-playing games.
And that's where it came from, from all of these things that
people are already playing.
Ooh, where do I get my ideas?
Often from gamers.
I am a gamer.
I go to game conventions.
A lot of it is just I write what I see.
It's about people.
It's about what we do.
I think that Illuminati, which is a game about conspiracies,
is the one where I came closest to really coming up
with original game mechanics and just really doing
something that had totally never been done before.
But Munchkin is the one where, all unwittingly, I hit chords
that people like to hear.
And that makes me happy.
It makes me happy when people play my games and have fun.
This is good.
I love gaming about gaming.
I love sitting down with people and getting together
into a different world and matching wits, telling a
story, and seeing what happens.
Any game you play, if you pay attention to the other
players, that's more important than paying attention to the
cards, which is also good.
But you're playing with the cards and
against your friends.
Gaming is my life.