I was flipping through a game the other day, reading the "What is an RPG and How to Play This Game" section, and I started to wonder, how often does anyone actually pick up a role playing game without ever having played a game before? Why does every game on the planet feel the need to start off defining “what is role-playing”? Does anyone actually pick up one of these books without a basic understanding of the framework of a role playing game?
When dealing with a hobby as dependent on its social dynamics as role playing, is it even possible to actually learn how to play a role playing game from the book alone, without exposure to the meta-culture that surrounds gaming at large?
I would be very curious to see what would happen if you took four people who had never played a role playing game in their lives, gave them a rule book and a handful of dice, and asked them to “figure it out.”