This past Friday, I once again had the opportunity to lead a discussion on the Inklings and Gaming, this time for students, faculty, and guests at the Lewis & Friends Tea hosted weekly by the Center for the Study of C.S. Lewis & Friends. My previous presentation was during the 2018 Lewis & Friends Colloquium which had a much more scholarly feel. This time, it was more of a discussion with others passionate about gaming and the impact Tolkien and Lewis have had on our hobby.
The event started out wonderfully with tea and biscuits to truly set the mood for the discussion. This was a much more casual setting for the topic, which I really enjoyed as a change of pace. As in my previous workshop, I focused on how the Inklings have influenced gaming over the decades. We discussed which Inklings’ creative works have found their way into the gaming hobby, how the various books influenced the birth of the roleplaying hobby, some of the legal impacts of the intellectual properties, how various animations and movies inspired tabletop and video games, the successes and failures, and what might be coming on the horizon. This group was especially interested in the upcoming Narnia show on Netflix and Middle Earth show on Amazon Prime. We discussed at length how the various estates and media companies manage the licenses and how that impacts potential games and other transmedia opportunities. We also had a fun discussion how various Inklings influenced games that have impacted us over the years with a lengthy discussion on Lord of the Rings Risk, which spawned a tangent on existing games having intellectual properties layed on top like Risk, Stratego, Monopoly, Trivial Pursuit, etc.
After the official presentation and discussion, many people stayed after to look at some example Middle Earth based games that I brought, continuing the discussion on random game related topics. I would enjoy hearing your thoughts and experiences regarding Inkling’s related gaming. Have you played some of the older more obscure Middle Earth or Narnia games? Do you have some gathering dust on your shelves that you might be interested in trading or selling? After doing all the research for these two presentations I am very intrigued by the older games, especially some of the early games based on the original animated Hobbit and Lord of the Rings films and the BBC Chronicles of Narnia series.