Whenever I travel I try to find people to play with. What really struck me in Chili, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Turkey and to a lesser extent Spain is that local people not only did not play RPGs, often they had never even heard of them, or at most heard the name but had no idea what it was. And that included people who were into board games or fantasy. Hence I only ended up starting groups with locals in Spain and almost in Turkey.
It made me a little sad, because I felt if anyone could really enjoy and benefit from RPGs it would be some of these places. I realize that in some cases people are just working almost all their waking hours, but for many others a game that they could play indefinitely and that would only cost a few dollars for some dice and required nothing more than a few pencils and paper, would be great. Basic fantasy RPG is free and open source, but any other very affordable OSR game could be translated of course. PDF’s could be free or simple printouts could be very cheap locally.
I know that in me and my friend’s case RPGs promoted literacy to an extent, improved vocabulary and basic math, nurtured creativity, rewarded problem solving and allowed me to dream of other worlds and forget about a few (of my pretty minor) worries for at least some hours and have a great time with friends or family.
I do remember reading a long time ago that DnD was “illegally” translated to a Chinese version, which got altered a lot, owing to Western fantasy tropes not being well-known. I think that has changed a fair amount in last 10+ years, what with the internet, LOTR, GOT and people in every country playing all kinds/styles of RPG computer games.
SImply put, I think it would be amazing if OSR / Free or cheap RPGing caught on in other places. Having a few key OSR products translated into say Chinese, Portuguese and Spanish would already be a massive step, since so many people have those as their first language.
Anyone have ideas on how this could be done?
Anyone aware of popular RPGs specifically in those languages? I just know the ones in German and this Brazilian game: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/3D%26T
PS. Forgive the term “developing nations”, I could not think of a better one, and I am aware it is a bit outdated and would not truly apply to Spain, China or Chili regardless.