Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

What Does Linux and Role Playing Games Have in Common?

As a recently revived Game Master/DM going back to my RPG roots in Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, 1st Edition after about a 20 year absence, I find that computer technology has impacted Role Playing Games far beyond being able to play online.

People have been working over the years to "free gaming". Yes, Free in the same terms as open Source software that we use today. Both "free beer" and "Free-dom".

Linux has an Open Source License in the GPL and RPG's have the Open Game License. Due to the proprietariness of many of the original artwork and story content of the gaming modules of games like Advanced Dungeons & Dragons and other game systems, it has become very difficult to access new "modules" or published adventures in which to continue playing the game people have become so fervent over.

Thus, the Open Game License was created to allow "near beer" versions of traditional games systems that allow fans and groups to legally "side step" those proprietary concerns of the original games and still continue to publish and make available new content for game systems that are no longer sold or are out of print but still under copyright.

It's a legal tightrope walk to be sure. Avid fans and supporters work very hard to stick to the rules in order to keep their favorite games alive. The good's working.

Open licenses have far trancended the software universe and continue to have meaningful impact on very diverse areas of social life. I'm not entirely sure that table top RPg's could not only continue to exist but actually are experiencing growth in the ranks, without Open licensing.

The fight for "open-ness" is a good fight and goes way beyond making access of software and media accessible to the masses. Stiking a victory for open licenses in one arena is a victory for open licences in other arenas as well.

More in Tux Machines

Android 6.0 Marshmallow review

Android, Google’s mobile operating system, has matured a lot over the past year. It’s running on 1.4 billion devices (up from 1 billion last year) and its most popular app store, Google Play, has more than 1 billion active users. In the last quarter, IDC estimates that Android held 82.8 percent of the global smartphone market. As its newest iteration, 6.0 Marshmallow, rolls out, Android’s going incredibly, undeniably strong. Read more

At the Heart of OpenStack Evolution

As it matures, OpenStack's parallel to Linux is clearer. Linux emerged 20 years ago as a somewhat exotic challenger to proprietary operating systems. Today, it is one of the most popular and widely used OSes. However, Linux still exists in a market of mixed use. It's likely that OpenStack will be subject to the same effect, becoming a viable option among a number of cloud infrastructures. Read more

GParted Live Gets the Latest Updates from Debian Sid

GParted Live, a small bootable GNU/Linux distribution for x86-based computers that can be used for creating, reorganizing, and deleting disk partitions, has been upgraded to version 0.23.0-2 and is now available for download. Read more

MATE-Desktop 1.11 Released, Working Towards MATE 1.12

MATE developers are currently working towards MATE 1.12. MATE 1.12 is expected to have full support for GTK3, initial support for Wayland, support for GNOME Account Servers, full support for systemd's logind, xf86-input-libinput driver support, and various other changes. The work-in-progress items can be found via the MATE-Desktop Roadmap. Read more