China Mieville on RPGsMay 9, 2008
From PIQ magazine, vol. 3 June 2008, China Mieville and the Unheroes of Un Lun Dun by Paul Starr
If people want to play games in that world- even if they want to play them using characters from the books- it would be foolish for me to think I could stop them….
…people are doing this all the time, whether it be fanfiction, or – if you’re talking about kid’s books- any time a kid waves a stick and calls himself Harry Potter, he’s roleplaying in that world. You’re not going to be able to stop him from doing that, and why would you want to? All fiction, to varying degrees, is interactive. Merely thinking about what happened after the book finished, people will be interacting with your world, and it seems to me that wanting to play a game in it is just an extrapolation, in a slightly geeky direction, of that tendency of the readers.
…we’re talking about inhabiting the world. And that’s what readers of genre fiction in particular do; they inhabit the worlds they read about. That’s one of the things that marks out our field. That, to me, is exciting and interesting, so I don’t really empathize with [authorial possessiveness]
I haven’t read any of his books, but I think that’s a pretty good outlook on both genre writing, and the creative stuff that people do inspired by mass media.