On 2012-03-21, Chris Chinn wrote:
Making them evident as games has two hurdles - one is a tiny speed bump, the other is a big one.
The easy one is selling a specific conflict and situation trumps selling a general activity. "What is this game about?"
a) "You play people in a magic world who fly around and try to solve problems" vs.
b) "There's a child trapped in a flying whale. Only you can save her."
Specific situations give people better hooks to buy into or not, and while the flexibility of any given rpg to be about many situations is a strength for long term play, it's too abstract and meaningless as a selling point to non-roleplayers.
The difficult hurdle is that outside of roleplaying, all games are based on objects/cues being moved/manipulated. Even if I don't know the rules to a game, I can start figuring out strategies by watching how the people move pieces, take tokens, roll dice, etc.
The fact that you're running down a dark hall under an old gas factory, chasing a voice you trust more than the slow shambling thing with a rusty sharp metal thing sticking from it's arm would be immediately gripping - if it was visible.
Maybe it means some games need more visible tokens at least, to point to as a form of game activity (see D&D and miniatures, for example).
Or maybe it means entertaining summaries put up online, such as what folks are doing for Dwarf Fortress games - where the highlights of the story are put together as a form of promotion: http://dwarffortresswiki.org/index.php/Bronzemurder