Monday, January 30, 2006

Weekly Review Jan. 22nd to Jan. 28th

This week has been dominated by a discussion of protagonists and character ownership. Concurrent with that have been several attempts to refine the language used in RPG theory.

Who is the Protagonist?

Continuing to develop his "dangerous idea" of RPGs without players, Vincent Baker has put forward the interesting idea of games which "Let the events of the game's fiction choose whether your character is a protagonist or a supporting character." In essence, Baker is asking how deprotagonizing a character can be done beneficially. And in the context of shared ownership of characters, this is not as far fetched as it seems.

This proposal has generated significant discussion. Brand Robins expanding on the idea by contrasting the types of stories RPGs usually make with more traditional fiction. Victor Gijsbers argues that this can help to remove the romanticist assumptions from RPGs. On the other hand, Jason L suggests that this strategy will mean very little to the majority of roleplayers. And lastly Joshua BishopRoby and Ben Lehman both suggest that Baker's ideas, while useful, are not particularly revolutionary.

Finding the Words

While dangerous ideas are being bandied about, several people have been attempting to find better terminology for RPG theory. Fang Langford continued his earlier development of diegesis and mimesis, describing diegesis as a process. Levi Kornelsen, at both RPGnet and Story Games, has introduced a new lexicon for RPG theory, inspired by the Big Model work at the Forge.

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