Friday, February 10, 2006

Monthly Review January 2006

As the start of the new year, January was begun with a challenge. On Attacks of Opportunity a question was put forth. " What's Your Most Dangerous Gaming Idea?" Several of the answers shocked the RPG theory community.

Paul Czege put forward the idea that RPGs can incorporate memes and behavior changes. And that careful design of RPGs can bend this effect to the designer's goals. Mentioning his own RPG My Life with Master as a rough example, he suggests that much more is possible, and that we should be careful with how we do it.

Vincent Baker also made quite an impact with his dangerous idea, although it was longer in developing. Baker suggested that people could design RPGs without players, essentially removing the Player - Character relationship at the center of nearly all RPGs. This appeared in a variety of forms over January, including "meaningless" character death and distributed co-ownership of all characters.

While, perhaps, not a dangerous idea, Mo and Brand Robins developed a novel perspective on how players contribute to each other. Namely some play is Push, where a player directs some sort of contribution, and either forces acceptance or opposition. Other play is Pull, where a player entices interest, either engaging the other players, or simply letting the contribution fade from lack of interest. Both of these approaches seem to be present, but the varying quantities of each may be one step to improving play.


Alex said...

Great blog. I think you mean PRGs without characters, not without players though.

Alex said...

Or RPGs even. Doh.