Saturday, March 11, 2006

Monthly Review February 2006

The major thread of RPG theory developments through February, began with Brand Robbins putting forward the thesis that new developments in design may actively change the way we tell stories. And these changes might mean that games begin to differ on what sorts of values and world views they present. He culminates with the suggestion that some games may be unplayable by some people, because they present things in a way that those people cannot accept.

A short while later, Emily Care brought up playing with people, and how some games might provide a glimpse into the emotions and views of each other. She discusses the difficulties with removing "blinders" and seeing the truth underneath, especially in the context of traditional play.

In the midst of these ideas came a dramatic claim. Ron Edwards argued that players of the RPG wave of the 80's and 90's frequently suffer from a pathology which renders them unable to perceive the underlying elements of stories. He suggested that this derives from the bait-and-switch aspect of many games in that era, causing players to associate story with the actual play of such games. Some people responded positively while others found Edward's mourned his choice of terms, including Clinton R Nixon In the aftermath of this debate, many people appeared soured on RPG Theory, such as Keith Senkowski, and it remains to be seen what the long term effects might be.

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