Monday, April 10, 2006

Weekly Review Apr. 2nd to Apr. 8th

This week in theory has continued the search for different ways to understand RPGs.

Seeking Other Ways

Thomas Robertson suggests that if playing RPGs is like writing, then the process of designing RPGs is analogous to editing. Of course the counter-intuitive part of this is that the editing occurs before the writing ever happens. From a different perspective, Fang Langford suggests a view of RPGs divorced from the narrative, namely that players seek to explore hypothetical possibilities. It may be a matter of tactical potential, or exploring the possibilities of a particular strain of fiction or situation, but in each case he reasons the hypothetical quality is sought.

Push and Pull in Theory

Back in January of this year, Push and Pull were introduced as a way discuss modes of social influence. Now in light of forum discussions on gender and RPGs, Moyra Turkington, who originally coined the terms, has further clarified their meaning. But now, push and pull are presented as a way to understand one of the most common methods for RPG theory discussion, the forum debate. She relates that even when a thread is initiated in a pull manner (eliciting comments and ideas) it rapidly moves to a push dynamic (presenting and defending your own ideas). She suggests that this bait and switch is what prevents people who are more comfortable with pull than push to avoid forums.

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