Sunday, July 30, 2006

Weekly Review Jul. 23rd to Jul. 29th

This week has continued several investigations into what are RPGs and how we learn to play them.

Acquiring Immersion

Thomas Robertson brings up one of the goals of his month long focus on immersion, namely asking whether or not immersion can be learned. He suggests that the barrier to immersion is based on comfort with the non-immersive parts of the game, especially mechanics. Perhaps, by learning and making these easier to learn, more and more of the game becomes unconscious, opening the way to immersion. However, the question remains whether unconscious actions can break immersion.

Competition and Roles

Guy Shalev presents an altogether different perspective on roles, immersion, and defining RPGs. In particular he suggests a focus on even minimal immersion limits the idea of role-playing, otherwise there would be no distinction between game roles and "played" roles. Because of the importance of roles, even in the competitive story games he champions, he argues that the concept of RPGs should be extended beyond this limitation.

John Kim offers a different take on this issue. In particular, he suggests that the opposition to competition is not immersive, but based on subjective evaluation, a difficulty which competition cannot ultimately defeat. He continues, by suggesting that competitive games are often designed to train, and that the subjectiveness of imaginative works prevents the objective measures needed to evaluate one's own skills.

1 comment:

Guy said...

It's not Immersion stops role-playing, it's the connection between the definition of RPGs and the element of Immersion(even if hidden) therein.

You posted it right, but I wanted to clear it further.