Monday, July 03, 2006

Weekly Review Jun. 25th to Jul. 1st

This week has been an influx of disparate ideas of RPG theory.

Practicing Play

Carl Cravens suggests that RPGs are somewhat unique in that they are a performance form where you only practice during the performance. He remarks that some players may benefit from the availability of practice workshops for building their play skills.

Resolving Situations

Emily Care Boss reflects on dynamic and static situations. The former are unstable and often resolve into stable, static ones. She suggests that it may be worthwhile to focus resolution away from stabilizing and more to changing between one dynamic situation to another.

RPG Media

Thomas Robertson discusses the different media of RPG play. In particular he identifies four qualities which trade-off between different media.

Permanency is the capability of the medium to be recorded and accessed later. Synchronicity is the delay between player inputs. Delineation indicates how separable the modes of communication can be. Lastly, richness indicates how much and how quickly information can be communicated in that media.

Together these characterize different forms of media. For example, face-to-face presents an impermanent, synchronous, non-delineated, but very rich RPG media, while play-by-email presents a very permanent, very asynchronous, highly delineated, but not very rich RPG media.

Agreeing on Emulation

Brian Hollenbeck discusses the subject of emulation, under the structure of his AGE (Art Game Emulation) theory. In particular he notes that emulation is very much a social aspect of play, because it is ultimately based on a group judgment of what fits and what does not.

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