Monday, March 05, 2007

Weekly Review Feb. 25th to Mar. 3rd

This week has seen several investigations on what people get into as they play, from shared imagined spaces to intimacy.

Shared Imagined Space

Fang Langford describes how we produce mental spaces, from day-to-day activity to dreams, and relates these to his idea of shared imagined space. Specifically he points out that these belong to the different players, constantly evolving based on their interactions.


Moyra Turkington continues her discussion on the impassioned other's approach to play, by describing different means to produce emotional intimacy in RPGs and related activities. She brings up artistic aspirations, BDSM-related social tropes, and virtual play spaces, as all being ways to produce intimacy - usually by signalling to all the players that they should examine what is going on more deeply, and take the interaction in the
game more seriously.

Rules, Imagination, and the Individual

Over at Story Games Gabor Koszper put together a perspective on RPG play based on three parts of the dynamics of play. The decision making, the regulatory rules, and the imagined content. He suggests that players can be classified by the tightness of the links between two of these elements. For example, a tight link between imagined content and regulatory rules indicates that the rules affect what is imagined and vice-verse, more so than player decisions, meaning a sense of setting coherence is preeminent.

Gabor argues that this classification is related to the GNS classification. A strong link between individuals decisions and regulatory rules would give the structured challenge of gamism. One between individuals decisions and the imagined content would lean towards narrativism's sense of fictionally meaningful decisions. Lastly, the link between imagined content and regulatory rules gives rise to the coherence valued in simulationism.

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