Monday, March 12, 2007

Weekly Review Mar. 4th to Mar. 10th

This week has seen several developments in theory, including Vincent Baker building a forum site to discuss culture (including sex, race, gender, and religion) in and about the context of RPGs, I Would Knife Fight a Man.

Moving Past Terms

Fang Langford talks about terminology and how to avoid some of the problems that arise in the building and use of jargon. Specifically, he suggests terms being applied as a context to understand what lies beneath them. As he puts it, "So rather than asking, 'What is role-playing gaming?' I should ask, 'What is EXAMPLE if you approach it like it was a role-playing game?' This turns an argument over the exact sense of terminology into a framework for comparison of beliefs."

J. Tuomas Harvianinen puts out a caution on the tendency of people in RPG theory to only cite what they fully understand. He argues this leads to a fragmentation of theory. Instead, he suggests that qualfying a citation or a reference is better than excluding it because you disagree with it.

Weakness of Story

Malcom Sheppard discusses the imbalance between the growth of story versus the growth of rule sets. He suggests that as play continues the former is difficult to improve, in contrast to the increased skill applied to a RPG's rule set, and those improvements that do develop in crafting story will often be consumed by the growth of the group specialized rule set.

Learning Something

Over a GameCraft, here and here are two threads dealing with learning as a benefit, or even goal for RPG play. The discussions include learning with and without another player behaving as an educator and the advantage of learning from the social structures that arise during play.

No comments: