Friday, April 06, 2007

Monthly Review March 2007

This month has seen several developments in theory, many of which stem from attempts to understand various perspectives, whether of terms, social structures, or even stories. Early on, Fang Langford discussed the use of terms in RPG theory, suggesting that terms could best be understood in the context of comparison of beliefs, especially when the terms are used be people with different perspectives on the topic at hand. Around the same time, J. Thomas Harvianinen talked about the tendency to factionalize the discussion of theory, by only a tendency to reference only other developments of which the writer agrees or at least understands well. He encourages a broader view, suggesting that the rhetorical tools of "according to ..." give more than enough flexibility to present these different perspectives.

Later, Bradley "Brand" Robins examines how the way we view RPGs is heavily influenced by assumption we develop from the types of play we have encountered and have enjoyed. This can be a barrier to understanding play that is unfamiliar or for which we have a negative connotation. Towards the end of the month, Chris Lehrich presented his take on the question of whether RPGs can cause people to develop incorrect understandings of story. He suggests that story is a loose concept, and has a significant variability between cultures and times, implying that RPGs can only train falsely for a specific interpretation of what stories are.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The Chris Lehrich link here is incorrect.