Monday, October 22, 2007

Weekly Review October 14th to October 20th

This week has seen several advances and developments in RPG theory, from revisiting resolution to building a dynamic sense of player stance.

Handling Outcomes

Rich Warren returns to the topic of task and conflict resolution. Specifically, he details his concerns and thoughts about the differences and similarities of resolving a task versus a conflict. He concludes that agraduated approach might work best, with scales of resolution being variable or fractal, while ensuring that the outcomes of resolution remain engaging.

Changing How We Play

Over at GameCraft, Levi Kornelsen describes an alternate look at player stances during play. He details four immediate approaches to play: Exploration, Characterisation, Collaboration, and Adversity. Then he shows how these can combine and interact during play to produce a rich set of play behaviors. He also expands on the benefits of flexible play behaviors with discussion on amalgams, contrasting a strength through diversity approach with a more focused play group.

Competition and Gamism

John Kim extracts some of the complicated history and sociology of competition and status inRPGs and related games. He starts by critiquing some ideas about how status is distributed in skill-based activities. Then he suggests that it is problematic to confound challenging play with competitive play, and specifically cites the Forge idea of gamism as a place where such a confusion occurs. Ultimately, he argues that tactical and strategic challenges are a separate interest from social stakes and competition.

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