Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Weekly Review December 23rd to December 29th

Character death, player expectations and using theory all feature in this weeks theory developments.

Theory in Use

Rich Warren discusses the various uses of the word theory and how RPG theory is treated. He suggests that RPG theories tend to be more speculative than factual, and argues that this is because they rarely produce testable hypotheses. He indicates that the main use of theory at present is as a language for talking about games.

Decisions and Death

Chris Chinn continues his investigation of character death in RPGs by examining the decisions leading up to the events in game. He suggests that the treatment and player behavior around character death derives from the decisions the player can make about the events leading to it. In particular, instant lethality makes it difficult to make meaningful decisions about character survival.

Differing Expectations

Mel White discusses problematic play in his podcast, presenting a few examples of play where differing player expectations lead to rough spots during play. He presents this in the context of the Big Model creative agendas and the clash that occurs when players have different ones.

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