Thursday, January 17, 2008

Weekly Review January 6th to January 12th

This week has seen several developments in RPG theory, questioning and restating existing ideas.

Big Model Holarchy

Over at I would knife fight a man, Max has started a thread about a conceptual restucturing of the Big Model's scopes. He presents this as a holarchy, a hierarchy where higher levels are composed of lower ones. In this vein he sets the layers, from lowest to highest as social contract (fundamental), ephemera, techniques (evolution), exploration, and creative agenda (aesthetics).

Insignificance and Story

Jonathon Walton talks about the origin of the novel, and how the novel distinguishes itself from the epic and tragic literature preceding it. He suggests that novels deal with people more directly by referencing the insignificant, and that RPGs, especially immersion, may benefit from considering the importance of insignificance over the event to event importance of a story.

System and Rules

As part of his on-going design manual, Nathan Paoletta discusses system and rules as theory terms and as means to aid in design. He particularly stresses the importance of system for the designer, namely System Matters, and the considerable difference between rules and system.

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