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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 77 - most online ever: 565 (October 17, 2020, 02:08:06 PM)
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Author Topic: Modes of Play  (Read 10056 times)
contracycle
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« Reply #15 on: April 04, 2005, 01:17:41 AM »

Quote from: Simon Marks

Afterwards we complained that this was ... well mean. Joe countered with "But thats what my character would do" - namely try and get as much treasure as possible. It was a low point of the game.



OK.  I think your breakdown of all people into allies in the endeavour, or rivals in the endeavour, are hindering more than tbney areb helping.  This is an abstraction too far; in the first place there are "innocent bystanders" who may be uninvolved.  In a more complex manner, you might have "the buffoon" whose help is counter-productive, or "the saboteur" whose assistance is actively dishonest.

So the point here is that when encountering such behaviour, its important to establish whether or not it might be occurring "innocently", based on a misapprehension of the purpose of the event.  Dividing people up into camps of the "selfish" and the "cooperative" seems too much like moralising for my comfort.
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Simon Marks
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« Reply #16 on: April 04, 2005, 04:09:50 AM »

Apologies all, firstly I tend to be off the Net over the weekends (and so shouldn't have posted on a Friday...) and secondly I have failed to explain myself clearly.

The issue isn't about 'competition' between players as a bad thing, in fact I am not suggesting that any of the mode of play is a bad thing in and of itself.

Let me try again...

Let me say that first off I have no 'hard theories' about this, just some observations which I feel are relevent to RPG theories.

I think that I have made a mistake, and, after reviewing my thoughts and experiances I think that, in fact, what I am looking at is Unselfish and Selfish behavior within the Social Contract with regards to the SIS.

Basically, it's this. "Should you take into account the enjoyment of the other players in your own play" and "What relevence does this have in game design"

A game like Buffy, with it's metagame drama points seems to be very much of the opinion that all players must work together to create an enjoyable game for all. It has mechanics designed to allow everyone to participate. Playing it with 'Selfish motives' (ignoring the prejoritive connetations if that is possible) would involve you not spending Drama Points to make the game more enjoyable for others - only yourself. Suddently they become a resource.

However, in hard 'Simulationist/Immersionist' LRP it is normal (within some parts of the UK) to attempt to totally disregard 'will this be fun' and only go for 'what would happen?'

I feel that a lot of dysfunctional play is when the two style mix.

If you assume that everyone involved has the aim of 'making an enjoyable game' - then when someone does something that makes the game less enjoyable (for you) because 'thats what would happen' it is surprising and upsetting.

If, on the other hand you assume that everyone is 'trying to have as much fun as possible', then when the rest of the group prevent you from doing something that is fun that the system allows you to do 'because they don't want you too'  then that seems to be almost bullying.

I hope this makes more sense.

Simon

Also, I will try to an post 'Actual Play' example... I am sorry if I have posted in the wrong place at the wrong time!
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TonyLB
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« Reply #17 on: April 04, 2005, 05:53:07 AM »

Man yeah, I really do want to read some of your Actual Play.  It's genuinely hard for me to get a read on what you're saying without knowing the actual-play agenda that you pursue.  While I wait for that, though, I have a ton of questions and thoughts that you raised.  I'll try to be concise.

Broadly defined, Unselfish play is impossible.  By which I mean that once you include the possibility that helping other people can be how you have your fun (and therefore can be Selfish) the category of Unselfish play vanishes.  Everybody is doing what they're doing because they prioritize things in their own way.  Do you agree, disagree, need clarification?  On what level are you phrasing your discussion of selfish/unselfish?

I'm not sure this is where you're aiming, but I see Unselfish and Selfish play being very real distinctions at the level of social presentation, in two ways.  First, many (perhaps all) people perceive their own priorities only dimly.  So a lot of people believe that they are acting in a completely self-sacrificing manner, because they haven't figured out what agenda they're actually pursuing.  
Quote
Jenny is a very bad tactician.  Every time she gets into an in-game conflict (no matter how minor) with other players she invariably gets thrashed.  It is, therefore, greatly to her advantage for such conflicts not to happen.  But she doesn't realize that.  What she thinks is that in-character conflict is invariably bad... for everyone, for the game, etc.  She becoms a rabid peace-maker.  She'll sacrifice any in-game consideration, in order to avoid a conflict.  She considers this the height of selfless behavior... from the outside we can see that it is nothing of the sort.  It's a reasonable response to her lack of tactical skill.

Second, apparent selflessness alters the balance of credibility and authority.  For many people, achieving greater credibility and authority is an important step in achieving their agenda.  For some people, gaining credibility and authority is the agenda.  You see where this is going, right?
Quote
Don:  That's it!  Ed's character has pissed mine off for the last time.  My character draws his gun and shoots.
Jenny:  My character leaps into the path of the bullet.  She falls to her knees, bleeding profusely.  "No... we must... be friends..." she gasps.
Don:  Dammit Jenny!  Stop being an idiot.  Okay, now that your character is out of the way I shoot at him again.
Jenny:  Don, how can you say that?  My character is bleeding there in front of you.
Don:  Not my fault.  I still want to have this fight.
Jenny:  Well that's just totally selfish!  Here I am, trying to make a better game for everybody, and you're just trying to ruin it.
Don:  Ain't gonna ruin it for anybody.  We're just gonna shoot each other up.  That's half the fun.
Jenny:  Oh, sure, have your fun.  I work and I slave to keep things on track, and to help the story, but you go ahead... have your fun.  I'll just sit here while my character bleeds to death.  I hope you're happy.

I hope it's clear why I would have some troubles putting your last post into my framework of thought on this matter (i.e. the above).  You put "making an enjoyable game" in direct opposition to "doing what I want," and I just don't see that they're opposing qualities.  If you work to make the game enjoyable, it's because that's what you want to do.  I'm missing something about what you're saying.  I could really use a further clarification of your position, because I get the feeling that you're on to something that could really help me add nuance to my own ideas.
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Simon Marks
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« Reply #18 on: April 04, 2005, 07:48:54 AM »

I'm not sure what I'm aiming at either - I fear I am groping in the dark for meaning and simply throwing it out to other people is guiding me towards being able to express what I mean.

Anyhow...

Actual Play example is really tricky, as this feeling is based on a lot of different examples, none of which on their own seem to point this out explicitly.
But I have faith I will find one.

Actually, I have a possible example, but it is LRP specific as in LRP I think this problem is quite common... would that be too far out of context for this board?
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TonyLB
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« Reply #19 on: April 04, 2005, 07:59:56 AM »

I've seen LRP Actual Play threads before, so I think you're fine.  Uncommon?  Yes.  Off-topic?  Don't think so.

Did you agree with my earlier offering that wholly selfless play is impossible?
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Simon Marks
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« Reply #20 on: April 14, 2005, 08:00:40 AM »

I am still struggling with this whole issue.

I think that I can only sum it up by saying "We have a duty to not stop the other people playing" that is, we are to avoid making the game "Not fun"

I can best link it back to Games that bascially you have a duty to 'play the game' you are playing.

That is, if you are playing Chess - play chess!

But without expressing the issue (What are we playing here anyway) clearly I can't even discuss this rationally.

Without us knowing what the point is (In chess it is to win via a competition), then how can we agree to play the same game.

Is the point of RPG's to create, explore and experiance the situation?
If so, then surely we have a duty to ensure that we do not prevent the other participants from doing so.

This make any more sense?
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