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Not just-RPG theory

Started by Gordon C. Landis, March 14, 2002, 04:15:13 PM

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Gordon C. Landis

As a result of joe_llama's (Nadav?) recent "We need a more general theory of games" postings, I took a look at a couple old links I had on the subject:
This one is theoretically computer-game based, but the articles are pretty general.  It says it intends to be a 3-4 times a year newsletter, but the only "issue" up is from July 2001.
Greg Costikyian is always fascinating to read - "Where Stories End and Games Begin" posits that "games and stories are, in some sense, antitheses", "I Have No Words & I Must Design" is (as many here already know) a classic, and "Don't Be a Vidiot" preaches the virtue of understanding non-electronic games (including RPGs) to the multitudinous computer-game designers of the world.  Greg is also working on a book called Understanding Games, which is "An ambitious attempt to explain games from the inside, exploring what makes them appeal, getting beyond the nebulous concept of 'gameplay' to grapple with what it is that actually makes for good gameplay, and explaining how history, business realities, and technical change have shaped the evolution of the field."
This is Chris Crawford's site, where you can find information about his Erasmatron, "the authoring tool to create interactive electronic storyworlds".  There seems to be a fair amount of game/story theory captured in it . . .

If looking into any of this provides interesting insights to folks, feel free to start a new thread and I'll probably join in.  Otherwise . . . hope this helps,

Gordon (under construction)


Let me add to that most especially Travis' excellent Building Stories, Telling Games series.  While geared more to online games, the material is extremely relevant.   Additionally, I'm currently reading Critical Miss at work today, and even though its much like playing a game of "Go Fish" after an exhausting chess tournament, there's something to be said for stepping back and looking at gaming from a more relaxed and laid back perspective.


Thank you both for the links, I really need things like this right now. While my theory is still under heavy thinking process, it would be better for me to take a look at what other people have accomplished.

Keep up the good work :)

With respect,

Joe Llama

ps- Real name is Nadav Gordon. Feel free to call me that. Nothing wrong with my nickname, though (I hope). Think Joe Camel. Make a joke out of it. You get Joe Llama. (Old joke, anyway).