News:

Forum changes: Editing of posts has been turned off until further notice.

Main Menu

[Silence Keeps Me A Victim]Narration limits and general feedback. (adult)

Started by Clyde L. Rhoer, September 15, 2006, 02:40:10 AM

Previous topic - Next topic

Isbo

Clyde--

This conversation still going where you want it to?  Looking back over it, I have some fear we may be drifting away from the sort of feedback you need and/or want at this stage.  I just want to touch base with you before saying anything more.

--Ian

Clyde L. Rhoer

Hey Ian,

I plan to respond to what's left, and see what happens, but I won't have the time until tomorrow.
Theory from the Closet , A Netcast/Podcast about RPG theory and design.
clyde.ws, Clyde's personal blog.

Clyde L. Rhoer

Hi Ian,

You are right a person delivering something can make something more harsh than say a card. What I meant by harsh is that it would be easier to create harder things to deal with in the fiction. I think taking on the role of The Abuser would be hard. So there's a benefit and disadvantage in The Abuser as envisioned now and it's the same as GM Fiat. The quality of the game will depend on one person. This means you could have someone run superb games, and someone else could just bite it. Some other system could create a more consistant experience, but perhaps not as good as a good abuser. So it seems to be a series of ranges to look at. Another system could also alleviate a worry that has recently occurred to me is that someone could use The Abuser role to actually abuse people.

I can't answer most of your questions about spitting or not splitting The Abuser or The Community. I think I need to examine both options and decide on a path. Presently I'm leaning towards keeping it like it is but Keep Cool is intriguing.

Do the children have names? I've been of two minds, either they have a secret hidden name in their heart, or they create their name as their first order of business on gaining their voice. System-wise it works out the same.

Now for my comment about replayability. It's not that I don't care about replayability, it's that I don't see the game as being something folks will replay a lot. I think the strength of the idea is the experience, and the personal nature of the game. I don't think folks will need to repeat it a lot to get my heavyhanded message. Also replayability is not a factor I'm going to concern myself with as there are many other elements that trump replayability in my mind.
Theory from the Closet , A Netcast/Podcast about RPG theory and design.
clyde.ws, Clyde's personal blog.

Clyde L. Rhoer

Hi Wood,

I have indeed considered a "Safe Word." I'm trying to model the game more after games that don't give you the ability to check someone else's fiction due to discomfort, because discomfort is what I'm looking to create. However due to the nature of what the game is addressing I am including the option. So the way I see it working is at anytime someone can say "Stop." Then the game is over.

The original intention is to have an abuser/community who is the G.M.

Also to clear up what it seems like folks are getting from my posts so far. I'm not modeling the game on being a cathartic experience for people who have suffered abuse. My goal is to put people who haven't been abused into a position of silence to bring across the point that societies inability to talk about molestation and rape without going nut-so, creates a significant harm for the victims. One that is not as dramatic as the abuse, but a harm never-tha-less. The game might also be cathartic but that isn't my main goal.
Theory from the Closet , A Netcast/Podcast about RPG theory and design.
clyde.ws, Clyde's personal blog.

Clyde L. Rhoer

Hi Everyone,

I'd like to drop the discussion between my original design versus the Keep Cool idea. I'll make a decision after giving it some thought. What I would like to do is to give folks a chance to make any closing statements, or point out any holes, or ask other general questions, before I close the thread in a day or two, so I can get back to work. This thread has been incredibly productive for me and I'd like to thank everyone for their input.
Theory from the Closet , A Netcast/Podcast about RPG theory and design.
clyde.ws, Clyde's personal blog.

Joshua A.C. Newman

the glyphpress's games are Shock: Social Science Fiction and Under the Bed.

I design books like Dogs in the Vineyard and The Mountain Witch.

Wood

Quote from: Clyde L. Rhoer on September 20, 2006, 01:53:26 PM
Also to clear up what it seems like folks are getting from my posts so far. I'm not modeling the game on being a cathartic experience for people who have suffered abuse. My goal is to put people who haven't been abused into a position of silence to bring across the point that societies inability to talk about molestation and rape without going nut-so, creates a significant harm for the victims. One that is not as dramatic as the abuse, but a harm never-tha-less. The game might also be cathartic but that isn't my main goal.
So you're trying to get across some feeling of what it is like to be abused? Wow.

Clyde L. Rhoer

Hi Wood,

I think it would be more accurate to say I'm trying to get across what it feels like to have something you need to say but can't.
Theory from the Closet , A Netcast/Podcast about RPG theory and design.
clyde.ws, Clyde's personal blog.

Wood

Right. Gotcha.

I suppose my concern is how you're going to balance the simulation* of that awful, awful feeling with the needs of a game that people are going to want to play?

______________________
*I don't mean in a theory sense. Please don't hurt me.

Joshua A.C. Newman

If people are willing to watch Fanny and Alexander, they'll be willing to play this, and for similar reasons.

Sad movies and stories are good, you know.

This is precisely the reason I've always said that "fun" is a red herring in RPGs. The defining feature is if play satisfies the players. Sometimes that's because it's fun. Sometimes it's because of something gnarlier.
the glyphpress's games are Shock: Social Science Fiction and Under the Bed.

I design books like Dogs in the Vineyard and The Mountain Witch.

Clyde L. Rhoer

Hi Wood,

*laughs* I won't take that as theory speak.

The not being able to talk about abuse is nowhere near as bad as the repercussions of the abuse. However it can make healing much more difficult and prevents a feeling of normalization. At least this has been my experience. The goal is not to cause an authentic experience of the same magnitude. I'm seeing the game as a giant finger pointing towards the problem. It's dark, and may not be happy fun, but like Josha says it could be satisfying.
Theory from the Closet , A Netcast/Podcast about RPG theory and design.
clyde.ws, Clyde's personal blog.

Wood

Oh, I get you. But then, I didn't mention fun, Joshua did. In fact, I just watched Battle Royale this afternoon, which is not what you'd call light entertainment, and yet which I'd watch again.

Not that your game is at all like Battle Royale, although one could see the scenario from that particular film inserted into your game with ease, what with an abusive authority figure inciting children to murder each other and stuff. But yeah, I suppose I'm saying that you can make people want to experience something harrowing (intelligent, sensitive people, anyway), but that there's a thin line between an educational, powerful experience and a straight sermon, or, worse, "a cavalcade of anger and fear"* with little else thrown in.

Not that I'm saying for a second that your game would necessarily even get close to these two failings. Just saying I'm interested what kind of approach you'll be taking to avoid them.

___________________
*That's a quote from a song about familial abuse, funnily enough.

Isbo

Well, I'm looking forward to see what comes next.  Only one thing jumps out at me in regards to the safeword.  I don't expect you to have an answer at this stage, but I thought I would put the seed in your head:

What about having something shy of a full stop?  In the early stage, it could be as simple as a gesture that indicates 'this is making me squirm' and another that says 'flirting with me saying stop.'  The first one might benice just so the person narrating knows when they are hitting the right buttons and when they aren't doing a thing.

That sort of goes with the harsh talk--this game seems to have a very potent theatrical element (the not speaking is one big part of it), and a real live abuser seems to better suit that theatrical dimension.  Like all things, that does come with some challenges--I'll be curious to see which path you take and how you hammer that out.

And the rules / replay thing: in my head, I envisioned something a little different than what I managed to express.  It isn't the power of the abuser that I was thinking of but the learning of the children players--imagine those players then going off and running the game for others.  Sort of a 'now you have a spark of understanding, go share it.'  It probably isn't very practical in terms of game design or even game distribution.

Joshua A.C. Newman

Hey, Clyde, have you read Sex and Sorcery? In it, Ron addresses Lsbo's concerns in his typical incisive way.
the glyphpress's games are Shock: Social Science Fiction and Under the Bed.

I design books like Dogs in the Vineyard and The Mountain Witch.

Clyde L. Rhoer

Hi guys,

Wood: I'm not sure how I'll be getting around making it a sermon. I don't think I'm quite at the level yet, and if it does hit that I'm hoping designing openly will get me feedback if i hit sermon levels.

Ian:I'm leary of giving anything other than the full stop. I can't express why it just doesn't feel right. I also don't understand your last paragraph. I may just be too sleepy.

Joshua:I have not read Sex and Sorcerer. I bought 22 games and Gen Con, and Sorcerer was one of them, but I haven't got through it yet. I'll put Sex and Sorcery into the order I'm making when Dust Devils: Revenged hits IPR.

Theory from the Closet , A Netcast/Podcast about RPG theory and design.
clyde.ws, Clyde's personal blog.