*
*
Home
Help
Login
Register
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
October 24, 2014, 01:33:00 AM

Login with username, password and session length
Forum changes: Editing of posts has been turned off until further notice.
Search:     Advanced search
275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 68 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
Pages: [1]
Print
Author Topic: The players’ role in Participationist play  (Read 2919 times)
Frank Tarcikowski
Member

Posts: 277

Hamburg, Germany


WWW
« on: December 31, 2007, 03:44:28 AM »

i]knew<that<you<be there and be appreciated by the rest of us.

Any thoughts, questions, additions?

- Franknthat<you<be there and be appreciated by the rest of us.

Any thoughts, questions, additions?

- Frank
Logged

If you come across a post by a guest called Frank T, that was me. My former Forge account was destroyed in the Spam Wars. Collateral damage.
Caldis
Member

Posts: 359


« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2007, 09:32:42 AM »


I've encountered this style of game play a lot and the one thing I've noticed is this is highly dependant on the skill of the gm.  You've got to be comfortable telling the whole story and manipulating players input.  I think you say as much when you talked about putting on a good show.

The part where you talk about telling the players to relax they are going to get captured also strikes a nerve with me.  I can remember a gurps campaign where I felt some tension with the gm over my player being captured.  He couldnt come out and falt out say that "relax" bit and for my part I ignored his hints that getting captured wouldnt be that bad.  I felt some hostility on the gm's part but I kept coming up with smart ways to escape and eventually he gave up and let me get away.  It seemed to me like he felt it was a waste of time, I should have just given up and we could have moved on but to me not getting caught was important.

A final thought, your last paragraph talks about what the players are getting from this form of play and for me this matches almost entirely with Simulationism.  The loving the source material, the reflecting it in play and definitely the not challenging it.  I guess my question is (and it's not just to Frank) are the two synonymous?  Is their really anything to Sim beyond participationism?
Logged
Frank Tarcikowski
Member

Posts: 277

Hamburg, Germany


WWW
« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2007, 10:34:37 AM »

Hey Caldis, to my understanding, Participationism is a Technique that exclusively supports the Simulationist Creative Agenda. It is one of a whole bunch of Simulationist styles of play.

- Frank
Logged

If you come across a post by a guest called Frank T, that was me. My former Forge account was destroyed in the Spam Wars. Collateral damage.
Callan S.
Member

Posts: 3588


WWW
« Reply #3 on: December 31, 2007, 12:05:50 PM »

Hi Frank,

It's funny you mention a mirror. You know that description Ron sometimes gives of exploration being like a little wooden platform? And nar or gamism is like something on top, some really different material to wood, like aluminium or plastic. But sim is supposed to be more wood on top?

Well I think perhaps a material just as alien to wood might suit the anlogy better, for sim. And that alien material would be glass and silver, as in a mirror - a mirror facing directly at the wooden base, in order to reflect it. A mirror is very representative of denial. It denies its own existance, trying to instead show whats in front of it. Aimed at the wooden base, it will deny it's there and just reflect the base.

But it wont just reflect, because the mirror is...flawed? Is that a good word? Wonderfully flawed might be a way to describe it - or just using the established term "constructive denial" is probably better. Little imperfections in the reflection make little changes in the reflection. But the funky thing is, this makes changes in the wooden base (my analogy falters here - how a mirror changes wood by reflecting it doesn't fit well). Those changes in the wooden base are reflected. But there are small imperfections in the reflection, which change the base...and so in, in a feedback loop that is itself the act of play.

Anyway, its fun to think of sim being just as different to exploration as nar or gamism is! Hehe!
Logged

Philosopher Gamer
<meaning></meaning>
Caldis
Member

Posts: 359


« Reply #4 on: December 31, 2007, 01:19:53 PM »


Frank, maybe I'm stretching participationism beyond it's intended usage but the source material or the basis for "constructive denial" seems to be exerting force on the players to restrict their thematic choices.  It's not necessarily force by the GM but it is force from outside the player. 

I guess the only thing I'm not entirely sure on is purist for system style play, where there may be thematic choices but they just arent important.  This may just be a hole in my experience but I'm not sure how much such play exists.
Logged
Frank Tarcikowski
Member

Posts: 277

Hamburg, Germany


WWW
« Reply #5 on: January 01, 2008, 03:31:36 AM »

Hi Callan, I guess Ron will explain himself once he gets around to it. But for a start, I think the reason Ron chose wood (green wood, as it were) for both the platform and the thing on it was to illustrate a source of confusion. Many people have confused "Simulationism by Habit" or dysfunctional play were there is just a lot of attention to Exploration (because the players don't know what else to do) with "real" Sim. Because it's made of the same material. But it's not the same thing.

Hi Caldis, in our game, there was no need for force to keep thematic choices out. In all modes of Sim, including but not limited to Purist for System, single moments of thematic choice may be present and may contribute, even significantly, to the group's enjoyment of play, as long as they do not conflict with the main goal (i.e. the Sim CA). But I guess you'll rarely find them in Participationism.

Let me give an example. One of the PCs in our game was Vic, played by Mirja. Mirja was one of those girls who used to play soccer with the boys and then grew up to become a breathtakingly beautiful young woman without realizing it. And Vic was a little like that, too. She was a smuggler, and Mirja really emphasized the "I'm only in for the money" part. Mirja adored Han Solo, but she always thought that he didn't fit with Leia. You see? Her Star Wars.

My understanding of Mirja's character was that she would eventually turn out to believe in the good cause and all that. So, after we all had played for quite some time, I set it all up for the big decisive moment. The Empire had discovered some ancient defence system on a distant planet, home of some long gone species, which was about as dangerous as the Death Star, and they were studying it to use what they learned in building the Death Star. Then the crime ring Vic owed money to showed up once again. They offered Vic a deal: Get us a copy of the construction plans and our debt will be settled.

And then Vic gave them the plans.

I was totally surprised by this. And it's a very good example of how looking at a single instant instead of an instance of play is no good for identifying CA. Because if you did, you'd say that this "thematic choice" was a Nar telltale, wouldn't you? But it totally was not. I just had misjudged Mirja's idea of how her character worked. I thought (and still think) that it was kinda breaking a genre convention, but I would never have told her what to do. That was her character, her choice. And breaking genre conventions can be part of the fun in Sim play in that you explore the boundaries of your "package" and see how it still remains intact.

The other PCs found out and the relationship with Vic (not with Mirja, mind you) cooled down a lot, but for their personal friendship that had been established over many sessions, they didn't tell the Alliance. However, the young senator (a PC) who had been Vic's lover broke up with her. That would be another thematic choice, by the player of the young senator, and it was cool and fun and it did not conflict at all with our Sim CA. See?

When the PCs were finally retired, it was clear that Vic would not stick around to become an honorable naval officer in the New Republic. She would take the money and leave. Because that was just what that character was like.

Happy new year to all of you! (No, I'm not writing posts like this after getting home from the party, I'm in Europe, s'all.)

- Frank
Logged

If you come across a post by a guest called Frank T, that was me. My former Forge account was destroyed in the Spam Wars. Collateral damage.
Caldis
Member

Posts: 359


« Reply #6 on: January 01, 2008, 08:36:29 AM »



I liked your example and it's giving me mixed thoughts Frank so understand I'm still trying to puzzle this out for myself. 

I've seen a few of these wrong thematic choices in Sim games and often they cause big problems.  I notice you felt that the choice was breaking genre convention but I wonder about the other players.  When I've seen situations like this a game will usually either explode or else people will ignore the choice and compromise.  I wonder if that's what was going on here.  It might not equate to full on Participationism but the power to react as they would have the characters actually react may have been compromised by the need to compromise and fit this back into the game structure, i.e we're a group of players we stick together even if what she did was wrong so we let it slip and ignore the action as much as possible.

So whereas in a game like Dogs this conflict between the characters can become a full blown conflict and go wherever the players end up taking it, in a Sim game the constraints of the game force the players to avoid turning it into a full conflict instead doing their best to accept it and deal with it.
Logged
Frank Tarcikowski
Member

Posts: 277

Hamburg, Germany


WWW
« Reply #7 on: January 01, 2008, 02:51:08 PM »

Caldis, I need to clarify something about my example: None of us (as players) was uneasy with Mirja's choice to give the construction plans to the crime ring. It was unexpected and it provided for an unexpected plot twist, but we did not feel it was "wrong". Sure, it went beyond classic genre expectations. So did other things we did. So did some of my pre-designed plots. We played this game for several years, and once a week for quite a while, sessions lasting between 4 and 8 hours. We would have become bored long before if we had never ventured beyond stereotypical George Lucas plots. So, to pick up Ron's phrasing in the post linked above, these things were additions to the package, not violations of it.

My point is: It was a thematic choice, and it was part of a Sim game. It was fun, it was alright, it was just not the point of play. No big deal.

- Frank
Logged

If you come across a post by a guest called Frank T, that was me. My former Forge account was destroyed in the Spam Wars. Collateral damage.
masqueradeball
Member

Posts: 170


« Reply #8 on: January 01, 2008, 05:54:43 PM »

This might be a little beyond the keen of this thread... but where I fall apart on this whole Narrativist/Simulationist thing is that a more Narrativist approach to the "that smuggler just sold out the Alliance" would be appropriate if what the players were simulating wasn't Star Wars. In the movies, the characters move on rather quickly from major disasters and emotional distress. The reason it was better, from a "simulating Star Wars" POV to ignore the out of genre bump, is that by having the characters pay more attention to it breaks from the source material. Now, say the same thing happened in a game that was trying to simulate the feel of Firefly/Serenity, or Dune, wouldn't the outcome be a lot closer to what is typically thought of as Narrativist play? So, in effect, isn't Narrativism simulating a type of literature/storytelling. I think I see how this breaks from the traditional big model constructs here, and I think I understand the big model, but...
Logged

Nolan Callender
Caldis
Member

Posts: 359


« Reply #9 on: January 01, 2008, 09:38:57 PM »


I'm right with you Frank and totally realize your group was ok with Mirja'a action. I was going to continue with this but anything I could contribute was stated much better by Ron over in the thread on Werewolf Simulationism.

I was simply postulating that when the other players in your game accepted what Mirja had done and didnt take any actions against her character they may have been taking part in constructive denial.  This may or may not have been the case, it may be more my read of the situation based on my past experiences. 
Logged
Callan S.
Member

Posts: 3588


WWW
« Reply #10 on: January 02, 2008, 02:36:32 AM »

Hi Nolan,

It's a bit like having a 'License to kill', James Bond style. When you don't kill, sure the outcome is like you didn't have a license at all. It's just like living normally without such a power. So sure if you do the sell out in a dune game, it doesn't seem to break the genre. Even seems to support the imagined space. But you still have a license to...make the choices your character would make, regardless of how much that kills genre. At any point during that dune game, BAM! Genre is lying dead in cold blood at the feet of your PC, gun still smoking in his hands! And it's licensed.
Logged

Philosopher Gamer
<meaning></meaning>
Frank Tarcikowski
Member

Posts: 277

Hamburg, Germany


WWW
« Reply #11 on: January 02, 2008, 04:59:16 AM »

Logged

If you come across a post by a guest called Frank T, that was me. My former Forge account was destroyed in the Spam Wars. Collateral damage.
Frank Tarcikowski
Member

Posts: 277

Hamburg, Germany


WWW
« Reply #12 on: January 02, 2008, 06:45:37 AM »

Oh hey, and I forgot to mention (do I even need to mention?): Of course, the dramatic climax of the session was blowing up an entire squadron of Imperial class star destroyers using said defence system. (Alien technician: "No, don't do that, the chance of causing a chain reaction that will destroy the whole planet are..."--PC (waves hand): "We have no choice!") Now that's Star Wars, big time.

- Frank
Logged

If you come across a post by a guest called Frank T, that was me. My former Forge account was destroyed in the Spam Wars. Collateral damage.
masqueradeball
Member

Posts: 170


« Reply #13 on: January 02, 2008, 11:35:49 AM »

Gail Simone (the comic book writer) talks on her blog about dealing with super heroes that everyone knows. What she has to say is that each time she starts on a new project, everyone yells foul when she takes the character from their established base. Its only then that Simone can then reestablish the character, by confirming the most persistent ideas behind the character in the face of the new situation. All of this seems remarkably like what people are talking about with bending and breaking genre conventions... both here and on some other threads. That what people want is to see the genre bent, but not broken, because by being bent its tempered, with the genre being more firmly reaffirmmed in people's minds.

Oh, I guess it should read "accepted basis for shared SIS" wherever I put genre...
Logged

Nolan Callender
Frank Tarcikowski
Member

Posts: 277

Hamburg, Germany


WWW
« Reply #14 on: January 02, 2008, 02:39:52 PM »

Right on, Nolan! Plus, it's not only reaffirmed, it's also made more complex and interesting, at least to my taste.

- Frank
Logged

If you come across a post by a guest called Frank T, that was me. My former Forge account was destroyed in the Spam Wars. Collateral damage.
Pages: [1]
Print
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC
Oxygen design by Bloc
Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!