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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 51 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: immersive authorship...(not sure either)  (Read 6277 times)
Jack Spencer Jr
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« Reply #15 on: July 11, 2001, 08:53:00 PM »

Quote

On 2001-07-11 18:50, Ron Edwards wrote:

... My intent is to state that much of the pleasure of "acting" one's character (in a Method sense) can be retained as one develops a more Narrativist approach to the overall act of role-playing.


This is sorta what I was saying.

Playing simulationist (I guess that's how I've been doing it) you play as if you are your character.  This tends to mean you try to avoid unpleasant situations, because who genuinely wants to be in an unpleasant situation?

Like Arnold said in The Last Action Hero, All I want is to be a good cop and live a normal life, but I keep getting in these silly adventures.

The result is nothing especially interesting happens as you avoid crisis after crisis.

(I can relate several war stories, many I hadn't participated in {!}  Such as the super hero game where the bad guys were stealing a series of artifacts that were in many global locations.  But instead of going on the globe-trotting adventure, the players decided "Hey, they're after these artifacts, we have one of them right here.  We'll stay here and guard it."  So the bad guys got all of the other artifacts, killing many in the process.  That's one of those situations where you say "oh, you dumb guys!)

This is what I'm on about, you see.  I guess what it is is that I have played as described above and have gotten tired of it.  I have been letting go of that sense of self-preservation since that can be pretty boring and been a bit more daring with my character in situations.

I still hold onto that self-preservation a bit since the game we play can be unforgiving and as fun as it may be, I don't like the idea of needing to roll up a new character because of it.

Basically what I meant is I've gotten it in my head that I can actually want my character to get into sticky situations while at the same time I can be dismayed about it in-character.

It's more a point of personal growth, I guess.
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james_west
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« Reply #16 on: July 12, 2001, 05:50:00 AM »

Boy, this is a fast thread !

First, I agree wholeheartedly with the things people have said about it being possible to be fairly immersive and simultaneously have author (or director) power.

My reasons for immersion are somewhat similar to Clinton's: in the real world I am required to be extraordinarily responsible and hypercompetent, and so when I'm a player (rather than the GM) I'm rather typecast as the "useless" character. My characters tend to have no useful skills or powers and have piles of other problems to boot. This doesn't mean I don't contribute to the game: my useless characters usually advance the plot at least as much as the death-gods. It means that I'm forced to deal with situations without really having any resources with which to do it.

Two things that mean that even when immersing myself in this character, I actually have fairly strong collaborative directorial power.

(1) The GM just has to adjust the way the story works to accomodate the character, if he's unwilling to flat kill him. For instance, the GM was dismayed to find, when he first faced my latest with a combat situation, that my character just curled up into a ball and tried to protect his head with his hands. Of course, this carries with it the caveat that the GM must be aware of the sort of character you plan, and not think it a game-wrecker.

(2) My current character is just flat delusional. He frequently makes as flat statements of fact things that I, as a player, have no particular reason to beleive are true. For instance, in a recent session involving a chamber in an underground labyrinth, there was a painting on one wall of a room with all sorts of other interesting stuff. My character spent his time obsessing over the painting ("Where have I seen this before?") while the others did more obviously useful stuff. After a bit, I said, "Oh, yeah - I painted it." Which certainly caught the other players' attention. In this case, the GM ran with it (it became fact that my character had, in fact, done this painting). This lead us into whole new avenues of investigation, as they questioned me about who had commissioned it, when I had done it, etc. (I'd made this up because I could plainly tell we as a party were stuck, and I -hate- that, so I'd just made up another clue...) At other times, it's just my character being delusional when he says things like this. The GM doesn't mind ceding this level of directorial power to me because he knows I'm almost the opposite of a power gamer - whatever he cedes, I won't abuse (in fact, will probably use to hurt myself).

             - Hopefully useful examples.

                       James
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #17 on: July 12, 2001, 08:45:00 AM »

Hi James,

All points - agreed.

However, we all may want to be careful with the use of the "immersive" term. A lot of people seem to feel a strong sense of ownership and definition about it, and if I'm reading some of them right, "immersion" is often rated by how much DISREGARD the player demonstrates toward anything outside the character's ken.

For instance, James' example about the painting would be harshly criticized, in some circles - how dare the player intrude his priorities about "clues" into the role-playing experience?

So by some lights, James has given us an "immersion" example because he was riffing off what the character was like. By others, he was breaking immersion in the most disruptive way imaginable.

This term is one of those very cranky terms in role-playing,  like "balance," "completeness," and "rules."

Best,
Ron
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james_west
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« Reply #18 on: July 18, 2001, 06:13:00 AM »

Quote

On 2001-07-12 12:45, Ron Edwards wrote:
So by some lights, James has given us an "immersion" example because he was riffing off what the character was like. By others, he was breaking immersion in the most disruptive way imaginable.

This term is one of those very cranky terms in role-playing,  like "balance," "completeness," and "rules."


Oh no ! Another word with partisan definitions ...

Anyway, I guess the point I was trying to make is that it is possible to both have the character act completely in character, AND to use authorial or directorial power (by purposefully having the character make a stupid decision, for instance).

                              - James
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #19 on: July 18, 2001, 09:10:00 AM »

I agree with James in full (as I said before). I really wish this insight were to be cross-referenced with the current discussion about Paul's girlfriend's Simulationism. There seems to be a myth out there that Narrativism means "sacrificing my character's integrity for the good of the story."

Best,
Ron
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greyorm
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« Reply #20 on: July 18, 2001, 12:39:00 PM »

Quote

Anyway, I guess the point I was trying to make is that it is possible to both have the character act completely in character, AND to use authorial or directorial power (by purposefully having the character make a stupid decision, for instance).

IMO, immersion is more than simply being or acting in-character.  Immersion is BECOMING the character, thinking like the character, from the character's perspective, not just acting or behaving like it.

When you are immersed, you aren't sitting at a table with your gaming buddies, you are Da'usk, ranger of the Border Wood, creeping through the undergrowth, feeling the leaves on your face.

There is, I suggest, acting and immersion, two seperate but similar behaviors.

An example, it was said of the actor who played G'kar on Babylon 5 that when he was out of make-up, you were talking to him.
The minute the make-up went on, no matter what the situation was you were approaching him about, you were talking to G'kar, not a guy playing G'kar or acting like G'kar, but G'kar himself.

I had one player who typified this exactly: she would become very flustered when confronted by mechanics or references to things outside her character's perspective.  One time exemplifies this perfectly: I told her her character had been enchanted by the wizard the party was battling and so her character should act as though the wizard were her friend.

The resulting attempt was cardboard and muddled, half-hearted; when I discovered GNS, I knew why: I had broken her play method.
How could she possibly play her character in the character's mindset according to a metagame concern?  How could she seperate playing her character, without the game knowledge I'd given her, from the game knowledge?

The only satisfying solution, for that player, would have been for me to take control of the character while it was enchanted.

Hence: Actor compared to Immersive.
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Rev. Ravenscrye Grey Daegmorgan
Wild Hunt Studio
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