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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 74 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: Getting in touch with our inner gamist  (Read 14609 times)
Clinton R. Nixon
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Posts: 2624


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« Reply #15 on: November 05, 2002, 12:21:27 PM »

My inner gamist wrote Donjon.

Going against all convention, I'm just going to make an "I agree" post in regards to Ron. Gamism is beloved here, but it seems this thread belies a serious misunderstanding of it.
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Clinton R. Nixon
CRN Games
Andrew Martin
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Posts: 785


« Reply #16 on: November 05, 2002, 01:09:23 PM »

Quote from: Jake Norwood
In other words, what I'm hearing is that RPGs aren't very good at papering the inner gamist when compared to other kinds of game. RPGs are better at Sim/Nar type choices (or providing ground for those choices) than Gamist choices, and so we prefer to do it just that way.


I don't know, but I and my friends have been playing my S combat system as a table top wargame (6' x 8' table, lots of terrain, with two or multiple players). We even demonstrated an older version of S at a local show last year. I guess it depends on the RPG rules?
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Andrew Martin
MK Snyder
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Posts: 116


« Reply #17 on: November 05, 2002, 02:52:02 PM »

My Inner Gameist counts cards in Blackjack and memorizes strategies for video poker. As well as enjoys all kinds of board games.

Since there are already so many "pure" venues for gaming without any role playing, I am coming to the conclusion that what the RPG playing gameist seeks is social reward for demonstrating cleverness. This can be acheived by the gamists who do not play to "win" as defined by the RPG itself, but to demonstrate holes in game design, to frustrate the GM, or meet some other private "victory condition".

As a blackjack player, I get money, at the expense of social recognition; I have to keep my skill hidden from the casino and other players as much as possible.

Since the "victory condition" of such a gameist is privately generated, I don't see how game design can prevent or discourage this form of play.
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Jake Norwood
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« Reply #18 on: November 05, 2002, 03:03:55 PM »

Re: Gamism's "Bad Rap."

Okay, so maybe I was a little strong here. I think its safe to say that most of the posts on the Forge represent Narrativist tendencies. I think that a great deal of us, based on the discussions that I've seen, are rooted in a large amount of Simulationist Play. Gamist isn't so much "unpopular"--this thread proves that--but rather it seems to be seen as the most "childish" of the three. It's the realm of munchkins and D&D--which, deny it or not, has a pejurated status (is pejurated even a word?).

It is true that a lot of game designs have gamist elements in them anymore, and that many of them are very good (Donjon, for example). This is lifting "gamism" in my eyes, but I confess that I feel that my inner gamist is disruptive to other's fun *in many circumstances* because it denies that "What is an RPG" slogan: "There's no winner in RPGing--all the players are winners."

So is a lot of the bad rap in my subconcious? Sure it is...but it wasn't there before I started haunting the Forge (at least not "as such").

So there...I wasn't trying to assault anything or anyone, just stating my impression. Note that this thread wasn't about "why do we suppress our inner gamist," but rather, "what do we do with our suppressed inner gamist." The responses have shown that I'm not way off base here.

Jake,
who thinks that internet boards are a decent place for one's inner gamist.
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"Civilized men are more discourteous than savages because they know they can be impolite without having their skulls split, as a general thing." -R.E. Howard The Tower of the Elephant
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MK Snyder
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Posts: 116


« Reply #19 on: November 05, 2002, 04:24:55 PM »

Quote from: Jake Norwood

This is lifting "gamism" in my eyes, but I confess that I feel that my inner gamist is disruptive to other's fun *in many circumstances* because it denies that "What is an RPG" slogan: "There's no winner in RPGing--all the players are winners."


I don't see anything wrong or immature about gamist focused play in RPG's. If that is what the group as a whole enjoys either in aggregate or in contract, that's fine.

The single rabid Narrativist focused player can just as easily disrupt the fun of a group composed of Gamist focused players! (says the player criticized for "dragging things out with long descriptive passages nobody can understand...")

As for the "There's no winner..." slogan, oh, piffle and poppycock.  Perfectly fun RPG's can have winners and losers, if that's what the gaming group enjoys. An RPG does not *have* to have winners and losers (unlike a satisfying casino game, which must).

That does not mean that every RPG *must not* have winners and losers.
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Rich Forest
Member

Posts: 226


« Reply #20 on: November 05, 2002, 05:42:34 PM »

My take:

I’d argue that the poor reputation of gamism has not, in general, been perpetrated so much at the Forge as in various other venues, including numerous RPG texts, “how to GM” chapters, RPG magazines, and other discussions.  In my experience, derogative uses of terms like “munchkin” and “power gamer” are actually less common at the Forge because they are not very useful to rigorous discussion.  I think MK Snyder’s point is a good example of this, and of course, Jake has pointed out that this thread has gotten a pretty popular response.  Once upon a time, I started a thread about gamism  that also received a similarly energetic response, with no negativism in sight.  

I do think that Jake’s perception of gamism’s negative image is on track, but I would argue that it is not a product of GNS or the Forge.  Rather, pejoratives like “munchkin” and “power gamer” predate GNS, and the negative connotations have been a part of roleplaying culture for a while.  I think that it is only through retroactively conflating “power gaming” (and its connotations) with “gamism”  that a negative perception of gamism is produced.  In general, the Forge discussions that I’ve observed since I started lurking here a year ago have avoided saying "gamism=bad."  However, we all bring a set of assumptions to GNS based on prior experience, and it’s easy to assume that “gamism” must also carry the same negative connotations as terms like “power gaming” and “munchkin.” This is what I did when I first encountered GNS.  

This tendency to base our interpretations on prior assumptions is natural.  How else would we approach the terms?  Additionally, it is by no means exclusive to the term "gamism."  It is, in fact, the source of a lot of the "I have a problem with GNS because of X" threads, where X equals a semantic confusion of one of the GNS terms based on previous uses of the word.  Nothing wrong with the confusion, in and of itself, and it often leads to useful refinements of how we describe the theory.        

As to my own “inner gamist,” he is alive and kicking, and maybe I can’t even call him my “inner gamist.”  In fact, he’s pretty “out” there, so I guess my answer to the initial question of what we do with our suppressed inner gamist is that I don’t suppress him.  I let him run free.  When choosing a game, my group consistently looks for elements in the rules that are conducive to gamist play.  And looking back, we were doing it before we really knew it.  In addition, I’ve consistently built gamist scenarios into all of our most successful campaigns, regardless of the game.  That solid, and consistent, drift on our part has helped keep us happy.  Of course, now that we know what we’re looking for, it’s gotten even easier to find it.    

As far as the “gamism in roleplaying” vs. “gamism in other games,” I find myself more in the “gamism in roleplaying” category of preference.  My own gamist needs are not satisfied in the same way by strategic games without roleplaying elements.  I’ve noticed this for a long time, and while I can enjoy a good, strategic board or war game, neither gives me the satisfaction of a good gamist roleplaying game.  Why?  Personally, I just don’t become invested enough in the game without the involvement of roleplaying and fictional characters as additional elements.  Plus, as someone who typically takes the GM role, there's a lot of "coming up with cool ideas" activity that's so much easier to get in RPGs.  I don't enjoy my gamism as much when it is so pure that I don't get to include other aspects that make roleplaying so much fun.

Rich
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #21 on: November 05, 2002, 06:55:13 PM »

Hi Rich,

Great post. I agree with you in full.

I usually try to avoid posting like this, but sometimes it's just too right.

Best,
Ron
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C. Edwards
Member

Posts: 558

savage / sublime


« Reply #22 on: November 06, 2002, 01:03:20 AM »

Rich wrote:
Quote
I don't enjoy my gamism as much when it is so pure that I don't get to include other aspects that make roleplaying so much fun.


After reading this, I couldn't help but think of gamism in role-playing as "gamism on the rocks".

As for my inner gamist, he really only comes out during paintball, volleyball, and other physical activity.  In most board-games I usually have relevant winning conditions for myself other than those in the rules.  A classic example would be RISK, winning is not as important to me as causing as much chaos and hardship as possible.  I like to win, and often do, but that usually isn't my top priority.

-Chris
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