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What does role playing gaming accomplish?

Started by Walt Freitag, November 29, 2002, 04:42:22 PM

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"Be more than you can be."
--- Jonathan N.
Currently playtesting Frankenstein's Monsters

Emily Care

We want you, we want you, we want you for a new recruit...

Going back a bit:
Quote from: MK Snyder
Quote from: wfreitag
Those zillion other games require (relative to RPGs) very little effort to play, and they have the easy to understand intrinsic appeal of straightforward competition.

Nonsense. Tell it to Bridge players. Chess players. Poker players. These games all require a lot of effort to play.
You make a good point, M.K.  Non-rpg'ers are certainly capable of playing complex games. However, Bridge, Poker and other complicated card games have the advantage that they all utilize the same deck of cards everyone is already familiar with.  Young card gamers begin with "Go Fish", and move into more complex games as they are interested.  Maybe an rpg "Go Fish" would be useful.  Or actually, maybe the fact that all children practice the Go Fish of role-playing is part of the problem; it's hard to take "make-believe" seriously.  (Mr. Rogers, we'll get you!) Maybe a bridge of some sort, giving folks an "in" to the terminology and concepts of rpg would be helpful.

Walt's point about the straightforward competitive goals of card and board games is worth looking at too. Most games with broad appeal (card and board games) have a clearly defined end goal, unlike most role-playing.  Not that we should pitch gamist designs to the masses, but it's another obstacle.

Just my 2 cents. Good ideas and discussion you've got here.  

--Emily Care
Koti ei ole koti ilman saunaa.

Black & Green Games

Paul Czege

The November, 2002 issue of Business 2.0 has a topically relevant article entitled ",1640,44584,FF.html">How to Think With Your Gut," which suggests that the ability to think nonrationally is fundamental to effective decisionmaking in stressful situations, and that it can be learned.

One compelling anecdote from the article:

...[Paul] Van Riper [a retired Marine Corps lieutenant general] brought a group of Marines to the New York Mercantile Exchange in 1995, because the jostling, confusing pits reminded him of war rooms during combat. First the Marines tried their hand at trading on simulators, and to no one's surprise, the professionals on the floor wiped them out. A month or so later, the traders went to the Corps's base in Quantico, Va., where they played war games against the Marines on a mock battlefield. The traders trounced them again -- and this time everyone was surprised.

When the Marines analyzed the humbling results, they concluded that the traders were simply better gut thinkers. Thoroughly practiced at quickly evaluating risks, they were far more willing to act decisively on the kind of imperfect and contradictory information that is all you ever get in war. The lesson wasn't lost on the Marines, who concluded that the old rational analysis model was useless in some situations. Today the Corps's official doctrine reads, "The intuitive approach is more appropriate for the vast majority of ... decisions made in the fluid, rapidly changing conditions of war when time and uncertainty are critical factors, and creativity is a desirable trait."

An excerpt from a sidebar to the article entitled "Getting in Touch With Your Gut," that suggests ways that intuitive, effective nonrational thinking can be developed:

Fictionalize a problem as a business school case or as happening to someone else. That can free up your imagination. Dave Snowden, director of IBM's (IBM) Cynefin Centre for Organisational Complexity in Wales, has been working with antiterrorism experts and finds that they think more creatively if he poses problems set in a different time -- the Civil War, for example. Another kind of storytelling is what cognitive psychologist Gary Klein calls a "pre-mortem": Imagine that your project has failed and gather the team to assess what went wrong.

Sound familiar?

My Life with Master knows codependence.
And if you're doing anything with your Acts of Evil ashcan license, of course I'm curious and would love to hear about your plans

Mike Holmes

So, "RPGs help develop intuitive analysis skills"?

Or, "it's like the simulations that buisness trainers advocate?"


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