*
*
Home
Help
Login
Register
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
November 23, 2014, 02:55:17 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: 82 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
Pages: 1 2 [3] 4
Print
Author Topic: What does role playing gaming accomplish?  (Read 22565 times)
Paul Czege
Acts of Evil Playtesters
Member

Posts: 2341


WWW
« Reply #30 on: November 30, 2002, 05:26:07 PM »

Walt,

My problem is "The perception by non-participants that role players are putting a lot of effort into something that they (the non-participants) regard as having little or no reward."

You are never going to get the conservative Right to approve of the NEA, unless you change the NEA. You're never going to get me to enjoy watching a televised Thanksgiving Day parade unless you change the nature of the parade. But there are folks who do support the NEA. And there are folks who like watching televised Thanksgiving Day Parades. Why focus so much frustration on those who can't perceive the value of traditional roleplaying games? Honestly, it looks quite obsessive from where I'm sitting. The message of Ron's "mainstreaming" thread, I think, isn't that we should be somehow evangelizing traditional roleplaying, because to be honest, AD&D style dungeon crawling is pervy and obsessive. The message is that were we thinking rightly about the definition of "mainstream," we wouldn't be provoked to such anxiety by folks who aren't interested in the pervy. The world is full of folks who see the value of formalized entertainment activities that facilitate interesting socialization, and folks who have no problem perceiving the process of creative activity has value separate from the end product. Your frustration arises from an interest in evangelizing the pervy, and a compulsive fixation on those who don't appreciate it, not from some lack of reasonable people out there who appreciate the mainstream.

Paul

Yes, watching a televised Thanksgiving Day Parade is pervy.
Logged

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
M. J. Young
Member

Posts: 2198


WWW
« Reply #31 on: November 30, 2002, 06:18:39 PM »

Quote from: damion
What exactly are we trying to accomplish here?
1)expand the player base?
I'm not sure this is all that possible. I think there are certian personality traits that gaming appeals to, and these arn't that common in the population at large.


I'm sorry, but that kind of thinking is counterproductive.

It seems to me that in the 80's, the overwhelming majority of role players were guys. I know that every girl who played at my table was either the significant other or the sister of some guy who did, save for one game in which a couple of people wanted to see what the game was like on rather the spur of the moment. People thought that role playing games just didn't appeal to girls.

Then Vampire: the Masquerade came out, and it struck a chord with a significant number among the fairer sex. Although there were many guys drawn into the game, there were more girls among first-time role players in those games than there were first-time role player guys (most guys who played V:tM were already gamers). It wasn't that role playing only appealed to guys; it was that the games that were already published (and that meant more than just D&D) primarily appealed to guys, and a different idea was needed to attract girls to the hobby.

The same thing happened in video games. Even dating back to Pong and Tank, the industry appealed mostly to males. Nintendo and Sega were built on boy dollars. But a few enterprising intelligent game designers began to ask whether girls weren't playing because they didn't like video games or because they didn't like the kinds of video games that were being produced. They created new "entry" video games that would appeal to girls and bring them into the hobby, and now young girls are often as interested in game systems as their brothers.

If we think that the problem is that "this kind of game" doesn't appeal to most people, we'll never ask how to create games that will appeal to more.

But the idea of working to give gaming a better image seems a good one, whether or not we're talking about expanding the player base. I just don't think we should decide either task is impossible.

--M. J. Young
Logged

Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
Member

Posts: 10459


« Reply #32 on: November 30, 2002, 06:36:36 PM »

First, I see what it is that Walt wants. He wants a propaganda phrase to use when neccessary to convince someone of the validity of the activity in short order. That doesn't seem to be to dificult to understand, or even to work on. I'm kinda astounded that people are so vehemently against even talking about it good-naturedly.

That said, I don't see this as a crucial thing (and I'm betting that Walt isn't nearly as "obsessed" with it as some seem to think). It's just something that would be nice to have.

And I was just kidding about the money thing. Now we've got all sorts of jokers talking about advertising. No, we don't have money for that. Nor is that what Walt wanted. He's just looking for a slogan.

Slogan's can be your best friend. Ask Stalin. ;-)

I think the challenge response as proposed by one of the posters is it, actually. I've likened RPGs to Improv theater before. Or even Comedy Sportz (Who's Line...).

"Think of it like improv theater that provides a lot of creative reward through the structures of the game."

How's that?

Mike
Logged

Member of Indie Netgaming
-Get your indie game fix online.
MK Snyder
Member

Posts: 116


« Reply #33 on: December 01, 2002, 12:24:15 AM »

Gaming is a cross between Poker Night and Book Club.

So, just say, "It's what we do when we get together instead of play poker.  We're (fantasy, science fiction, western, horror, mystery) fans and we take parts in a story...."

"It's like a Book Club group, except we don't just discuss a book we read. We're (fantasy, science fiction, western, horror, mystery) fans and we take parts in a story..."

"It's like a writing group."

"It's like chess club."

Darn, I'm drawing a blank, can't think of the phrase that's used for drills and dry runs for Special Forces, Police, EMT's etc. Mock fire drills and training exercises. Those are role playing too.
Logged
MK Snyder
Member

Posts: 116


« Reply #34 on: December 01, 2002, 01:01:23 AM »

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. The image problem I've described occurs when people see a large amount of effort expended (whether individually, or by a social group) in an activity that they don't perceive the appeal of.

The perceived value of a creative activity can be anything, but it has to be perceived to be seen by others as of value. Some things, like a painting, are a lot easier to perceive than other things, like the gained ability to better control the direction of a conversation. That perception can be strongly influenced by, for example, whether or not you tell people about the value the activity has had for you.



Nonsense. Tell it to Bridge players. Chess players. Poker players. These games all require a lot of effort to play.

As for a productive hobby, railroad miniatures enthusiasts, low-rider mechanics, autograph hounds, amateur photographers; all spend incredible amounts of money for product that has little investment value.

Then there are all the fans of Martha Stewart making Easter trees and such. Now there's some scary money and time being wasted there, let me tell you...

I'm spoiled. I live in Seattle, the Nerd Capital of the Planet, apparently; home to Wizards of the Coast, Nintendo, and Microsoft. Playing RPG's is a perfectly acceptable hobby here; it is even safe to recruit children in the public schools.

There are no intrinsic features to the gaming process that makes it suitable only for a sensitive, intelligent, male elite of slide-rule collectors.

It's just that it's been a carefully, one could say religiously, guarded arcane knowledge that has only been in existence for one generation. Kind of like fishing and computer use, it takes time for the Outsiders to break in and get access to the Mysteries. It has a lot of emotional import to the practioners to keep it special and not sullied by riff-raff like Gurls and Jocks.
Logged
joe_llama
Member

Posts: 84


WWW
« Reply #35 on: December 01, 2002, 05:52:50 AM »

I think the right attitude about this subject is taking it easy. Remember that role playing games are first and foremost 'games'. When you run into someone and need to explain, just say it's a game. Think about all the excuses you would have to use if you tried to explain someone why you play Chess or Poker.

Btw, you also have Chess and Poker fans who have their own niche and they do seem weird to outsiders. So you can be either a normal person who has a hobby and a fan-club without fearing persecution (and taking it easy) or be some self-torturing frustrated individual who looks for the ultimate 'excuse' to legitimize his hobby as mainstream.

As for the industry, the solution is the same. Think about how game designers market their products without using 'banned' keywords. 'RPG' already carries bad 'vibes'. No need to go on crusades to save the definition. Call it a 'creative' game or 'game of imagination' bla bla bla. Marketing isn't so difficult once you drop your ideals :)

With respect,

Joe Llama
Logged
thoth
Member

Posts: 49


WWW
« Reply #36 on: December 01, 2002, 09:49:20 AM »

Quote from: Mike Holmes
First, I see what it is that Walt wants. He wants a propaganda phrase to use when neccessary to convince someone of the validity of the activity in short order. That doesn't seem to be to dificult to understand, or even to work on. I'm kinda astounded that people are so vehemently against even talking about it good-naturedly.

Elitism?
Are gamers like myself elitists taking a stance of "if you don't already know you can't be taught"? Or maybe just objecting to it all being boiled down to a catch phrase and a jingle? But wouldn't a little easy to understand propaganda phrase be patronizing to non-gamers by almost assuming they're stupid and incapable of truly grasping the point and rewards of RPGs?

[Edited for topic split]
Logged

Amos Barrows
ManiSystem
damion
Member

Posts: 198


« Reply #37 on: December 01, 2002, 12:16:56 PM »

Looking at things objectivly, gaming is no more unusual than say,

1)Doing historical reenactments.-Both are a time consuming version of childhood 'make believe'.
 
2)Stamp collecting-yeah some or valuable, but most collectors I know get something because  'they don't have one yet'.  People understand this.

3)Fantasy Football(or pick your sport of choice).

I think somewhere gaming gained a 'bad image' which, as I think Ron mentioned is the problem. It's not that people can't accept gaming for some reason intrinsic to it, it's that it gained a bad image and can't seem to get rid of it. I think this is because it still attracts the type of people who gave it a bad image, thus even if they arn't a majority anymore, any of them being in view reinforces the stereotype.

If you can remove the bad image, or show that it's a minority, people will accept gaming.

M.J:I do believe gaming only appeals to a small part of the population. That's not a problem, most other hobbies do to, but people don't have bad perceptions of them, because only 1%(Or whatever) enjoy it. People can't understand how others can enjoy gaming and I think the image of unwashed fat middle-age guys in sailor suits prevents them from considering it rationally.
Logged

James
contracycle
Member

Posts: 2807


« Reply #38 on: December 02, 2002, 02:04:28 AM »

Not a slogan... an argument.  

I always pushed the "its active, much more so than TV" line.  Also that it encouraged creativity amd creative investment.  That its long term nature was virtuous as it encouraged stick-with-it-ness.  But we do need a better, mopre comhrehensive articulation of the benefits we see to make a realistic sally at persuading any significant proportion of the public.
Logged

Impeach the bomber boys:
www.impeachblair.org
www.impeachbush.org

"He who loves practice without theory is like the sailor who boards ship without a rudder and compass and never knows where he may cast."
- Leonardo da Vinci
contracycle
Member

Posts: 2807


« Reply #39 on: December 02, 2002, 02:12:17 AM »

Quote from: thoth

Elitism?
Are gamers like myself elitists taking a stance of "if you don't already know you can't be taught"?


Yes.

Quote

But wouldn't a little easy to understand propaganda phrase be patronizing to non-gamers by almost assuming they're stupid and incapable of truly grasping the point and rewards of RPGs?


No; all we do is leave the field to alternative progaganda's which are more coherent and better articulated.  Propaganda is not inherently dishonest... it is material intended to propagate a particular message, considered to be of value by the propagator.  The desire to seek an easily accessible, capsule expression which, for propaganda purposes, must be both speedy and unambiguous, does not imply that we think people are idiots, quite the reverse.
Logged

Impeach the bomber boys:
www.impeachblair.org
www.impeachbush.org

"He who loves practice without theory is like the sailor who boards ship without a rudder and compass and never knows where he may cast."
- Leonardo da Vinci
Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
Member

Posts: 10459


« Reply #40 on: December 02, 2002, 09:55:18 AM »

Thanks Gareth for stating that so well.

But I still think it's a slogan we're looking for. An argument implies that we've presented a prima facia case (the slogan) and the other side has taken brundage with it. I think what Walt, at least is asking for is the simplest answer to the question, "What's all the effort get you?" which he sees as the problem.

That said, once into the argument, I go down exactly the same road you describe.

I'm starting to winder if that's not a bad idea, though. To challenge the sacred position of TV in most people's lives might be dangerous (I am a big fan of TV). Make sure that if you do go with this road that you don't put any value judgements on TV. So I'd say:

"I do if for he same reasons people watch TV and movies. But I get a greater reward, personally, as it's more interactive, and I like that sort of thing."

To imply that TV is "passive" may be to alienate your average TV watcher. They may see you as saying that your form of entertainment is better than theirs. Make sure that the argument is seen not as an attempt to get the other side to see the superiority of the form of entertainment. You're just trying to get them to accept that it's a reasonable activity.

We're not out to make converts here. If it sounds interesting to someone, they'll ask on their own.

Mike
Logged

Member of Indie Netgaming
-Get your indie game fix online.
thoth
Member

Posts: 49


WWW
« Reply #41 on: December 02, 2002, 01:47:05 PM »

Hmm..the whole point of this does (or did) seem to me to be about 'converting' people. Not necessarily by changing negative-outsiders to positive(redundant?)-insiders, but by changing the (perceived?) many negative-outsider ('its bad') to atleast nuetral-outsiders ('it's a hobby') or even better, positive-outsiders ('it's a good hobby but not my cup of tea, so have fun').

Here's something else; what about anime? Doesn't it also have an image problem? A specific example of which might be those big guys in Sailor Moon outfits. But it would appear that anime is gaining acceptance and getting more and more general public exposure (Disney is doing some translation and distribution for example). And the tie in to RPGs is that there appears to be a reasonable cross-over between anime and RPG people. So, would RPGs benefit from the increasing acceptance of anime? Does that limit any possible need for pro-RPG propaganda? Is anime or can anime be a gateway hobby to RPGs?

And where do RPGs like the Buffy The Vampire Slayer RPG stand? It provides a direct line from the wonderous TV to RPGs. Does having a direct link with a pop TV show help to change the image of RPGs as a whole? Or does it change nothing because only those who already play RPGs would be aware of the Buffy RPG?

Hmm..what are the chances that the 'secret' to changing the image of RPGs isn't to put out propaganda that says RPGs are an OK hobby, but instead to piggyback on the already well established and OK hobby of watching TV? Instead of comparing and contrasting RPGs to TV, sell RPGs as a logical extension of TV. It would not be true as a whole, but would be true in specific instances. But would that be patronizing, with an implication that some can't 'get' RPGs without a lead in through TV?

And what about Xn RPGs?...
Logged

Amos Barrows
ManiSystem
Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
Member

Posts: 10459


« Reply #42 on: December 02, 2002, 02:42:12 PM »

Well, Yuh-gi-oh seems to be doing well with it's TV support, as, of course, did Pokemon. :-)

But you're missing a point that's been made several times in the thread, Thoth. One probable reason that people think that RPGs are weird is that they are relatively labor intensive. TV is not, nor are any of the things that we've pointed out in our two posts here. That's apparently the key difference.

Interestingly, I talked to some kids talking about Yuh-go-oh this weekend, and asked them what the appeal was. The response was "ease of play" as in the typical quote, "Easy to learn, difficult to master." Further, it turns out they were already D&D players.

Basically this is all inbred marketing. If it weren't, perhaps the D&D cartoon would have been more successful? And the movie?

In fact, the more they seem to try to make D&D mainstream, the more it's seen as trying to be normal. And thus, not.

Mike
Logged

Member of Indie Netgaming
-Get your indie game fix online.
Walt Freitag
Member

Posts: 1039


« Reply #43 on: December 02, 2002, 03:17:49 PM »

I'm looking for simple answers, but not necessarily just one all-purpose answer.

After all, the local prevailing theory of role playing system design is partly based on the idea that different players play for different types of rewards. That means that any given "slogan" should be much more applicable to some players than to others.

----------

TV is a tricky comparison. Most Americans accept TV watching as a normal part of life (including the basis for some valuable ultra-lightweight morning-after workplace or school conversation), but there's an ambivalence. Most admit in surveys that they watch "too much."

Also, since the consumption of TV is normally so passive, going beyond merely watching a show actually stands out more. You can just watch all the Star Trek you want without being regarded as a Trekkie.

So comparing RPGs to TV is a decidedly mixed bag. But comparing specific types of play to specific popular or critically-praised shows might work. "Yeah, it's a mobster game where sometimes characters get shot. But it's really about relationships. Like in The Sopranos."

----------

In a year or two, this one might work:

"It's like playing The Sims Online, but with more [pick one: action/plotline/story/challenges] and less flirting."

[In fact, it just hit me: The Sims Online could noticeably change the public image of role playing games. Possibly, a lot.]

-----------

Thanks to everyone for doing so well so far with this topic. Which may be even more sensitive, in subtle ways, than some of the "obvious hot-button issue" topics going on in concurrent threads.

- Walt
Logged

Wandering in the diasporosphere
thoth
Member

Posts: 49


WWW
« Reply #44 on: December 03, 2002, 08:53:58 AM »

Quote from: Mike Holmes
Well, Yuh-gi-oh seems to be doing well with it's TV support, as, of course, did Pokemon. :-)

But you're missing a point that's been made several times in the thread, Thoth. One probable reason that people think that RPGs are weird is that they are relatively labor intensive. TV is not, nor are any of the things that we've pointed out in our two posts here. That's apparently the key difference.


I'm starting to think that there is no comparison between TV and RPGs. I'm thinking there's no real comparison between active-participant (physically or intellectually) and spectator hobbies. It seems like it might be comparing apples and oranges, they're both fruit but too different to effectively compare.

That's not to say they can't be linked in a non-comparative way though, like spectator sports and fantasy sports. And i'm thinking that might be the key to promoting RPGs in a non-silly way. Introduce them as an extension to ones favorite TV show, not as a replacement.

Quote from: Mike Holmes

Interestingly, I talked to some kids talking about Yuh-go-oh this weekend, and asked them what the appeal was. The response was "ease of play" as in the typical quote, "Easy to learn, difficult to master." Further, it turns out they were already D&D players.

Basically this is all inbred marketing. If it weren't, perhaps the D&D cartoon would have been more successful? And the movie?


Granted, there is a lot of cross-over, as I said, but what about people who are just getting into those anime shows? And what about the movies, especially those being released by Disney?

This might be going over old ground for some, but i've never been here:
What about the CCGs? They were good and seemed to be an extension to the Pokemon TV show (for example). Was there an actual Pokemon RPG that was being sold an extension to the CCG, and advertised as, or nearly as, readily as the CCG? I'm aware of Pokethulhu, but I don't think that counts ;)

Quote from: Mike Holmes

In fact, the more they seem to try to make D&D mainstream, the more it's seen as trying to be normal. And thus, not.


Hmm...here's another thought. How helpful could not being mainstream and selling that fact be?
"Not yo daddies game!" ;)
Although..that might hook in some fringe people who would further make RPGs look bad. Heh.


Strange, I think i've become somewhat in favor of promoting RPGs. Though I still wouldn't want to some little cheesy slogan. Leave the cheeseball stuff to the beer commercials I say. Although, "RPGs: Intelligent Nightlife" sound better to me.
Mmm...Beer and RPGs...a logical extension?
Logged

Amos Barrows
ManiSystem
Pages: 1 2 [3] 4
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!