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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 56 - most online ever: 565 (October 17, 2020, 02:08:06 PM)
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Author Topic: Newbie question on narrativism and plot  (Read 7408 times)
Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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Posts: 10459


« Reply #15 on: January 27, 2003, 11:38:51 AM »

Quote from: Johannes
I was hoping to use the model in my thesis to describe the reasons why players decide to narrate (play) in a certain way but I guess I will have to come up with something a bit different. Not that the GNS-model couldn't adress the issue but I don't think that it adresses it in a way that is easily incorporated to the criticism/literary theory -framework of my paper.

Ron has been clear on this before (and I support him on this) that GNS does not address motives. Other than circular motives such as saying "a player makes Gamist decisions because he gets somthing out of them that apparently he feels can only be gotten by making gamist decisions".

What you are probably looking for is the original Threefold (GDS) which is all about motive. That is, a Dramatist wants story by definition, while a Gamist wants competition (or somthing like that). Which says little about play, actually. Basically, GNS says that desiring "Story" can lead to any of the three GNS categories of play potentially. So, while Threefold describes motive, GNS describes play, and shows the lack of distinct link between the two (note that proponents of Threefold would most likely disagree). This is the basic nature of why Ron created his schism origianlly, if I'm not mistaken in my analysis.

Mike

P.S. I'd love to hear about the book by Marie-Laure Ryan that you mention. A definitive take on Immersion would be much appreciated and helpful.
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Johannes
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Posts: 64


« Reply #16 on: January 28, 2003, 03:31:25 AM »

Quote from: Mike Holmes
What you are probably looking for is the original Threefold (GDS) which is all about motive.

-snip-

P.S. I'd love to hear about the book by Marie-Laure Ryan that you mention. A definitive take on Immersion would be much appreciated and helpful.


Where can I find this GDS-model? It could be usefull, even though these questions are of secondary interest to my paper which focuses on narrative discourse and fiction/plot in RPGs.

I most strongly recommend anything written by Marie-Laure Ryan to just about anybody! :-) I will post about her views on immersion as soon as I find some time to do it properly (it's likely to be a rather long post).
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Johannes Kellomaki
Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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Posts: 10459


« Reply #17 on: January 28, 2003, 11:21:45 AM »

Well, the newsgroup upon which it emerged and was most heavily debated in the early days was rec.games.frp.advocacy (if I have it correctly spelled there, and assuming I am remembering my history correctly. After that, I cannot say where the discussion may have gone, or if they still debate it over there.

Anyone know the current status of Threefold?

Mike
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John Kim
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« Reply #18 on: January 28, 2003, 09:59:22 PM »

Much of this discussion sounds familiar to me from years on rgf-advocacy.  Certainly the threefold was a bone of contention on that newsgroup, which could at times choke out other discussion.  (Thus, I think it is a very good thing that The Forge has shuffled discussion of it off into its own group.)  

Ultimately, what I feel is still good about both GNS and rgfa's threefold (aka "GDS") is that they are mainly positive labels.  There are people who will proudly accept the label of "Simulation" or even "Game" as things which they sometimes strive for.  In turn, I think a negative tendency is to try to force the labels on people who do not agree that it applies to what they do.  

One of the differences between Ron's article and my rgfa FAQ is that one of my main points was that I (and others) did not consider the threefold to be complete.  Rather, we simply stopped at three because we ran into dissension over how to categorize the remainder.  My FAQ, at least, encouraged discussion on what the 4th or more style was -- but there was little agreement over it.  


Quote from: Cadriel
I would argue, on Egrian lines, that the second example seems foolish; if there has been a beginning, middle, and end to the game, in Aristotelian terms, then there has been rising action and a climax and a denouement, all of which imply significant conflict along story lines.  If the group has been consciously seeking these, there is probably an unconscious Premise that they have in mind.


I am extremely leery of theorizing that there is an "unconcious Premise".  It sounds to me as though you are denying the validity of seeking closure for its own sake as compared to "exploring a Premise".  It is essentially telling someone that you know what they really like better than they do.  

It is important to remember that the important part of the GNS definitions is that they are what the participants are attempting, not the results.  i.e. If a game fails to produce a themed work of true literary merit (something I consider easily possible), it can still be Narrativist if that is what the participants tried for.  The flip side of this is that even if a work happened to have a theme and literary merit -- it is not Narrativist if the participants did not consciously intend that.  

Quote from: Cadriel
While theme may not result in any of these, I would argue that likewise any literary or filmic or other form of work that really has no theme (it's possible to fake having no theme) has no merit; and that therefore the literary merit criterion is not met, and it is not sound Narrativism.


Again, I am concerned that you are defining things by the quality of results rather than the intent.  Moreover, requiring judgement of the literary merit of something to classify it is extremely problematic, since people are of course going to disagree over the merit of any particular work.  Labels which work, IMO, are labels which people accept and agree with.  

I think it is good, in many ways, that "Narrativism" is more sharply defined than "Drama" in the rgfa threefold.  However, this opens up the question of what to do about things which fall outside of the more sharply defined lines.  As a specific example, I would ask about humorous games such as "Toon" or "Teenagers from Outer Space".  These are largely anything-goes-for-laughs, but I submit that it doesn't make much sense to classify them as Simulationist.
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John Kim
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« Reply #19 on: January 28, 2003, 10:05:38 PM »

Quote from: Mike Holmes
Well, the newsgroup upon which it emerged and was most heavily debated in the early days was rec.games.frp.advocacy (if I have it correctly spelled there, and assuming I am remembering my history correctly. After that, I cannot say where the discussion may have gone, or if they still debate it over there.

Anyone know the current status of Threefold?


Discussion of this sort has pretty much died out on rgfadvocacy.  The newsgroup is still there, but threefold issues have pretty much disappeared as topics -- perhaps partly because of burnout over many arguments over it in prior years.  I still have my FAQ archived at http://www.darkshire.org/~jhkim/rpg/styles/index.html, together with an assortment of other articles.  However, it has been many years (3 or 4?)  since I wrote the current version,  and it really no longer applies to discussion there within the past year or so.
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- John
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