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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 79 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: Escapists vs "Social" gamers  (Read 3587 times)
Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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Posts: 10459


« Reply #15 on: February 12, 2003, 01:44:02 PM »

Quote from: Matt Gwinn
Then there are games like Universalis that allow you to establish rules outside the game world, like being able to spend a token to make Mike go get you a pop.


Heh.

We just played Republic of Rome last weekend, and during one of the Senate Phases we voted that Tony, a six foot six inch tall guy be called Nancy from that point on, and subsequently it was resolved that he needed to go get us all a round of drinks.

I love RoR.

This sort of thing is fine for some games, but I wouldn't want to see it in every RPG. Certainly not good for those people who are looking to eliminate metagame as an impedence to their Immersion.

Mike
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Thierry Michel
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Posts: 177


« Reply #16 on: February 13, 2003, 05:49:16 AM »

Quote from: Mike Holmes
Certainly not good for those people who are looking to eliminate metagame as an impedence to their Immersion.


Which was exactly my point (though Immersion sounds better than Escapism).
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Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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Posts: 10459


« Reply #17 on: February 13, 2003, 12:02:10 PM »

OK, let's posit that there are games which actively eliminate these sorts of elements. Is a game that has no elements that actively promote socialization anti-social? I'd say not at all. I've seen sewing circles where everyone was so into it that nobody talked or otherwise communicated for hours. But it's still social. Simply being in close proximity to other humans is social.

Forgive me if I've missed the point. If you aren't trying to make RPGs sound anti-social, what are you trying to do? Point out that a subset of RPGs has a certain substantive difference from a subset of non-RPGs? I'm not sure what the relevance is? Why bring it up at all?

Mike
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Emily Care
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« Reply #18 on: February 13, 2003, 12:47:13 PM »

Quote from: Mike Holmes
Why bring it up at all?


If rpg's really are social activities, which seems to be most people's opinion here, then game design might benefit from taking into account the way that people interact with eachother, rather than just looking at the game as an excuse for counters to get manipulated and rules to be invoked.  Mike, you ask if there is any game that eliminates social elements, and you're right, they can't unless they get rid of the human players, but few games deal with the human players personalities and dynamics as an element within the game.

Honestly, it seems that most non-rpg games deal with the personalities playing on that level (ie they don't matter to the game), so the anomalous games that do take social interaction into account are contributing to the whole field.

Ron's on to this with the sex-in-sorcerer supplement.  Well, really that's gender-in-sorcerer, if folks have sex due to Ron's game I'm sure he won't object, but I'm not sure he could take credit...  This gets us back to the mother of all social interaction games: spin the bottle.

Thierry, do you have any aspects of "social" games in mind that could be used in rpg to good effect?

--Emily Care
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Thierry Michel
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Posts: 177


« Reply #19 on: February 14, 2003, 01:55:41 AM »

Quote from: Mike Holmes

I'm not sure what the relevance is? Why bring it up at all?


First, this is by no means a criticism of rpgs (or role players) as they are. I too enjoy gamers' games, and I can't say that wargaming or chess are very "social" activities either, in the sense that I described earlier (though it could be argued that you do learn things about your opponent, it's not the goal of the game).

However, it seems to me that rpgs could appeal to a different type of player and I wonder how a rpg that would explicitely try to use the social element would fare.

From a purely selfish point of view, I wouldn't mind having more players to game with, and of a different type (and gender). (Also, I don't like Scruples/Trivial Pursuit and whatnot, so if I could substitute something both me and the non-gamers could like in such occasions, it would be icing on the cake...)
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Thierry Michel
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Posts: 177


« Reply #20 on: February 14, 2003, 02:19:14 AM »

Quote from: Emily Care
Thierry, do you have any aspects of "social" games in mind that could be used in rpg to good effect?


There was the character creation example given earlier.

A few games have mechanisms that could be lifted or adapted without too much difficulty, such as Robin Law's Pantheon or Steve Jackson' Tribes.

To be more specific, guessing/bluffing mechanisms would do well. The poblem is how to incorporate them seamlessly in a general "stick and carrot" reward scheme (the experience system is a likely candidate).
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Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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Posts: 10459


« Reply #21 on: February 14, 2003, 09:56:22 AM »

Ah, Ok, now I get it. It's not "RPGs don't have this", it's, "how do I put this in an RPG?"

Well, that's a great question. An obvious suggestion is to design as an "I" game. As in Villains and Vigilantes where you play yourself in an alternate universe, essentially. Then you are perforce saying something about yourself with each decision.

Of course, I never played V&V that way...

Mike
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