Author Topic: Moving on from "GNS"  (Read 13174 times)

Paul T.

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Re: Moving on from "GNS"
« Reply #60 on: November 17, 2016, 05:02:21 PM »
Hmmmm.

I'm not sure if you're saying that this is what it IS (e.g. your last post) or that it is what it LOOKS like (e.g. the term "party trick", or your earlier quote: "I'd say things like 'you know how most of the taxonomies in the Big Model are just, like, placeholders for the interesting things? GNS is the exception. G, N, and S are for real.' ")

Is your position that the Creative Agenda modes *are* real, observed, and distinct, but that we might nevertheless get more mileage (as players and as designers) out of considering a more fluid, less categoric view of Creative Agenda? In other words, this part of the model isn't "obsolete" in the sense of being in any way wrong or misleading or limited or whatever, but obsolete purely in the sense that some other tools and vocabulary might now suit us better?

I hope I'm not being entirely obtuse here. It's a little confusing! (Also, I'll reiterate again the offer to take this to private channels if you prefer.)

lumpley

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Re: Moving on from "GNS"
« Reply #61 on: November 17, 2016, 09:06:59 PM »
Yep, real. Or rather, because these are patterns we identify not objects we examine, reliable. We honestly can sort every instance of play cleanly into one of them, just as the Big Model asserts. We honestly can sort every non-poor rpg design cleanly into one of them. Trying to mix them in play honestly does reliably mess up people's enjoyment, you can watch it happen every time.

I've never seen or heard anything that makes me think otherwise.

It's ALSO limited and misleading, from my view. But it's not wrong, just obsolete (a word I have always chosen carefully).

-Vincent
« Last Edit: November 17, 2016, 09:29:18 PM by lumpley »

lumpley

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Re: Moving on from "GNS"
« Reply #62 on: November 17, 2016, 09:28:07 PM »
Oh, and Narrativism is additionally the spec and rallying cry of an rpg design movement. As a creative agenda, it's obsolete, but as a design spec and rallying cry, it remains fully current and fruitful.

-Vincent

Paul T.

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Re: Moving on from "GNS"
« Reply #63 on: November 18, 2016, 03:31:54 AM »
Vincent,

That's much more clear to me. Thank you very much for engaging with my questions!

I'd be very curious to hear what you think of people who assert, "My gameplay is Incoherent, and I like it that way!" But we can save that for another time.

Thanks again!

lumpley

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Re: Moving on from "GNS"
« Reply #64 on: November 18, 2016, 11:29:09 AM »
It's not lengthy! I don't mind.

"Incoherent roleplaying" in the Big Model means that you fight about how to play, and even if you keep trying, you don't manage to resolve your creative differences. Like how we used to keep inviting Mitchell to play with us in high school, out of social obligation or whatever, even though he hated the games we played and the rest of us didn't look forward to trying to play them with him.

If there are people out there who prefer that, cool. But I bet that the people you're thinking of mean something else by "Incoherent."

(When those games with Mitchell were fun, which they occasionally were, it was because we managed to come together creatively for once. Come together creatively = cohere, see it?)

-Vincent
« Last Edit: November 18, 2016, 11:39:52 AM by lumpley »

Paul T.

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Re: Moving on from "GNS"
« Reply #65 on: November 19, 2016, 12:46:44 AM »
Thanks, Vincent.

I suppose the real question is, indeed, what DID they mean by that?

One random thought:

We know that activities which are intermittently rewarding can be more "addictive" or have a stronger draw than something with consistent rewards. Perhaps a form of gaming which is occasionally "cohering" and, at other times, not so much, could have a powerful effect on the players, too, in that different kind of way.

Paul T.

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Re: Moving on from "GNS"
« Reply #66 on: November 29, 2016, 08:28:20 PM »
Vincent,

I believe you have said that you feel the categories of "G/N/S" are a sort of taxonomy, and therefore suffer from all the limitations of taxonomical categorization. In addition, you've said that you "[...] don't think that the idea of Creative Agendas stands up after all, let alone G, N, and S as its representatives". Nevertheless, you do feel that the three modes are something real and can be used reliably (in this thread). I find it a little difficult to follow how something can be real and reliable, but yet simultaneously misleading and outmoded, or "stand up at all". I get the impression that you don't have more to say on this topic, however (although, if you do, please do!), so I can let that lie for now. (Perhaps you are talking about its utility to designers in the above quote, instead of its role as a theory?)

Here's my next question - and, hopefully, it's an area you will find more interesting to discuss, as well. It seems to me that you have moved from the idea of Creative Agenda, to a new paradigm - or, at least, are trying to do so. What is the successor to the idea of Creative Agenda? Or do you feel that abandoning it altogether is more fruitful?

In the Story Games thread about the Big Model (whence comes the quote, above), you said that you see the RPG theory world as having moved from "What is the point of playing an RPG?" (i.e. all RPGs are the same) to "Is this game G, N, or S?" (i.e. there are three types of RPG play) and now you are talking about the "object" of a game (which is unique to that game, and, further, applicable more widely than to just RPGs).

Is this your current "state of the art" on this issue? Is the "object" of a game (with the caveat that a game often has multiple objects, if I understand you correctly) the new "Creative Agenda"?

If so, how does thinking in terms of an "object" offer better tools for design (and play)?

I find it interesting that Creative Agenda was formulated as a social phenomenon - what is this group doing at this point in time with this particular activity? - whereas the idea of a game's "object" seems to be more closely linked to the game itself ("this game's object is to [...]").

Is thinking in terms of a game's design more fruitful for you (as a designer, after all!) than considering the creative priorities of the participants playing a particular game? The former seems to be focused on actual play and the individuals or groups involved (1), whereas the "object" view, perhaps, lends itself more to discussing the game itself and its constituent parts.


(1) My understanding is that the whole Creative Agenda model stemmed largely from an interest in resolving conflicts of interest and "fixing" instances of play which weren't working to the participants' expectations. I remember various Forge folks often saying that talking about Creative Agenda clash is a fruitful thing when you aren't happy with your game (to diagnose a problem or mismatched expectations); but, if you are happy with your group's play, you may be better off focusing on other things. It seemed to be framed - often - as a troubleshooting tool.

« Last Edit: November 29, 2016, 08:32:31 PM by Paul T. »

lumpley

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Re: Moving on from "GNS"
« Reply #67 on: November 30, 2016, 02:14:22 AM »
The successor to the idea of creative agendas is the idea of playing to find out. Of play to find out X.

I hope you can see that the idea of playing to find out applies equally, and variously, to the game's design, the group's creative interests, and the game in play case by case, all three.

("The object of the game" is the same idea, aggressively framed. Don't let it distract you. Stick with playing to find out.)

-Vincent
« Last Edit: November 30, 2016, 02:29:41 AM by lumpley »

Paul T.

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Re: Moving on from "GNS"
« Reply #68 on: November 30, 2016, 04:41:02 AM »
Interesting! I'll ponder. Thanks.