This is a site for discussing roleplaying games. Have fun doing so, but there is one major rule: do not discuss political issues that aren't directly and uniquely related to the subject of the thread and about gaming. While this site is dedicated to free speech, the following will not be tolerated: devolving a thread into unrelated political discussion, sockpuppeting (using multiple and/or bogus accounts), disrupting topics without contributing to them, and posting images that could get someone fired in the workplace (an external link is OK, but clearly mark it as Not Safe For Work, or NSFW). If you receive a warning, please take it seriously and either move on to another topic or steer the discussion back to its original RPG-related theme.
The message boards have been upgraded. Please log in to your existing account by clicking here. It will ask twice, so that it can properly update your password and login information. If it has trouble recognizing your password, click the 'Forgot your password?' link to reset it with a new password sent to your email address on file.

Author Topic: "Broken Play"  (Read 4354 times)

Kyle Aaron

  • high-minded hack
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8826
    • View Profile
    • http://www.athleticclubeast.com.au
"Broken Play"
« on: February 07, 2007, 12:55:23 AM »
Oy, vey. This is what one Forger thinks of us "incoherent" gamers.

GAMERS rpg

One of the great virtues of the dice is that they do not come with boxed text.

"Don't let yourself get too worried about all this talk about roleplaying [...] the ultimate object of all this is for everyone to have fun, not to recreate some form of high dramatic art." - Dungeoneer

Brantai

  • Fighter of the Night Man
  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 309
    • View Profile
"Broken Play"
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2007, 01:15:57 AM »
Is it bad that the first thing I thought was, "Wow, that's a really poorly put together chart"?
Damn UML homework.

Settembrini

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6796
    • View Profile
"Broken Play"
« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2007, 01:18:31 AM »
I don´t feel adressed.
If there can't be a TPK against the will of the players it's not an RPG.- Pierce Inverarity

John Morrow

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6254
    • View Profile
"Broken Play"
« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2007, 02:34:24 AM »
They can draw charts while the rest of us have fun in "El Dorado". ;)
Robin Laws' Game Styles Quiz Results:
Method Actor 100%, Butt-Kicker 75%, Tactician 42%, Storyteller 33%, Power Gamer 33%, Casual Gamer 33%, Specialist 17%

droog

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4862
    • View Profile
"Broken Play"
« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2007, 02:49:03 AM »
Quote from: Settembrini
I don´t feel addressed.

That's right, JB. You're being that guy. The one who hears someone shout "Hey, dickhead!" and assumes it's about him.

Still and all, not one of Chris's better moments.
The past lives on in your front room
The poor still weak the rich still rule
History lives in the books at home
The books at home

Gang of Four
[/size]

Settembrini

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6796
    • View Profile
"Broken Play"
« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2007, 03:04:54 AM »
please ignore
If there can't be a TPK against the will of the players it's not an RPG.- Pierce Inverarity

Arminius

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7270
    • View Profile
    • http://ewilen.livejournal.com/
"Broken Play"
« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2007, 03:26:44 AM »
Quote from: droog
That's right, JB. You're being that guy. The one who hears someone shout "Hey, dickhead!" and assumes it's about him.

Still and all, not one of Chris's better moments.
I agree on all counts.

Balbinus

  • Repairer of Reputations
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • B
  • Posts: 4269
    • View Profile
"Broken Play"
« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2007, 04:46:33 AM »
Ah, the old "these people just imagine they're having fun, really though I can tell without actually meeting them that they're miserable" theory.

Seen it before, the diagram like much of this stuff makes it look a bit more academic than the prejudice it actually is.

Chris has produced a couple of useful things, it's a shame he feels the need to rationalise his dislike of certain forms of gaming in this way.

Blackleaf

  • Voodoo Member
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • B
  • Posts: 4735
    • View Profile
"Broken Play"
« Reply #8 on: February 07, 2007, 05:40:55 AM »
That's a really bad chart. :)

Geoff Hall

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • G
  • Posts: 108
    • View Profile
    • http://nuclear-powered.livejournal.com/
"Broken Play"
« Reply #9 on: February 07, 2007, 05:42:40 AM »
Quote from: Balbinus
Seen it before, the diagram like much of this stuff makes it look a bit more academic than the prejudice it actually is.


It makes it look like a poorly cobbled together chart made by someone who should stay the hell away from Paint and Word...  That's terrible, and barely comprehensible.
 

Balbinus

  • Repairer of Reputations
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • B
  • Posts: 4269
    • View Profile
"Broken Play"
« Reply #10 on: February 07, 2007, 05:52:38 AM »
Quote from: Geoff Hall
It makes it look like a poorly cobbled together chart made by someone who should stay the hell away from Paint and Word...  That's terrible, and barely comprehensible.


As I said, Chris is merely expressing personal prejudice against another style of play in a diagram, so as to make it seem somehow more objective.

It's no different than if Pundit were to make a chart talking about how Forge style games weren't rpgs, it's prettifying a dislike of others based on how they play, it's prejudice in a prom dress.

Geoff Hall

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • G
  • Posts: 108
    • View Profile
    • http://nuclear-powered.livejournal.com/
"Broken Play"
« Reply #11 on: February 07, 2007, 06:04:04 AM »
Quote from: Balbinus
As I said, Chris is merely expressing personal prejudice against another style of play in a diagram, so as to make it seem somehow more objective.

It's no different than if Pundit were to make a chart talking about how Forge style games weren't rpgs, it's prettifying a dislike of others based on how they play, it's prejudice in a prom dress.


Oh I agree, I'm just expressing the opinion that it's a prom dress sewn together from random, worn out bits of cloth found at the bottom of a cupboard somewhere.  If I were feeling particularly mean/pun-loving I might even describe the 'diagram' as incoherent ;)
 

Kyle Aaron

  • high-minded hack
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8826
    • View Profile
    • http://www.athleticclubeast.com.au
"Broken Play"
« Reply #12 on: February 07, 2007, 06:22:23 AM »
Quote from: droog
That's right, JB. You're being that guy. The one who hears someone shout "Hey, dickhead!" and assumes it's about him.
When you have a look at the associated text (scroll down), it becomes clearer that he's addressing just about everyone.

   There are several factors that come together to make this a common form of play and a recurring model in the hobby.

Social

Socially, a big part of this model is the classic Geek Social Fallacies, which are naturally codependant and non-communicative practices. "We HAVE to stick together" is not unlike the rationalization of people staying in abusive relationships.

And, like an abusive relationship, you also have lots of conditional love/friendship being thrown around, shame of being ostracized, and rationalization.

Check out that bottom block upon which it all balances- that's exactly the social behaviors of abuse and manipulation.

By Design?

It seems pretty crazy that anything so extreme can come out of a hobby, of all things. But what leads to it being a common experience is that we actually have game manuals which explicitly encourage these techniques.

- "Punish the character to 'teach' the player
- "GM is God"
- "Cheating/fudging is ok as long as you don't get caught"
- "Meta is bad"
- "Don't let the players get control"

Etc. All of these either involve weird power games, anti-communication, passive aggressive behavior instead of open discussion, deception, and a lot of things you wouldn't say, want to deal with from a boss at work, or in any other kind of relationship.

And, the biggest red flag, the ever present "Problem Players" sections. Notice that most books encourage strange combinations of either punishment or accomodation, but always make "Let's just not play together" the last option. The fact that problem players is a common feature of game texts, or even play, says something is terribly wrong. It's as if every book on marriage contained a section on how to treat broken ribs (from spousal abuse)...

Can you imagine that? If relationship books had advice saying, "Lie", "Talking is bad", "Cheating is ok as long as you don't get caught?", "Hit someone to make them obey", "Breaking up is worse than suffering", etc.?

Those would be textbooks for abuse.

It's not just that a bunch of people accidentally made mistakes- it's that there's plenty of encouragement, expectation, and explicit techniques to keep the mistakes going. That's what keeps the dysfunction a common experience in our hobby.

Ron's 3 Principles are especially relevant here.


His April 28, 2006 post about "Incoherence", at the top of the linked page, is especially telling. For example, he discusses compromising on what you want in a game session, giving everyone some of what they want (he ignores the possibility of getting most of what you want, it's only none, some or all for him), he says -
   While this sounds like a good compromise in theory ("You can't always have what you want!"), in practice it works very different. For example, in real life, we might compromise "We'll watch this movie this time, and we'll watch that movie next time", so that in the end we get to see both movies. What happens in play is like everyone agrees to keep flipping the channel back and forth- so that no one actually sees the whole of anything they wanted to see.

Or, 20 minutes of fun from 4 hours.


He's talking to all of us, pretty much.

He also in his "read before commenting" section refers to Ron Edwards' comparison of "bad" roleplaying to child abuse (as a defence of the "brain damage" comments) as "the most truthful, and painful thing ever said about roleplaying."
GAMERS rpg

One of the great virtues of the dice is that they do not come with boxed text.

"Don't let yourself get too worried about all this talk about roleplaying [...] the ultimate object of all this is for everyone to have fun, not to recreate some form of high dramatic art." - Dungeoneer

Balbinus

  • Repairer of Reputations
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • B
  • Posts: 4269
    • View Profile
"Broken Play"
« Reply #13 on: February 07, 2007, 06:31:18 AM »
JB,

I don't think his arguments merit the level of detailed response you're giving them, in all honesty.

It's not that I disagree with you, it's that to me that level of response is like giving a detailed response to a man who thinks the CIA are spying on him via his fillings, you can carefully show why that is unlikely, but it's doubtful he is capable of really following the argument.

Chris has for some reason best known to himself partly defined his own fun as requiring him to believe that others are in some kind of psychologically warped or damaged situation.  That makes dialogue with him both impossible and pointless, he's a tin foil hat gamer and as far as he's concerned most gamers are not capable of understanding what they find fun or indeed of recognising their own psychological states.  You can't talk to someone who believes they know better than you do what you are thinking, as anything you can say can too easily be fitted into his rather delusional model.

As for the abuse bit, if he finds that a useful analysis then I can only conclude he doesn't know anybody who has been abused.  If he did, I doubt he would belittle it with that sort of comparison.

droog

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4862
    • View Profile
"Broken Play"
« Reply #14 on: February 07, 2007, 06:33:10 AM »
Does anybody but JB think there's any value in discussing this, beyond disturbing the dialogue we're building up on this site?

Is it too peaceful for you, JB? Thought you'd better go hunting for trouble?
The past lives on in your front room
The poor still weak the rich still rule
History lives in the books at home
The books at home

Gang of Four
[/size]