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Author Topic: Notice:Landmarks of Gaming Theory  (Read 55405 times)

TrippyHippy

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Notice:Landmarks of Gaming Theory
« Reply #60 on: December 07, 2015, 04:46:27 PM »
Quote from: apparition13;867800
These aren't landmarks of gaming theory, they're axioms of A gaming theory.

I don't see any point in ronedwardsing "landmark" like he did "incoherent". You're talking in axioms, use the right damn word. There are enough problems with postmodern academia redefining words left and right, there's no reason for you to get in the act.

And something doesn't have to be "right" to be a landmark, it just has to be important and influential. Aristotelian physics is a landmark of physics, and it's dead wrong. GDS and GNS were landmarks in RPG theory, they were important and influential. Whether or not you think one or the other or both are misguided is immaterial to whether or not they are landmarks.


Aristotle's work wasn't a landmark in physics, it was an antecedent.

In the case of GDS and GNS, I'd say they weren't quite as influential or as important as they were made out to be.
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Lunamancer

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« Reply #61 on: December 08, 2015, 11:15:08 AM »
I don't know that axiom is the right word.

I know pundit uses the term "self evident" but that doesn't mean everything on the list IS self-evident. I'd consider an axiom to be something like "A game has players."

Axioms are so irrefutable as to seem trivial. But good theory makes good deductive arguments from irrefutable axioms to develop ideas that are non-trivial. The axiom "A game has players," for example, can obliterate a lot of BtB/RAW arguments of particular RPGs.

For instance, if you've never played before, you might look at AD&D and say, "Woah, it looks like Clerics are pretty good fighters, and they cast spells, and they take less XP to level than a Fighter or a Mage? What? And they can turn undead to boot? Why would anyone play anything else? BtB/RAW, all the incentives are to play Clerics!"

Only it turns out in practice the Cleric is the least popular of the four classes.
Is it because everyone in the world is playing home brew? No. Players just rather play a different type of character.

yosemitemike

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« Reply #62 on: December 12, 2015, 06:12:33 AM »
I have never found GNS theory to be of any real use beyond giving pretentious gasbags something to gas at each other about on the internet.  Discussions seem to consist mostly of people talking past each other because everyone is using the same jargon but they all mean slightly (or not so slightly) different things when they use it.  None of it seems to have anything to do with what I do at the tabletop or what makes a game actually successful in the market.

Among some people, there seems to be a burning need to explain D&D's continued success in some way, any way that doesn't involve it being successful because lots of people like it and enjoy playing it.  The attempts to evade the most obvious reason why something is successful get surreal at times.  For a while, there was an almost superstitious belief in the power of advertising.  D&D is successful because of advertising.  The idea that a game could continue to be successful for such a long period of times over multiple editions solely because of advertising is patently absurd.  You can get people to try your product with advertising.  The idea that you can make a product that doesn't give people something they want successful over a long period solely with advertising is ludicrous.
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Catelf

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« Reply #63 on: December 12, 2015, 07:17:40 AM »
Quote from: yosemitemike;868553
Among some people, there seems to be a burning need to explain D&D's continued success in some way, any way that doesn't involve it being successful because lots of people like it and enjoy playing it.  The attempts to evade the most obvious reason why something is successful get surreal at times.  For a while, there was an almost superstitious belief in the power of advertising.


Of course lots of people like it and enjoy playing it.
The question that is posed is why there seem to be virtually no other rpg that is just as known and as much played, despite the obvious existence of a lot of other rpgs that people also like and enjoy playing, and that is where those arguments come in.

I agree that ads is not the sole reason though:
Even if someone say they don't know of any tabletop-rpgs, there is still a possibility that they have heard of Dungeouns & Dragons.
And a lot that play rpgs knows only of D&D, and still a bunch of rpg-players that knows of other rpgs still only play D&D, from force of habit, it is the only game the group will play, they think the others are dull (with or without actually having tried them), and/or they actually prefer the rules, the setting, the whole package.

Some might want to try other rpgs, be it Vampire, Cyberpunk, CoC or Champions, but find no one nearby to play anything else than D&D, because of the above reasons.
I guess there are equivalents of gaming groups that just play WoD or Shadowrun, but those are rare, compared to the D&D groups.

And among the groups that play several, D&D is often one of them.
I may not dislike D&D any longer, but I still dislike the Chaos-Lawful/Evil-Good alignment system, as well as the level system.
;)
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yosemitemike

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« Reply #64 on: December 12, 2015, 08:19:39 AM »
Quote from: Catelf;868557

The question that is posed is why there seem to be virtually no other rpg that is just as known and as much played, despite the obvious existence of a lot of other rpgs that people also like and enjoy playing, and that is where those arguments come in.


The answer to this question seems pretty obvious.  Lots of RPGs have their fandoms but no other RPG has had as much appeal to as many people over as long a period of time as D&D has.  There's just something about D&D that a lot of people like.    

Quote from: Catelf;868557

And a lot that play rpgs knows only of D&D, and still a bunch of rpg-players that knows of other rpgs still only play D&D, from force of habit, it is the only game the group will play, they think the others are dull (with or without actually having tried them), and/or they actually prefer the rules, the setting, the whole package.


I don't buy the force of habit argument either.  Products come and go in every sort of market all the time.  Once popular products disappear.  Once popular stores go out of business.  Force of habit alone isn't enough.  A product has to give the customer something they want.

If people are dissatisfied with D&D, it's not difficult for them to find other games.  There have been other games around for decades.  Thanks to the internet, inexpensive desktop publishing and PDF distribution, they are easier to find, better looking and easier to get than ever.  

Quote from: Catelf;868557

Some might want to try other rpgs, be it Vampire, Cyberpunk, CoC or Champions, but find no one nearby to play anything else than D&D, because of the above reasons.


There's another obvious possible reason.  Many players are having fun with D&D and are perfectly happy with it.
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Catelf

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« Reply #65 on: December 12, 2015, 08:55:45 AM »
Quote from: yosemitemike;868581
There's another obvious possible reason.  Many players are having fun with D&D and are perfectly happy with it.


Did you even understand what I wrote?
I do not disagree with that, I just points towards other facts that also is true.
I may not dislike D&D any longer, but I still dislike the Chaos-Lawful/Evil-Good alignment system, as well as the level system.
;)
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Chivalric

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« Reply #66 on: December 12, 2015, 10:21:52 AM »
Quote from: yosemitemike;868553
I have never found GNS theory to be of any real use beyond giving pretentious gasbags something to gas at each other about on the internet.


Well, it also did result in the publication of a lot of games that did very specific things.  Some different from traditional RPGs to the point that it's often best to talk about them as their own category.  Lots of people have played and still play these games and enjoy them.  At it's core one thing GNS theory (and the revised Big Model version that followed) did was to get people who wanted a particular thing from their hobby time a game that fits their demands.  So while I am a critic of GNS and the Big Model, I find this idea that nothing ever came of it to be hilariously revisionist.

As for landmarks of rpg theory, I'll add mine:

The human brain pieces together events into a narrative all on its own.
We communicate and even think in narrative terms all the time, every day.  If you want "story" in your RPG sessions, the best way to get it is to get out of the way and let it emerge from where it really comes from:  human interpretation and recounting of events.  If you concentrate your system time on quickly resolving the results of events, the events will be pieced together into a narrative by the brains of the participants without needing mechanics meant to force it.

yosemitemike

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« Reply #67 on: December 12, 2015, 05:19:32 PM »
Quote from: Catelf;868586
Did you even understand what I wrote?
I do not disagree with that, I just points towards other facts that also is true.


I understand it.  I just don't agree with it and am not sure those actually are facts.  People play out of force of habit?  Others can't get other games going because of that?  I don't agree with the basic premise that people continue playing D&D out of force of habit.  They play it because they like it.  I just don't think that your facts are actually facts.  Saying that people play D&D out of force of habit is another of the various ways people have come up with to explain D&D's enduring popularity that doesn't involve admitting that lots of people just plain like it.  See also peer pressure, a dread of "diversity" and poo flinging monkey like fear of the new.  

Quote from: NathanIW;868592
So while I am a critic of GNS and the Big Model, I find this idea that nothing ever came of it to be hilariously revisionist.


It's a good thing I never said that then isn't it?  I never found it to be of any use.  No one ever found it to be of any use.  Nothing ever came of it.  Compare and contrast these three statements.  One is what I said.
“I am certain, however, that nothing has done so much to destroy the juridical safeguards of individual freedom as the striving after this mirage of social justice.”― Friedrich Hayek
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Lunamancer

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« Reply #68 on: December 12, 2015, 05:33:29 PM »
There are problems to having millions of RPGs.

First, it's not possible to sample them all. Especially if you're not down with rolling up a new character every single week. One of the most popular characteristics that most RPGs share is that you get to play and develop the same character over a long period of time.

You have to be able to find a group. For some people, you can easily find a group gaming on line. For me, it's just not the same. The options for finding local players really aren't that limitless. If you find your groups through the local game store, the games they play are going to tend to gravitate towards what the store sells. Depending how successful the store is, they might not be able to offer anything but the #1 seller.

Redundancy. I feel like the industry keeps producing the same thing over and over and over and over again, only with different rules. Instead of having 50 different games that allow you to play wizards and warriors fighting orcs, the same effort could be spent to produce a single game that lets you do 50 different things. On the rare occasion something pops up that is both unique and good, chances are it's in a game system I don't play.

All of these factors exert force in the direction that we should all play the same game. So while there are no doubt exceptions, I'm one of them, it's not surprising the masses will gravitate towards one game. And it's an uphill battle to change what the game is.

Not everything has to do with the first-mover principle. Nor does marketing explain it all. First movers are deposed all the time, and massive marketing campaigns have been known to flop.

I think what helps D&D stay top dog is that part of the culture and feel of the D&D game is doing things like cons and tourneys, which in turn build a community. Things like the RPGA where there is some form of standardization so it actually means something when you start going on about how awesome your character is.

Compare this to the prevailing attitude of the modern age of RPGs. It's filled with narcissism. It's all about getting the game that *I* want. That does everything the way *I* think a game should. That has the aesthetics *I* prefer. Too fancy. Too specialized. Too niche. Not willing to give up it's precious "premise" or "stated goal" in order to play well with others.

And, really, why should any gamer settle for less when they have a million games to choose from?

Catelf

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« Reply #69 on: December 12, 2015, 07:41:18 PM »
Quote from: yosemitemike;868638
I understand it.  I just don't agree with it and am not sure those actually are facts.

Let's start with one of my statements:
* There are games that are just as good as D&D, and there are people that like those games and enjoy playing them.
Now, do you agree that that statement is a fact or not?
Quote from: yosemitemike;868638
People play out of force of habit?

Yes they do.
They might still like it, but playing is a thing you are supposed to like, so that is actually beside the point, as it goes without saying.
People play Monopoly, Yatzee, and even Clue out of force of habit, despite the obvious and well-known problems with those games, refusing to try other games only on basis that they don't know them, so of course there are several that play D&D out of force of habit as well.
I may not dislike D&D any longer, but I still dislike the Chaos-Lawful/Evil-Good alignment system, as well as the level system.
;)
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yosemitemike

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« Reply #70 on: December 12, 2015, 09:33:35 PM »
I think part of why D&D gets played so much is that it is more or less the hobby's common ground.  Everyone knows what it is and lots of people like it enough to be okay with playing it even if it wouldn't be their first choice.  Every one of the people might have some other game that they would rather be playing but this might well be a different game for every player.  D&D is the common ground where everyone meets.

Quote from: Catelf;868657
Let's start with one of my statements:
* There are games that are just as good as D&D, and there are people that like those games and enjoy playing them.
Now, do you agree that that statement is a fact or not?


I'm not going to play that game.  I was playing that game with my teachers when I was in 4th grade.  

When you unspecifically say that there "are people", how many people do you mean in absolute terms and relative to the number who enjoy playing D&D?

Quote from: Catelf;868657

Yes they do.


I don't find that even slightly credible as an explanation.  Once popular products have disappeared as times and tastes changed many times.  People will not buy a product over a long period of time just out of force of habit.  It has to deliver some value to them.  

Quote from: Catelf;868657

People play Monopoly, Yatzee, and even Clue out of force of habit, despite the obvious and well-known problems with those games, refusing to try other games only on basis that they don't know them, so of course there are several that play D&D out of force of habit as well.


or maybe, just maybe, people actually like those games even if board game snobs hate them.  All of those games have been on the market for decades while thousands and thousands of other games came and went.  Chalking that to people playing them out of force of habit strains my credibility past the breaking point.  It's the sort of explanation that people who disdain those games come up with to explain their longevity without having to admit that they just appeal to a lot of people.  Something I dislike can't possibly be good so people can't possibly enjoy it so now I must come up with some irrational reason they still buy and play it other than them just enjoying it.
“I am certain, however, that nothing has done so much to destroy the juridical safeguards of individual freedom as the striving after this mirage of social justice.”― Friedrich Hayek
Another former RPGnet member permanently banned for calling out the staff there on their abdication of their responsibilities as moderators and admins and their abject surrender to the whims of the shrillest and most self-righteous members of the community.

Gronan of Simmerya

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« Reply #71 on: December 12, 2015, 09:41:52 PM »
Quote from: Catelf;868657

They might still like it, but playing is a thing you are supposed to like, so that is actually beside the point, as it goes without saying.
People play Monopoly, Yatzee, and even Clue out of force of habit, despite the obvious and well-known problems with those games, refusing to try other games only on basis that they don't know them, so of course there are several that play D&D out of force of habit as well.


Citation from actual valid research (and not "some self appointed expert on the Internet") needed.

Or, in other words, what a fucking load of bullshit.
You should go to GaryCon.  Period.

The rules can't cure stupid, and the rules can't cure asshole.

Catelf

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« Reply #72 on: December 13, 2015, 01:06:56 AM »
Quote from: Gronan of Simmerya;868665
Citation from actual valid research (and not "some self appointed expert on the Internet") needed.

Or, in other words, what a fucking load of bullshit.


How about that I have seen it with my own two eyes?
I may not dislike D&D any longer, but I still dislike the Chaos-Lawful/Evil-Good alignment system, as well as the level system.
;)
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Catelf

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« Reply #73 on: December 13, 2015, 01:16:21 AM »
Quote from: yosemitemike;868664
I think part of why D&D gets played so much is that it is more or less the hobby's common ground.  Everyone knows what it is and lots of people like it enough to be okay with playing it even if it wouldn't be their first choice.  Every one of the people might have some other game that they would rather be playing but this might well be a different game for every player.  D&D is the common ground where everyone meets.


As you apparently decides to misunderstand or somehow ignore my other points, i'll just say that this part I agree on.
Except for the last sentence, that is.
I do not meet at D&D, as I really don't like that game, not the setting, not the system, not the rules.
Sure a few aspects is ok, but D&D is a package, and it do not fit what I like.
I may not dislike D&D any longer, but I still dislike the Chaos-Lawful/Evil-Good alignment system, as well as the level system.
;)
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yosemitemike

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« Reply #74 on: December 13, 2015, 02:03:04 AM »
Quote from: Catelf;868688
As you apparently decides to misunderstand or somehow ignore my other points


I didn't misunderstand or ignore them.  I just think they are wrong.  I didn't ignore them.  I repudiated them.

Quote from: Catelf;868688

I do not meet at D&D, as I really don't like that game, not the setting, not the system, not the rules.
Sure a few aspects is ok, but D&D is a package, and it do not fit what I like.


That's why I used phrases like "part of why" instead of "the only reason why" or "lots of people" instead of "everyone ever".
“I am certain, however, that nothing has done so much to destroy the juridical safeguards of individual freedom as the striving after this mirage of social justice.”― Friedrich Hayek
Another former RPGnet member permanently banned for calling out the staff there on their abdication of their responsibilities as moderators and admins and their abject surrender to the whims of the shrillest and most self-righteous members of the community.