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Author Topic: Kudos/Commentary: Q&A Thread, Luke Crane  (Read 6893 times)

-E.

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Kudos/Commentary: Q&A Thread, Luke Crane
« Reply #15 on: July 28, 2007, 12:34:15 PM »
Quote from: Abyssal Maw
I didn't get all my questions answered, and some of them were answered sort of evasively, but I want to give Luke credit for taking them on. I recognize that cannot be an easy thread.

If you want to make commentary or otherwise talk on that thread without participating in the Q&A section, here (this thread) is the place to do it.

I also liked something that Mark VBWyrde wrote:



I thought Mark's post (quoted above) was incredibly astute, and I appreciate his 'outsider' perspective in this.


I took a quick look at the thread; haven't read it in detail. I didn't notice any of the questions addressing the criticism that indie guys have for most gamers:

What criticism? It's just happy gamers sitting around enjoying their hobby, right?

Well no-- The Brain Damage is, of course, exhibit 'A' but I've seen indie guys claim that the role of the traditional GM corrupts and that there's a 'cult' of the traditional GM that's corrosive to the hobby. The idea that "incoherent" games (whatever those are) are most-likely to lead to "on-going power struggle."

And on and on.

You'd think that guys saying all this negative stuff would expect a chilly reception, but instead they seem endlessly surprised and even victimized when people point out how... frankly, rude, the kinds of things that come out of the indie movement are to most gamers.

Did someone with more time see if any of that was addressed in the thread?

Cheers,
-E.
 

Abyssal Maw

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Kudos/Commentary: Q&A Thread, Luke Crane
« Reply #16 on: July 28, 2007, 02:20:15 PM »
Quote from: TonyLB
I'm impressed by the thread, on many counts.

Luke's showing a great deal of patience and talking about the positive things that he likes about ... well ... all sorts of stuff.  That can be hard to do in the face of folks asking questions that can easily be read as negative and baiting.  I'm impressed..


Actually Tony, it is we who have shown great patience; he's being evasive. But he's done a commendable thing by taking it on.

To E-

I didn't expect much on that. Theyre myopic, and many of them aren't too smart.
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Kudos/Commentary: Q&A Thread, Luke Crane
« Reply #17 on: July 28, 2007, 02:58:25 PM »
Quote from: -E.
...but I've seen indie guys claim that the role of the traditional GM corrupts and that there's a 'cult' of the traditional GM that's corrosive to the hobby...


What?! Sorry... I just can't breath for the moment. You mean that a "traditional GM approach" that created whole hobby in the first place is corrosive to the hobby?

It is like band of pears claiming that apples are corrosive to the cider business.
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Abyssal Maw

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Kudos/Commentary: Q&A Thread, Luke Crane
« Reply #18 on: July 28, 2007, 03:01:36 PM »
Alnag:

Yup.
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-E.

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Kudos/Commentary: Q&A Thread, Luke Crane
« Reply #19 on: July 28, 2007, 03:22:25 PM »
Quote from: Alnag
What?! Sorry... I just can't breath for the moment. You mean that a "traditional GM approach" that created whole hobby in the first place is corrosive to the hobby?

It is like band of pears claiming that apples are corrosive to the cider business.


That would be the one. No brought it up, huh?

It seems to me that a large part of the indie movement is *defined* by a dislike of the traditional GM-ing model. And the indie movement isn't just advocating other models: the people *leading* it are happy to call traditional games brain damaging, the traditional model corrosive or corrupting.

You'd think there'd be more appreciation of the model that built the hobby, but apparently not.

Cheers,
-E.
 

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Kudos/Commentary: Q&A Thread, Luke Crane
« Reply #20 on: July 28, 2007, 03:30:21 PM »
Quote from: Abyssal Maw
Actually Tony, it is we who have shown great patience; he's being evasive. But he's done a commendable thing by taking it on.


If you think I'm being evasive, rephrase your questions. Phrase them directly and pointedly. Don't expect to trick me or catch me in some rhetorical trap.
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-E.

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Kudos/Commentary: Q&A Thread, Luke Crane
« Reply #21 on: July 28, 2007, 09:58:38 PM »
I'm not clear on what the rules are for the Q&A thread; I see that Alnag posted questions related to the topics I brought and Luke responded to them:

Quote
18) There is a subset of roleplaying gamers who believe that the GM player has special rights and privileges -- that he is more powerful, more influential and more important than the other players.* These gamers believe the GM's job is to simultaneously take no shit from uppity players while also guiding them through his story with a fatherly hand. In this style of play it is the players' twofold job to give the GM shit and get out from under his screw, while docilely accepting "his story." This group often intimates that the GM is "god" in the game and replete with special powers and not to be angered. For evidence of this type of thinking, I direct you to RPG.net.

http://forum.rpg.net/showthread.php?...0&highlight=GM
http://forum.rpg.net/showthread.php?...4&highlight=GM
http://forum.rpg.net/showthread.php?...7&highlight=GM
http://forum.rpg.net/showthread.php?...2&highlight=GM
http://forum.rpg.net/showthread.php?t=336864
http://forum.rpg.net/showthread.php?...9&highlight=GM
etc. and so on.

None of these assumptions are universally true. The GM is simply another player with his own particular duties. The rules indicate what those duties are. His role is no more important than anyone elses. He is not god, though some rules sets grant him supernumerary power over rules and players.

It has been my experience that new players entering into the hobby are put off by the cult-like hazing ritual involved in some groups which entails repeatedly having your input shot down by the GM. Ideas rejected and assumptions flaunted until the player accepts the power of the GM. Many new players enter the hobby thinking, wrongly, that it involves collaborative storytelling. I have witnessed the disappointment of these players when they find the game is instead a weird patriarchal social group focused on one person's interpretation of the mechanics. I believe that, as the hobby continues to shrink, this is bad for all parties involves. To point to the old original ways and snarl, "But this is how it started and how it will end!" is to miss the point. People are leaving the hobby in droves. Stores are closing, sales are dropping. There will certainly be a hardcore of players who never stop playing, but that is not particularly "good for the hobby." It is possible for hobbies to die.

I define "Good for the hobby," in this case, as a constant influx of players from various age groups and both genders who try and buy a variety of games.

19) Alnag, I honestly don't understand the question.

20) Of course I've been brain damaged by gaming. Look at me. I even publish my own games -- the worst sign of brain damage there is.


In reverse order

1) Love the Brain Damage -- I think this would be an example of what Abyssal Maw and others were calling 'dodging the question.' Interesting, that. You'd think just about anyone would leap up at a chance to go on the record and say, "No, of course not -- and the original Brain Damage statement was, in the immortal words of an astute RPG Site poster, 'fuckwitted.'"

I wonder why luke didn't take that chance...

2) GNS terminology baffles everyone, but it doesn't matter -- Brain Damage really supersedes and clarifies the whole concept of incoherence

3) Clearly luke believes there are assholes in the hobby; I don't think anyone could disagree with that, but it's not clear to me if he sees any problem with traditional games themselves (I can't tell from reading the answer).

I think a slightly better question would have been something along the lines of

"Do you think that the role of the traditional GM, with absolute in-game authority, is damaging to the hobby?"

And,

"Do you think rules-sets that give the GM absolute in-game authority inherently cause social problems for most people who play traditional games?"

That would clarify whether it's a people-problem (which, one assumes, would be limited to the number of asshat gamers) or a game problem (which would imply there's something systemically wrong with traditional games which hurts the hobby).

Cheers,
-E.
 

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Kudos/Commentary: Q&A Thread, Luke Crane
« Reply #22 on: July 28, 2007, 10:16:27 PM »
Quote from: luke
Oh? Care to rephrase the question?

-L
Why bother?  you've already very effectively demonstrated that you're not actually capable of any kind of real productive analysis.  This is nothing more than a pathetic PR event, and the tone of your answers has proved it solidly.

The very fact that you can't accept the fundamental difference between subjective and objective judgement makes any attempt at rational conversation basically impossible.

So really, my only remaining question is, "Why the hell are you wasting everyone's time?"
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Kudos/Commentary: Q&A Thread, Luke Crane
« Reply #23 on: July 28, 2007, 10:53:44 PM »
Quote from: J Arcane

So really, my only remaining question is, "Why the hell are you wasting everyone's time?"


I'm getting something out of it.
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-E.

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Kudos/Commentary: Q&A Thread, Luke Crane
« Reply #24 on: July 28, 2007, 10:53:47 PM »
Quote from: J Arcane
Why bother?  you've already very effectively demonstrated that you're not actually capable of any kind of real productive analysis.  This is nothing more than a pathetic PR event, and the tone of your answers has proved it solidly.

The very fact that you can't accept the fundamental difference between subjective and objective judgement makes any attempt at rational conversation basically impossible.

So really, my only remaining question is, "Why the hell are you wasting everyone's time?"


I might be able to shed some light on this -- we reached a sort of similar conclusion in a discussion with luke on rpg.net; I think quite a bit of the indie dialog goes like this:

luke bases his understanding of gaming on his personal experiences (like we all do) -- but unlike most people, he believes that his observations about things like the negative impact of the traditional model are backed up by scientific evidence: his anecdotal experience.

I think the inability to distinguish annecdotal evidence from actual scientific evidence leads a *lot* of indie theorists to draw some bizarre and counter-intuitive conclusions.

Consider: many people come to indie games because, for whatever reason, the traditional model doesn't work well for them. When they look around in the hobby, they see what appears to be overwhelming evidence that the traditional model is dangerous and broken: *every* gamer they talk to has a horror story to tell!

Now, of course, what's really happening is classic observer bias. They're filtering out all the positive stories and focusing on the negative ones. They're also ignoring evidence that any failure to have fun is a personal thing, and focusing on their belief that it's the game that's responsible.

Several years of this convinces them that the traditional model of gaming is responsible for mass dysfunction and an avalanche of psychological trauma and dread.

But it's impossible to fail to see that games like D&D, White Wolf, and so-on are actually hugely popular.

If you're not aware of factors like observer bias, and consider anecdotal evidence scientific, you'd reach the same conclusion: those gamers must be delusional, co-dependent, etc. etc. etc.

It's a logical conclusion, but one based on bad data and a bad understanding of research methods.

Personally, I think the root of the problem is any formulation of human nature that blames something like a game system for on-going human-interaction problems, but certainly the failure to understand that the most-logical conclusion (that D&D is popular because it's fun) is (in the absence of real data) the best one.

Cheers,
-E.
 

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Kudos/Commentary: Q&A Thread, Luke Crane
« Reply #25 on: July 29, 2007, 03:12:45 AM »
-E: I have reposted you questions there, but you can simply do that yourself. Just ask the question. It's pretty simple. ;)
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Kudos/Commentary: Q&A Thread, Luke Crane
« Reply #26 on: July 29, 2007, 03:23:29 AM »
Thanks guys, the recent lines of questions have proven very nicely, that luke does neither know what tactics are, nor does he actually understand RPGs.

Interesting, keep it up.
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Kudos/Commentary: Q&A Thread, Luke Crane
« Reply #27 on: July 29, 2007, 05:39:22 AM »
Now, this time luke was really dodging (probably has the feat) my question. On question about evidence about people leaving hobby in droves he answers with demise of some companies and/or decline in sales. Now, that is not an evidence, because you would have to prove the connection between these and the people's leaving.

Decline in sales might be cause by

a) not buying the products. As an anecdote, I am very picky about WotC products I'll buy. I haven't bought single book last year and just one the year before. That is in no correlation with the fact, that I was playing D&D more these years than before. (I've just now switch to SW: Saga Edition, but nevertheless).

b) people are buying, but elsewhere. The C&G Retailer and ICv2 are sampling some part of the market. Now, if the buyers switch their sources to eg. internet - buying more PDFs and less books you will see it as a decline unless the samples will follow the trend.

c) people are leaving... because of the "Swines". If the people are acutally leaving, who knows, what the reasons are. It might possibly be, that the bitching about "traditional GMs" and "incoherent game designs" is just so plainly exhausting, that some will rather leave then to share the same ships with such a crowd.

or d) luke is right. We are the bad ones.

And seriously... who knows, which of these variants if not all of them, is correct. I don't.

Quote from: luke
But quality or efficiency of design do not determine popularity. Imperfect things become popular all the time.


So... what about perfect things. Are they becoming unpopular all the time? Because if so, I can really understand, why the big publishers produce imperfect things. They want their popularity. And if that is the way... (sorry, for the sarcasm, but I can not hold it any longer... Now I am calm again.)
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Kudos/Commentary: Q&A Thread, Luke Crane
« Reply #28 on: July 29, 2007, 09:16:24 AM »
A "Kudos" thread goes from everybody saying "Hey, this thread is interesting and everyone's doing a great job," to "Man, Luke sucks!  We're so cool, because our enemies are so lame!"

What a shame. :(
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Kudos/Commentary: Q&A Thread, Luke Crane
« Reply #29 on: July 29, 2007, 09:26:13 AM »
And our semi annual post from a story gamer chastising us for how we post!

Now, just a raving lunatic fringe post from Pundit, and we'll hit the perfecta!
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