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"Realism" and "Fairness" . . .

... and the great bugaboo of Gamer Think. Ron Edwards is on his high horse over at the Forge, and god bless him, he's kicking ass. Check out this post of his about Social Contract and the way character abilities work in games. It's great stuff.


I'd also like to quote Chris (bankuei) from some posts of his on Matt's game blog.

Bankuei wrote:
"Unfortunately, there is not a single mainstream game that solidly lays out the idea of framing conflict outside of physics (even cinematic, anime, cartoon physics). We have zero mainstream examples to point people to in terms of reconsidering that resolution, and more importantly, conflicts, might be about something other than who can hit who, move faster, or carry more.

Regardless of how people in general feel about the various bits of the Big Model, [GNS theory] its most useful function is pointing out the differences and connections between system, people at the table, and imagined events- which is totally necessary for the purposes of understanding how to emulate something other than physics. It's utterly vital to break the myth that the imagined events "are real" or even need to be "realistic" in any sense. Once people recognize that it is the people at the table who create, and control the rules of creation- then it becomes open as any other art form."

Further related thoughts of mine:

Ayep. Art. Boardgames. Videogames. Card games. No where else are people caught on "realism" (except, perhaps some war games, but honestly, there's enough wargames not caught on realism to contrast it...).

Rpgs have no excuse for blindly following tradition.

Cool, Chris... I didn't know you had a blog. You are now linked.

I just spent the better part of an hour mulling over this post, looking at the source and at bankuei's blog, and writing a post of my own -- and I'm still not sure what I want to say! These two snippets really got my wheels turning, particularly along the lines of "how would rules for exerting player control look in D&D?"

In any case, great posts, bankuei. :)

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