thread: 2008-09-29 : Creative Tension

On 2008-09-30, Ben Lehman wrote:

So, this is interesting, and maybe apropos.

In Polaris, I almost put in a "no, no, no" key phrase that would have allowed three players to directly override the last players' input without systematic recourse. Basically just "no, that's not cool."

On the one hand, this does protect against stupidity.

In the end, I decided not to include the phrase. At the time, it was a combination of gut instinct, a desire to remove sub-systems, and a general though that, if I mentioned it, it would probably be over-used.

However, now having played the game more, I think that it was a better idea not to include the phrase than I originally thought. In short, the fact that, in Polaris, it is possible for one player to contribute something to the fiction without the oversight or say-so of any other player (hard, yes, but possible with proper systematic maneuvering) is a good thing.

Even if everyone else thinks "that's lame, let's not do that," the game gives a space to basically say "no, trust me guys, it's going to be cool eventually." And, from what I've seen, that trust (placed by me in the players of my game) isn't generally violated: letting someone endure the eye-rolls for their "uncool" contribution often pays huge dividends later, when it turns out to be an important hinge of the game.



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