thread: 2005-03-16 : Solo Play and Kid Play

On 2005-03-18, Tobias wrote:

A kind of Flow (Czikszentmihaly).

Perhaps solo-RPG play (other than CRPG) is less fun because it breaks flow - because you are required to perform both in-story as well as out-of story. "Out-of-story" being neccesary to introduce the game aspect, otherwise it's just fiction "writing itself".

Similarly, (adult) expectations/justifications can also break flow.

(Although, to refer to an earlier post, I'm not sure Kids don't do editing. I DID know which robot was going to win a bunch of (faux) conflicts). Sometimes the outcome was open, sometimes it wasn't).

(And, of course, Kids learning to play together has a strong parralel to gaming groups learning to play together - but that's another thread).

In CRPG games, the jarring effect is removed by smooth computer operation (hopefully), at the cost of computer limitations on flexibility.

Solo-RPG by the numbers books are just crude implementations of software versions.

Perhaps a Solo RPG could work by making the parts that are normally considered 'meta' to the story, part of the story.

Which is something I'm looking into with my solo-writing-code-of-unaris thing. I've got a (half-baked) setting where the role of the editor (and the rules forcing specific edits) both are an integral part of the setting, and applying them is as much story as the text you're editing.

I'm hoping it will be "an active, rules&self-collaborative, critical relationship [you will be critical of your own quality of editing both sentences and overall story when the rules force you to do something], you and another story-viewing and altering system working effectively together."

It may be a fiction-writing and consumption game, that allows you to take on a role (Of editor. With powers depending on your role (graphics editor, memory editor, chief editor, print editor). Close enough to (solo-)RPG?

I'm not convinced I'm good enough to design a game (or assist others with a state of mind) that shatters the expectations/justifications and just reverts you back to being able to do kid-play by yourself. (Although we could do a clinical study of solo-hobbyists that make sounds to themselves for longer than 20 seconds. ;) ). But if someone can.... who knows? I'm sure it has some benefits for group play as well, if that's more to people's liking.


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