thread: 2012-11-20 : Positioning: My Premature Conclusion

On 2012-11-21, David B wrote:

I'm struggling with your "second construction" of the lumpley principle, that "Roleplaying is a social act" and what that implies about the first construction, that "However you and your friends, moment to moment, establish and agree to what's happening in your game, that's your game's system." Because, you know, Chess, Scrabble, and chatting with strangers at the bus stop are social acts too, if you take "social act" to mean that it involves other people.

It's not just that roleplaying is an activity with other people, but that roleplaying is defined by the unique mix of people your bring to it, right? In this aspect it has more in common with chatting with strangers at the bus stop than with Chess and Scrabble, because it's flexible and open to the personalities, interests, and feelings of the players in a way that doesn't fit within a regular game's more limited parameters.

I think you're saying that this allowance—nay, invitation—for a piece of each player's own unique self in the rules of the game is what opens the door to fictional positioning, and fictional positioning is the little baby that comes out when the group's personalities and the game rules come together.

(I would suggest that there are other... erm... babies? that could result from the union of personalities and a different sort of game rules (such as Dixit), but as far as roleplaying games are concerned, this is certainly the hallmark.)


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