thread: 2014-07-19 : Aside: Designing a Bell Curve

On 2014-07-21, Jesse Burneko wrote:

Vincent, I guess I'm a cynic.

RPGs are a collection of tools and instructions on how to apply those tools toward a specific end.  The "object" in your discussion.  And knowing how to use those tools effectively towards that object requires proper orientation and often practice.  All of your posts about "objects" and "strategy" and "style" assume a kind of intellectual honesty and integrity with regard to the game's design.

And this is where I guess I'm a cynic: I do not believe that the vast majority of self identified "gamers" approach RPGs with that kind of honesty and integrity.

Imagine someone buys a coffee table that requires assembly and then comes back complaining that it's an awful table.  But you look at it and they only attached three of the legs, part of it has been sawed off, and everything was put together with screws that didn't even come with the table.

So you ask them what the hell happened and they tell you that as a child they spent every summer with their grandfather who made ornately carved three legged end tables.  And they use this story to prove that they know how a table is made.  And they hold up the fourth leg of the coffee table and say they don't even understand what that's for.  And it had the wrong kind of screws.  And the coffee table was too short.  And it wasn't decorated enough.  It's clearly a terrible table because they spent every damn summer making tables with their grandfather.

You'd call this person a pig-headed idiot.  It's not even that their grandfather made bad tables.  It's just that they assume that how their grandfather made tables is how a table "is" and anything that deviates from that is a bad table.  They don't even try to approach a new and different table on its own terms to see if it fits their needs or different need.

So yeah, I guess I'm a cynic.  I'm much more inclined to think the majority of gamers are like that.



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