thread: 2005-10-20 : The Fruitful Void

On 2005-11-08, Victor Gijsbers wrote:

What about this.

Good fiction almost always makes a point; but it does it in a very roundabout way. Why does it do that? Why is the roundabout way sometimes better than the straight-to-the-heart way? Why would we read all of "Crime and Punishment", instead of a 2-page essay about how humans cannot simply decide to free themselves from guilt and crime?

Because the point of good fiction always defies description. It is deeper, more complex and more subtle than could be expressed by simply stating it. Any attempt to extract the message from a work of fiction will do it an injustice by making shallow what used to be deep.

If you want the results of roleplaying to have depth, it is essential that the central message, the "what the story is about", is not explicitly expressed. You must never allow the rules to state the message, because that will transform it from something deep to something shallow.

The essential inexpressibility of the message of fiction requires that the rules of an RPG contain a fruitful void.


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