2010-03-18 : First game theory, second game theory
First-game theory tears down the distinctions that conventional wisdom has built up between things that are, in fact, similar. It bares the field of its accumulated nonsense. It shows the social bedrock upon which you build a game's design.
At this point you've been playing games for years or decades, and you want to design a game but you never have. You have insights, and lots and lots of experiences, good and bad, to base them upon. So encountering first-game theory is liberating. It shows you that you can design a game to do exactly what you want it to, to express these insights you've been developing unexpressed.
What's called for next, after you've designed your first game and as you're beginning to design your second, is NOT a further tearing down, NOR a fixed attention upon the bedrock. Those are liberating, and now you're at liberty. No, it wasn't the theory that designed your first game, it was your insights that did. What's called for next is a building up of insights, your own and others', into a working body.
So when I say I've been doing second-game theory, that's what I mean. "'System is the process by which the group decides what happens' is the foundation from which you begin to design, not the sum-all of design," I've been saying. Yes, all rpg rules are social, all rpg rules are about what should I contribute and how should I treat others' contributions, yes, yes. So, we've been doing that for years, time to bring it on. What should you contribute? How should you treat others' contributions?
1. On 2010-03-18, Rafu said:
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