RPG Theory with Rigor, Part 2

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The problem with definitions
In the meantime, there has been a fairly lengthy debate of our first blogpost in which an old problem arose that has been marring the theoretical discussion of RPGs for a long time now: the question of how even basic terminology like games, role-playing games, story, etc. is being defined. Therefore, before continuing our efforts further below to introduce a greater amount of rigor into RPG theory, we need to have a look at these debates about definitions and the problem that definitions of even common terms pose… Read More

RPG Theory with Rigor (Warning: boring!)

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Rebuilding from the ground up

Role-Playing Game theory has a long, controversial history. A huge part of the problem is the lack of a solid foundation for theory – the establishment of some fundamental basics that can be considered largely uncontroversial, if not outright demonstrably true. Without such a foundation, things that should be uncontroversial become suddenly controversial in the context of heated debates about more advanced issues. This problem is being amplified by a prevalent lack of rigor in underlying one’s viewpoints or conceptions with argument: existing theories and models (or even just certain parts of existing theories and models) may or may not sound somewhat plausible, depending on your personal take, but without rigorous, compelling justification for choosing certain concepts and their relationships to each other, they have to be considered largely arbitrary… Read More

SIC Theory of Roleplaying

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Towards a better understanding

Part of the confusion regarding GNS theory comes from its abstract (if not occasionally weird) terminology and unclear definitions. In the following, we will try to substitute the terms Gamism, Narrativism and Simulationism with the more readily understood player priorities Success, Immersion and Creativity (note that there has been a change in order to make for a better acronym)… Read More