Thursday, April 19, 2007

Self-Awareness in Gaming

This is a brief definition of Simulationist gaming:

"simulationist": is the style which values resolving in-game events based solely on game-world considerations, without allowing any meta-game concerns to affect the decision. Thus, a fully simulationist GM will not fudge results to save PCs or to save her plot, or even change facts unknown to the players. Such a GM may use meta-game considerations to decide meta-game issues like who is playing which character, whether to play out a conversation word for word, and so forth, but she will resolve actual in-game events based on what would "really" happen.

I am more of a Dramatist gamer:

"dramatist": is the style which values how well the in-game action creates a satisfying storyline. Different kinds of stories may be viewed as satisfying, depending on individual tastes, varying from fanciful pulp action to believable character drama. It is the end result of the story which is important.

Although when it comes to character activities I am a Gamist, I like player characters to have strengths and weaknesses that moderate their success and failure in game activities and can help give everyone a role within the game:

"gamist": is the style which values setting up a fair challenge for the players (as opposed to the PCs). The challenges may be tactical combat, intellectual mysteries, politics, or anything else. The players will try to solve the problems they are presented with, and in turn the GM will make these challenges solvable if they act intelligently within the contract.

This is where my simulationist bent comes in:

He (the game-master) is trying to actually find out what would "really" happen by modelling what is in the game world. Of course, it is impossible to perfectly simulate this, but he finds interest and value in the attempt.

But with the knowledge that it is a game, fictional, and impossible to accurately simulate "real" life anyway - which is where many game-masters fall down with failure to understand that what would "really" happen never would because the game isn't real.

Anyways this is from here if you are interested.

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