This is split off from "What is 'system'?
Posted By: TomasHVMPosted By: jhkimI don't agree that the fiction is the "aim of it all". A game has both fictional narrative and meta-game narrative. Both of these are part of the experience.
Yes, they are, but a role-playing game without any fiction would be quite aimless. The fiction is indeed the aim of "it all" (read that as "the game", if you like). People may have other goals in their gaming (getting laid, meeting friends, etc.), but that is outside the realm of the game, as such.
Please explain your "meta-game narrative", and how it may be said to be an aim ofthe game
. I do realize that a designer want his game to be played in specific ways, and that may be a design-goal for him. Playing the game in a specific way is still not the aim of the game. The game is always directed towards the fiction;
- How do we produce it?
- What will it be?
- How will it engage us?
It is important to your understanding of role-playing games, jhkim, that you realize the fact that such games are reallyaimed at the fiction
. There is no way around this. As an arrow seeks out its target, an rpg seeks out its fiction. It may miss, but that is besides the point. (lol)
Of course; we have to be open to the possibility that someone may want to design a game of purpose beyond the fiction. Say: you may want to design a game that gets all the players laid, for real. Someone would surely play it ... ;-)
I'm going to offer two hypothetical but common cases to compare:
1) The GM invokes her authority and narrates how a particular conflict goes down.
2) The players compete by a hand of cards in the meta-game, and the winner of this narrates how a particular conflict goes down.
In both of these hypothetical cases, the fictional result is identical
. i.e. The exact same words are spoken with the same intonation to describe what happens in the game world. However, the meta-game experience is vastly different.
In general, for players the experience of play is not just the fiction that results - but also how that fiction came about
. There is a level of game-play beyond what is in the fiction - what I would call the "meta-game" (i.e. which player narrates this result) as opposed to the "out of game" (i.e. will I get laid after the game). I'll leave this at that for the moment.