I've recently seen a few discussions here (Somebody should help these people understand story gaming
and more recently Help me understand: GM writes the plot
) which have looked at the role of the GM as the entertainer in a game, the one who presents a story, world, or plot which the players interact with through their characters only, rather than through any sort of larger control over the narrative. A lot of the people here (unsurprisingly perhaps) deeply dislike that sort of gaming, and it seems to me that a lot of the drive for shared world creation, narrative control, GM-less games and so forth comes not from the desire of the traditional GMs to share their power, but from a deep dislike of that sort of power relationship in the first place.
Now I took some of those discussions off the board and explained them to my (traditionalist) GURPS players (who include my wife). I explained about shared world creation, and shared story direction, and concepts like the players stepping back from the characters and conflicting about the story, rather than the results of actions, all the things that get mentioned here that are very far from 'GM as entertainer' and I was fascinated to find that they didn't like them at all. My wife, especially, was almost repulsed by the idea. They *Wanted* to be entertained in a roleplaying game. They wanted to be fully immersed in a single character and interact with the world only in that way, rather than through any meta system. They wanted me to present them with a world (something I am happy to do) for them to explore, investigate, fight and so on.
The way my wife put it was that, of course she wanted to influence the direction of the game, and the stories that were told, and the world itself, but she wanted to do that through the actions of her character, not in any meta sense. If she wanted her character to become head of her own church (as happened in one game) then she would do it by in-character actions, writing a holy book, preaching to the people, spending treasure on buildings, and so on, not by deciding at one remove that she would like that element introduced. Similarly if she was interested in a love affair and a romantic arc for the game she would do that by falling in love in-character and therefore making that important, not by deciding that there should be a romantic theme to the game. As far as she is concerned (and I am not trying to insult anyone) gaming that didn't involve full immersion in your character was not roleplaying at all. It might be gaming, but not roleplaying.
Now I happen to think that there are more things under heaven and earth (etc.) and that there are many styles of roleplaying on a huge spectrum, but I was very fascinated by how counter my player's views on what they wanted from a game were from many of the preferences I see here, so I thought the subject deserved a thread of its own.