On the What’s up with rpg and rewards?
thread it was suggested that there was a conflict between character immersion and story gaming. This is something I have seen before, as an implication rather than as an explicit statement, and it confuses me, because I just can't see it.
Maybe I'm being dumb? Maybe I'm missing something? Maybe no one is claiming this in the first place?
Why don't I see a conflict, two main reasons
(1) Most importantly because I don't see the interest in a story that has characters (as opposed to a story about a whole culture or whatever) that is not *all about* those characters, and if it all about them, then there is nothing to stop you being immersed in them too. I can live and breathe my character, and in the process of doing that tell a fascinating story about him or her. I can live from moment to moment and still bear in mind the goals and story arcs of what we are doing, and the eventual end that my character may come to, whether or not my character would like it.
I don't see anything magical in this, it's just what we do when we RP. I can't think of a campaign I've been in (since I was a child anyway) where the players were not always playing with this double perspective, what do *I the character* want and what do *I the player* want and what does *I the story* want. Sure there can be a tension there, but its a good tension and most people have no trouble with it at all (as suggested on the Player vs. Actor thread). Playing with one half of your mind in the character and the other in the story (or any other weighted split you like), is just what we do.
(2) People are good at following many different roles at once, it's what we all do all the time. In work I am an employee, but also I am me, and I can simultaneously hold two sets of goals, interests, and even viewpoints at the same time while there (e.g. I can hold the views of my company on a subject, and my own views, at once). Similarly in a game 99% of the time paying attention to both the story and my character at the same time is no harder than playing and keeping an eye on the clock for the bus at the same time.
But maybe others don't feel the same way?