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Who is having any actual confusion or stress about the term?
I think even people who don't feel strongly about the term "story game" would often like to be able to use it as shorthand for the kind of games they like.
Story Games is a discussion forum dedicated to role-playing games that focus on shared story creation. Many of the story games discussed on this site take their core from improv theater games (like in the TV show Whose Line Is It Anyway?), but are played around a table by describing what happens in the story, rather than by getting up and acting it out. A story game is a type of role-playing game experience with a lesser focus on "My Character" and a greater focus on "Our Story" (meaning the story that all the players at the table want to make). As an experience, most RPGs can be played "Story Games Style" with a little adjustment. As a game, some games are particularly created by their designers to aim for a meaningful 'Story Games' experience.A majority of the games discussed and created on Story Games are indie and/or small press games.
This is a discussion community for people talking about roleplaying games. It tends to center around smaller and indie games, but there's still good discussions to be had about larp and more mainstream games.
In my experience on the internet, the people who feel strongly about the term "story game" are people who want to be able to classify a whole swath of games as undesirable. Most often, this takes the form of something like, "We play real RPGs here; no story games allowed!"(For whatever reason, these people will often write the term as "storygame", a single composite noun.)When you take a strong stance like this, it becomes important to be able to draw a clear line somewhere. As far as this forum is concerned, despite its name, it seems to me that the participants enjoy a variety of games (as seen by all the threads about D&D and OSR lately, for instance). We've got discussions of everything from old-school D&D to read games to LARPs and miniatures gaming.I doubt we'd be able to settle on any kind of definition we'd all agree on. For me, that's another argument in favour of using the term "story game" as an umbrella term for all games which deal with and create narrative. I have no interest in pushing that on anyone else, though - you can use whatever terms you like with me however you want, so long as you're clear about what you mean.Now I'm really curious how it is causing people stress or confusion! Speak up and be maybe we can think of ways to clear that up.
Makes sense to me!As far as I can see, we've covered most definitions and uses I've ever heard of in this thread. Has anyone heard other uses or definitions?Do you have a personal preferred usage, Brendan?
I do think it is true that there are a lot of other types of games being played here. I've noticed a lot more old school topics. I've always assumed this was because of the impact of a game like Dungeon World. But would you say that is the case?
(For what it's worth, I'm a person who likes OSR-style gaming but has little interest in Dungeon World. And I'm hardly unique in that regard.)
I think we already have a term for PbtA games. It's "PbtA games".
@Airk , agreed, it's a reference with no description, an insider-only label.I'm not sure the category has all that much meaning to outsiders anyway, though? I suspect that, to care about the differences between Dungeon World and D&D, if you don't already know those games, probably requires more detailed discussion than any label's going to cover.