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GNS Theory, what do you think of it?

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Re: GNS Theory, what do you think of it?

Postby Jefferiot » Thu Feb 09, 2017 2:19 pm

Icefield wrote: . . . If you're not familiar with it here is a link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GNS_theory
. . . Anyway I see it as a way to understand each other and myself, what do you guys think?

Our games swing deeply between all three. We take simulation seriously one moment, then spoof it with narration or gamism, at a later moment. :lol:

On the other hand, I find that the narration or the gamism sometimes simulates behavior appropriate to the setting. Even spoofing may occasionally simulate a spoof that would belong to the setting. Sometimes the metagaming is less meta than the role-playing. :o

It's all good, because we don't come to a game just to beat the odds against the odd, just to run from the behavioral rigidity of the rat race, or just to go on tour in untoward towns, but also to socialize and keep the mind nimble. 8-)

We don't want to get permanently lost in games. We do have safeguards in place so we can make our way back to real life. By avoiding the hypnosis of electronic games, the immersion doesn't swallow us up. By swallowing cheesy snacks, we remember the rat race. By talking to one another out of character, we cheat schizophrenia. :?
Who to be or not to be. That is the question. --Jeffspeare
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Re: GNS Theory, what do you think of it?

Postby Icefield » Fri Feb 10, 2017 4:29 pm

nDervish wrote:
Icefield wrote:Thank you for posting this! I guess you were part of that original discussion and so If I could ask you did you mean for Alternate Reality Simulator to apply only to the game and not the person enjoying it?


Nope, I didn't even hear about any of this stuff until around the time that the Forge was shutting down. Probably around 2005 or so, when I started hanging out on rpg.net. But I've been told that Edwards came up with GNS in 2000 and I would guess that I started talking about "alternate reality simulators" sometime in the mid-90s or so, primarily as a reaction to all the WoD-inspired emphasis on RPGs as a form of telling stories, which is not a way that I've ever related to them. For me, RPGs are all about creating an alternate reality and then exploring it, or just living in it. Like any activity, people will tend to tell stories after the fact if they enjoy it or if memorable events happen, but the stories are not the point of the original activity. (I've also seen people asserting that the act of playing an RPG is itself the act of telling a story, but let's just say that I do not approach or experience it that way and leave it at that. I've already had enough long arguments about that and they never seem to go anywhere, so I'd rather not start another.)

Perhaps more to the point of the current conversation, my "alternate reality simulator" term is really just a description of what I like and how I relate to RPGs, not a part of any larger theory, so I can't answer your questions about how you fit into my (non-existent) personal taxonomy. The only reason I brought it up here is that, thanks to widespread awareness of GNS, I can't really use that description any more without people reading their own interpretation of GNS-Simulationism into it, when I'm actually using "simulator" in the common-language sense, not an RPG-theory-jargon sense.


Well I guess I take some comfort in your post because your description of what you like about playing with these worlds and spaces is very close to what I like, to the point of me feeling a bit less alone.
Dithering will only serve to waste your Action Points...
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