Posted by Nathan P. on December 18, 2005
In this Forge thread, Sydney Freedberg said:
“Hey, don’t prejudge us — or your own group, or even yourself. Now that I’m versed in Forge theory and understand not only that different people like different games but also that certain personalities do best with certain mechanics, I’m way less prone to write someone off as a “poor roleplayer” or “a powergamer” or “a munchkin,” and way more likely to think, “oh, he likes to do [this thing], I bet if we played [insert other game here] with him, we’d have a lot more fun.” It’s easy to think of Forge theory (especially GNS) as a device for labelling people as one type of gamer forever; in fact it’s a tool for figuring out that you can have different kinds of fun with different kinds of people, as long as you don’t insist on your own One True Way of Fun with people who are into something else.”
Exact same thing happened to me. I think it’s easy to forget the point of the Big Model, especially when we start getting into more esoteric (though exciting) bits of it. And it’s one of those so-basic-why-would-you-even-not-think-of-it-things. Of course, different people like different things! And when you get two people together that don’t both like what they are doing, there’s going to be conflict! Duh!
But the Big Model gives us the second part, the “I bet if we played [insert other game] here” part, or at least a start on it. As players, it gives a common vocabulary (though sometimes bizarre) to talk about why we like different games. As designers, it gives us insight into what choices we want to make, and why we are making them. And all of that, to me, is awesome.
I dunno. Every so often I need to remind myself of these basics.