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A GNS Question

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Apr. 25th, 2007 | 10:26 pm

John Kim's blog had a post about GNS and his interest or lack thereof these days. I have, as you know, been somewhat absent from this whole little mad field, myself, and I found myself thinking, "So what do I think about it these days?"

As I turn that over in my head, possibly profitably but possibly not, I have some questions for you. Please insert "and the Big Model" after GNS if that is helpful to you; I don't really care.

1. Do you find GNS useful in your current play?

2. Did you find it so in the past?

3. If you design games, do you think about this while you design (including general mulling over)?

4. Did you do so in the past?

5. Do you think that GNS should change and develop significantly?

6. Practically speaking, do you think it will change noticeably in the next year or so?

7. When you see someone make a GNS-based remark somewhere on the web, do you react with interest, annoyance, or what?

8. What is your overall assessment of what GNS has achieved in the past?

9. What is your assessment of its future?

You don't have to answer all that, obviously, but I am genuinely interested to know, as I see very, very different things about this.

Oh, one more thing: is it worth creating a poll like this? I've never done one.

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Comments {12}


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from: chadu
date: Apr. 26th, 2007 03:26 am (UTC)

To expand on #4, cursorily means that when designing my first games I thought, "Which is more important: the game, the narrative, or the simulation?" alongside thoughts of Everway's drama, fortune, and karma and Robin Laws' taxonomy of players.


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Some thoughts on GNS

from: silmenume
date: Apr. 26th, 2007 06:11 am (UTC)

1. At present, no. The Model is a failure of train wreck proportions at describing Sim play, while barely functional at describing Gamist play.

2. I don’t think GNS has ever really “helped my play,” but it has been indispensable in helping me understand just what IS going on in the game I play. Though, this has more to do with you Chris than the Model directly.

3. I never really had any plans to create a game, but I did have a vague notion about writing a book on “how to GM.” Hooooo boy! Did I ever learn a lesson or 57 about the nature of the hobby as a whole that put the kibosh on that effort. The more I learn the more I realize I don’ know.

4. See above.

5. I do think that GNS “should” change and develop in as much as any avocation ought to do anything.

6. This is a rather difficult question to ask. The primary locus for the GNS discussions has put an outright ban on GNS discussion. I just don’t believe that it would be possible to have any sort of fruitful “conversation” on this topic without some sort of a central clearing house.

7. Depends on what the remark was.

8. I think that GNS was a wonderful first attempt at a gaming Theory of Everything. It gave us some wonderful tools to work with. My ability to think about my own gaming experiences in a cogent manner has increased immeasurable.

9. Bleak. Given the above, unless the Model goes through some deep fundamental changes, it is a dead end. I would like to contribute to what ever fundamental changes that might arise, but given the dogmatic and ossified view of the Model held by its most vociferous defenders I am not very hopeful.

The value of the creation of this poll, such as this, is whether or not is helps you as the creator of this pole.

My 2 cents.

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Re: Some thoughts on GNS

from: jiituomas
date: Apr. 26th, 2007 11:11 am (UTC)

1.-4. Certainly not.

5. Hell, yes.

6. Hell, no.

7. Depends heavily on where I see it. Usually with interest, as it tends to denote at least some interest in analyzing role-playing beyond simple play.

8. It has given us some vocabulary, flawed but still convenient, which has fostered improved communication about the field.

9. GNS and its successors will survive, live and well, on the Forge and the post-Forge blogs for years. It will be alive and strong long after all the serious research and theory on role-playing has in reality made it completely obsolete.

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