I'm not sure it's so much a definitional problem, outside of the bit where the concept of roleplaying style is completely ignored. Though, the essays in some of White Wolf's 2E-run books are pretty funny, what with the badwrongfun accusations. (And, by "funny," that should read "sad and depressing.")
But yeah, basically that's my position, too.
The real problem comes in defining the "role-playing" extent for a game. "Role-playing" is so broad a term that its more important to define it in the context of the game approach and style. For one game its about immersing yourselves in combat and "winning" loot, treasure, and gaining levels to measure "progress". In others, its the core of the experience and the gaming aspect is about story telling. Most systems can be used in both ways, but are more suited to one or the others. In some cases, its something together different or some hybrid. What really makes it almost insignificant is the GM (and/or full group) that customizes the rules and turns it into something to suit their own needs. People pick different settings and rule sets to accomplish what they want in terms of the experience they expect - then tweak it till out comes "their" version of "role-playing". I DO think its important for a system or setting to position itself in the approach that best suits it just so the group has an expectation of what it may take to harness it to their needs.
Thats a good point, Star Wars is something more gamers are familiar with. Playing the D6 system actually got me into reading Star Wars books. I even won a drafting design competition with some custom schematics for a light freighter and a starfighter I made.
For us, D&D was way different from Star Wars. We played it more like the original Final Fantasy (the SNES game hadn't quite hit the States) - fight monsters for treasure - than any of the literary sources or Tolkien (which I never read, and still haven't). Star Wars was Star Wars: the films set the expectation for crazy stunts and heroics.
Nice writeup, I remember introducing D6 Star Wars to my group during my freshmen year. It was a great success that led to many good memories.
I dunno how it was for you, but the West End Star Wars played a lot like 2nd edition D&D. There was just enough rules to make it easy to improvise as you went along.
For example, during the first adventure I GM'd in D6 Star Wars, my friend Damon decided to hurl his light-saber at a Lambda Shuttle as it was lifting off a landing pad. There weren't any rules for throwing light-sabers so it was just a judgment call.
His light-saber didn't have a dead-mans switch so the blade would stay lit and with enough spin it could theoretically chop its way through the durasteel wing and cause it to crash. Great moment.
My only real gripe about D6 Star Wars was the whole "space-unit" thing for starship combat. Nowhere in the book did it actually say how big a space-unit was supposed to be, which made the whole thing kinda hard to figure out and visualize.
You're wrong about fun being the only goal; its just far and away the most common. Other goals include minor forms of therapy, using a published game as the medium; and exploration of a very specific theme, which doesn't preclude fun, but isn't the purpose. It's like any other medium, really - "entertainment" in the "keeping a thought in mind" sense, rather than strictly "amusement." Spot on 'bout 'fun' being wildly variant, though.
Also, I didn't say "have respect," I said "show respect." Semantic, but important difference. To use your example, you have the right of non-interference in your games; showing respect would be acknowledging others also have that right, regardless of how they play. (Also, not using labels in manners to wedge folks outside the 'in-group.')
The bedroom analogy is pretty apt, but maybe not in the manner you intended: There's more than one reason to engage in the activity, and there are vocal groups who wish to enshrine a very narrow belief on the whole, excluding anyone does things differently. In both cases, you're most likely not going to conflict with the exclusionary definitions, so you might not see the issue for those who fall outside the 'traditional.'
Actually, there is only one goal to the hobby... having fun.
And that is where the problem lies.
My definition of "fun" may be different than yours... and most probably is. It's when poopyheads don't realize that it is meant to be fun for ALL - and that play styles may differ - that they get upset and denigrate styles. When minds close up and people think that there is only ONE way to enjoy this stuff, THEN people get upset.
Personally, I think that a 100% combat game is tantamount to playing Risk... and not worth the time it takes to roll up a character (or set up the board). HOWEVER, I realize that there are people out there that love it... so I don't bother. It's just like sex... different strokes for different folks... and as long as you stay out of my bedroom, I feel that you can do whatever you like. No - really - stay out of my bedroom, cuz my wife would get REALLY ticked at me... ;-)
Why do I have to have "respect" for combat gamers? I don't like it, so I ignore it. Someone wants to talk about it on here, I just avoid the thread. I don't feel that the battle needed to show them that they are "wrong" is worth the effort. This is also one of the reasons I talk to players before rolling up characters... if they don't like my style of play, they are welcome to leave. We aren't going to agree on everything, but one thing we NEED to agree upon is that EVERYONE around the table has a good time.
And in closing, I DO believe in turning the other cheek... to get better leverage to punch them back.... but I tend to agree with your ideal as well.
There's a difference between attacking an argument, and attacking the person making the argument. There are folks here with whom I've had some good conversations, that would not have been possible if we were just blasting each others' play styles. We don't agree, but I respect the difference of opinion (and, frankly, that's what makes the exercise worth the effort, to me).
Denigrating another's play style for not being yours is, in essence, claiming that there's one goal to the hobby (which there isn't), and one method of reaching that goal (which there isn't). It's a bad argument to continue the claim unchanged after it's been challenged, which is what's happened several times recently. (I'd dig up the links, but I'm in a hurry today. Maybe after class.)
Also, it absolutely matters in what spirit a comment is made: A Friar's Club roast is funny, because the roasters *do* have respect for their target, and this is one method for them to show it. Your "poopyhead" comment is clearly intended in jest, and isn't a "real" insult. Other comments I've seen are either unclear, or clearly *not* in good spirit. (Ex. How long do edition war threads last here?)
Slurring a play style for being different doesn't show respect for that style; it's defining the hobby in such a manner that anyone who plays in a manner not yours isn't really a part of it, and that's a ridiculous claim. Mostly a self-interested defense, as I'm almost certain my preference for a strong "game" element goes against quite a few styles.
(Also, as someone who was picked on a lot in school, for lots of reasons - including, but not limited to my stature, my parents' decisions - it's a bit personal. As you might guess, I absolutely do not subscribe to the 'suck it up' philosophy. There's a flip side to "turn the other cheek," and it's "don't put someone in that position to start.")
But Sascha, RPG's are the same as everything else on the planet.
I have these political beliefs - you have those beliefs - I think you are wrong - you think I am wrong.
I have these religious beliefs - you have those beliefs - I think you are wrong - you think I am wrong.
I think sorcerers rule, you think wizards are the schizznit - and East is East and West is West, and never the twain shall meet.
It's all differences of opinion. Granted, you will find that those that are more erudite and wise can argue their point without calling you a poopyhead for holding your beliefs... but some haven't hit that level of intellectual sophistication... thus, you end up being called a poopyhead.
It is particularly bad when these beliefs - or to use another term - VALUES - are strongly held. Abortion, euthanasia, homosexuality, steak-v-lobster, we all have out topics that are OMG important to us. Some may find absolutely no value in even attempting to role play a wizard/druid/warrior/rouge - or even a rogue!! If you say you LIKE it, you are saying something that they have problems comprehending. "What?!?! You LIKE to eat BABIES?!?!?!?!" and you are treated according to the amount you make their brain hurt. If I can't fathom the idea of playing X versus Y, and you say you like the other way, how can you hold my values against me if I tell you just how silly you are for playing the other way?
By your very blog in which you blast people for "elitism", you are practicing a form of elitism in that you expect everyone to be as accepting as you.
In effect, you have called those that don't agree with you, poopyheads.
So... in response. You are a double-poopyhead. So there!
(sorry, in a debating mood... thank you for letting me poke holes in your blog entry!)
It's Deconstruction and the 4th Wall, man. In fact you could really highlight this by using, say, D&D4e for the online game... but then one session suddenly whip out Twilight 2013, or Shadowrun, or some other completely non-d20 system and tell the players, "Make your characters' players: The game has left the monitor." Suddenly you're in the real world (yet another deconstruction, as this sense of "real" and "player" is yet again a step away from our sense of it). Rules in the Real World are different (that's why I suggest a non-d20 system), but the threats are linked. A rival Guild takes it too far? The ever-improving AI of BeastWorldMMO suddenly becomes SkyNet? Also, to what end? It could be the problem can only be solved in the Real World. Or maybe it's the opposite, you're using the Real World to highlight how the Players (not the ones at your table, but the Players characters who are Players of their Characters... this is going to make me dizzy) may be neurotic, addicts, lazy, etc according to the Real World, but their power (you could go all Neitzschean or Pseudo-Neitzsche with that) comes when they enter the game world and become one with their Character, creating a classic god-avatar scenario...
The mind boggles at the possibilities. Sascha, excellent concept. It's easy to dismiss (as others have proven, and as I initially did too), so good on you for looking beyond the surface.
D'oh! Why didn't I make the TRON connection? Flynn's a good model for players in this little thought experiment.
Sounds like sort of Tron-ish scenario. Could be intriguing... but since i stay away from MMO's mostly it would probably not interest me as a player. As a GM, that sounds challenging for the novelty of it.
It's taking the familiar (fantasy roleplaying) and turning it sideways. Source-wise, Mystic Revolution and .hack both play with the idea. The game-within-the-game aspect appeals to me, as a means of humor and commentary, and as a vehicle for the types of interpersonal drama (dramedy, really) I enjoy, both in tabletop games and other media. It's also a method of repackaging stock fantasy into something I find interesting, especially of the epic or high fantasy flavors (which I find quite dull).
What can you steal from MMO's and CRPG's that will work in table top? The crafting system and the collecting components maybe. I think the adventure design in CRPG's is generally better than in table top games (although completely linear and un-improvable <-- that's not a word). The better question is as Farcaster says, "why would you want to?"
Making a table top game like an MMO, is like trying to make a chicken more like an egg...
Personally I have never played an RPG that comes anywhere close to the table top experience. Maybe Fallout or Planescape Torment were the closest? But that's like comparing tofu to meat. They are just different and I'd argue the table top experience is better, if less consistently so.
Is the artificial construct of the MMO so intriguing that we'd actually like to sit around a table and roleplay people who are playing an online game? I don't quite get why this would be appealing. MMOs for me are a virtual realization of the RP experience, but they have serious limitations. This is the advantage of table-top games over digital ones. The game is only limited by the imagination of the Dungeon Master and the players. When I come to the gaming table to play D&D, the last thing I want to strive for is replicating the MMO experience.
But, that's me...
The first episode is up.
Excellent point, also I love the Daily show, and look! You made it without quoting a single person!
Heh, you might be misunderstanding me there; I don't particularly *want* hobbits in a game, and halfling divergence from that Tolkien influence was one of the better things about 3E. Their 4E incarnation is, at the very least, more interesting than in previous editions. If it were solely my call, I'd turn 'em fey, all of 'em, and map them to Changeling: the Dreaming kiths. But, I like collaborative setting design, so it's not only my world
(All in all, the tone shift from high fantasy back to pulp fantasy is what I love most about 4E, by Crom.)
Course, at the current moment, it's all theoretical; there may be room for D&D somewhere, but TMNT & Other Strangeness is getting first run.
More on the topic..... I was a bomb maniac too (please don't cancel me from your post if you are a Maniac maniac of wing commander3).....(i must continue ..... where is a good trama in games today??.... my ode to bethesda best works).....
Bombing was funny , i had no training and I had an hard time taking it from 2d to 3d... Damaging was so funny then..... I was younger
Wooooaaa!!!! I played a mindflayer in Star wars d6 not controlled by the wizard version of the game.... Yes my best skill was my mind blast(this one taken by the 2nd ed D&d)... I had this wonderful armor given by the masterbrain(as always) and a super visor.... both were dstroyed in front of me by a group of desert scoundrels (the mistery was why they didnt kill me outright) before i went surfing in wUrm es ai... My master was a little sadical... there i found my group, a jedy without force or robotech nology......I prefer the long time ago version of the game if you have no force you don't write it on your sheet(still you use the key ability ((wis)) when needed)