Matters of Perspective

Some people see a glass half full. Some, half empty. Others see no glass, no water. Others might pick up the glass and guzzle the liquid down with a resounding belch or a quiet murmur.

We all see things differently and have different priorities and expectations in our game experiences.

Some want slow burns. Some want fast action. Some want character studies. Some want to explore another world. Some want an accumulation of power and prestige in an imaginative world. Others want to chase a memory, a mystery, a glimpse of something spontaneous. 

Commonality must be sought. Deep, deep down the spiral staircase, regardless of surface reasons (admissions?), everyone wants to escape their head.

Rules should recede. Rules should become second nature.

Rules should challenge. Rules should be rigidly structured and immensely flexible.

Games should be self-contained and imminently scalable.

There should be clarity in the chaos.

How much comes from rules systems or settings or some strange chemistry between the two?

I muse about all these mantras and seek enlightenment in the strangest places.

I read books of philosophy and history and watch postmodern shaman speak about their experiences, including those who use computers to make quantum contact.

I distill it down into my experience and look at things from many different perspectives, many different levels.

Facts are not always fun. People cannot be expected to remember a million things, but one should never insult the intelligent of one’s audience. There is a difference between streamlined and dumbed down, after all. An intelligent convergence of rules and systems can lighten the load of player and GM (or whatever they may be called) to best enable all to focus on the fun.

The essence of an experience must ever be pursued. To catch a fair bit of starlight from a fairy tale, to capture the dreary whisper of an unbidden thing beyond time and space, to dance upon an alien planet amidst the burning stars, to hold a slice of time and devour it, remember it, and bring it to life once more upon the page. To convey the spirit of another time, another life, another you, another me, is perhaps one of the greatest mysteries of any architect of words, be they writer, game designer, biographer, historian, or futurist.  Even with all this power, words lie slumbering until a reader stumbles upon them and brings them once more to life.

Until next time, I bid you, dear reader, adieu.


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