Friday, March 28, 2014

Everything carries baggage

For those who read my post from yesterday about how game systems might colour your experience when converting a setting, this is a good read.

The big thing is how things are presented in Ron Edwards game Circle of Hands and how some attitudes about controversial things can seep into a game text in a way not intended. Sometimes a text might be coloured by your views, and sometimes your views are so natural to you that you do not write them out, which also colour it. Ron has already revised the text for it to clearer reflect his views on these topics and it will make it a better game I'm sure.

Naturally, the lesson here is how not only the game rules, but also the game text can carry meaning and sometimes even baggage you did not intent it to. It pays to have an open mind.

Some people say they just want to kill some orcs and relax among their friends. Sure, that's fine. But, this conversation between Ron and the owner of the Go Make Me a Sandwich blog (who I for the life of me can't find the name of anywhere!) brings out an interesting potential as well.

Instead of having a game carry unintended baggage, bring it out into the open! In a post-apocalyptic game I ran last year we had some quite interesting sessions where the conflict between the owner of a sawmill and the sawmill workers escalated and involved the players. My political views was not a hidden agenda, it was up for debate, forcefully so! We had great fun and it worked out ok. It pays to have an open mind, right?

While I think you have to tread carefully, I think this hobby of ours can even handle problematic issues like sexism and rape (and just plain politics). Unless you game with dickheads, and you don't do that, do you? Good.

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