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'The Role we don't play' Opinion piece from the Codex


Girias_Solo

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It doesn't take much tow rite off thata rticle. For one, it's boring. Two, it says nothing new coming from the Codex. Three, a lot of it simply is illogical. Fourthly, some of it is simply wrong.

 

Don't get me wrong, some of it is very true and accurate. But, not enough, to give it a thumbs up. Maybe a thumbs in the middle though.

 

 

:*:wub:

Edited by Volourn

DWARVES IN PROJECT ETERNITY = VOLOURN HAS PLEDGED $250.

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It makes a lot of jumps in logic and makes very one dimensional comparisons between video games and cinema. It assumes that because movie adaptations of games tend to work differently than the games themselves, that it is the games that have flaws in their narrative structure. This is an incredibly poor argument, and he never explores it in any manner that could be called intelligent.

My blood! He punched out all my blood! - Meet the Sandvich

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The fact that he thinks 'old school role-playings' were ever into actual role-playing. the majority of themw ere dungeon crawls (he mentions that at the start that that's the start of it; but he implies if not outright says that) new RPGs are adding more story and taking away role-playing to do so. This isn't true. This would only be true if FO was a symbol of old school role-playing. It relaly isn't. FO was always an exception to the rule.

 

The GB games, the M&M, and the Wizardries are the symbols of old school role-playing. So ar ethe Final Fantasies which outside of the firts couple always focused on the story.

 

If anything, newer RPGs - while heavily focused on story 9which the article is right about)a re actually adding MORE role-playing than your typical 'old school rpg'.

 

So, like I said, he's half write and half wrong.

DWARVES IN PROJECT ETERNITY = VOLOURN HAS PLEDGED $250.

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Im afraid I didn't see that part Joseph. Perhaps you could copy and paste?

 

Volly, I agree with what you say in regards to older RPG's, though I would add that Wasteland clearly belongs in the 'Roleplaying' inbox here. Many of the quests could be completed in different ways, with outcomes ingame depending on the players actions. But yes, many of the old RPG's are dungeon crawlers.

 

Don't forget that the writer is talking about the direction where RPG's should be going, not talking about heading back to.

Edited by Girias_Solo
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Yeha, that's fine. Not that I neccessarily agree 9or disagree); but that's a fair opinion.

 

The problem is that he states that he feels newer rpgs are taking away role-playing for more story focus. This comaprison basically syas that olde rpgs were more role-palying focused. This simply isn't true (noteable exemptions notwithstanding, of course).

 

That's the problem.

 

He'd be better off stating that current RPGS focused too much on story, and the author would prefer they focus less on story, and focus more on role-playing. That's his main point which is a fair assessment 'cause that itself is true.

DWARVES IN PROJECT ETERNITY = VOLOURN HAS PLEDGED $250.

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Im afraid I didn't see that part Joseph. Perhaps you could copy and paste?

 

Volly, I agree with what you say in regards to older RPG's, though I would add that Wasteland clearly belongs in the 'Roleplaying' inbox here. Many of the quests could be completed in different ways, with outcomes ingame depending on the players actions. But yes, many of the old RPG's are dungeon crawlers.

 

Don't forget that the writer is talking about the direction where RPG's should be going, not talking about heading back to.

 

 

From the article:

 

What is commonly described as videogame narrative is more of a pastiche of narrative elements than an analogue of traditional narrative found on other mediums. To illustrate this point, consider a videogame and a theoretical movie adaptation of said videogame. Any such example would be confronted with an obvious truth - a videogame contains a dynamic system of events that is not translated into a movie based on it; we can reduce or explain a game experience or session by narrating the events by the order we experienced them, but the account will not be in any way similar to the experience the games provide on an individual basis. The long journey that the PC in Arcanum must do from the IFS Zephyr to the final stages of the game are a gameplay experience that would never translate well into a movie because most of the experience is governed by the dynamic systems the game is based on – combat, character building, character dialogue that take into account character race or ability scores, and interaction with surroundings. Gameplay events such as rummaging in garbage bins looking for items to combine, gambling with sailors in the docs, asking everyone in town for rumours or managing an inventory are situations which elicit no favourable response from a movie audience. Since movies are based on a selection of specific and relevant events, the movie itself may not contain a recognizable narrative to players who experienced the game in a different way. On the other hand, the kind of narrative that a movie is based on would make up for a rather dull experience on the videogame spectrum since for it to function it requires that the central characters are set on a linear path across the previously established temporal sequence of events; an immutable chain of situations which converge onto a predetermined path based on predetermined situations.

 

 

He 1) has a very narrow idea of narrative structure, both in games and the cinema, and 2) doesn't use great examples for games and has no comparison film to set against the situations in the game. He seems to be very set in a Hollywood action / horror film idea of the cinema, and is definitely not considering many alternate genre and narrative styles that do not include only the most relevant scenes to the story.

 

He also seems that games damage their narrative structure by including gameplay elements. I'm not sure if this is really the case in all games, and it seems a shallow way to examine the dynamics of an interactive experience.

My blood! He punched out all my blood! - Meet the Sandvich

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He'd be better off stating that current RPGS focused too much on story, and the author would prefer they focus less on story, and focus more on role-playing. That's his main point which is a fair assessment 'cause that itself is true.

 

Thats the conclusion I came to (More Roleplaying, less on story) as well. Thats why I didn't understand where you were coming from at first. Got it now. :)

 

He also seems that games damage their narrative structure by including gameplay elements. I'm not sure if this is really the case in all games, and it seems a shallow way to examine the dynamics of an interactive experience.

 

Hmm, the general theme I took away from this part was actually that the player should be given more discretion in choices, instead of having a 'movie' forced upon them and thus having a forced action. For example if a something happens to someone during a movie or cutscene, and the player is at hand with an item or power that can change the outcome of this movie/cutscene, it tends to focus less on roleplaying and choice and more on forcing the player into a situation regardless of what is at hand. The movie referances that he put here are supposed to outline the differences between the mediums of gaming and film, though I agree that he only briefly sketches on this here.

 

Still, I believe his ultimate argument to be sound.

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Hmm, the general theme I took away from this part was actually that the player should be given more discretion in choices, instead of having a 'movie' forced upon them and thus having a forced action. For example if a something happens to someone during a movie or cutscene, and the player is at hand with an item or power that can change the outcome of this movie/cutscene, it tends to focus less on roleplaying and choice and more on forcing the player into a situation regardless of what is at hand. The movie referances that he put here are supposed to outline the differences between the mediums of gaming and film, though I agree that he only briefly sketches on this here.

 

Still, I believe his ultimate argument to be sound.

 

I have no idea how you get that from what I quoted.

 

I think if there is an ultimate argument to this article, he has done a very poor job of supporting it, and much of his evidence is shoddily constructed. I've read and written papers on the interaction between film and interactive media, as well as the narrative structures that can be found in both. This paper takes a very small sampling from both mediums, apparently chosen only to support a theory that doesn't even fit his small sampling. This paper new what it wanted to say before he looked at the media, and did not bother to actually examine the experiences and narratives of the games he mentions.

 

It's a weakly constructed argument, and proves true only for the most selective samples from both film and RPG games.

 

I don't know if you wrote this or something Girias, but I don't know what you see as the strengths of the argument in this article. Any argument that is built on faulty evidence is lacking.

My blood! He punched out all my blood! - Meet the Sandvich

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This is coming from a site that makes fake interviews and fake game pics to promote their narrow-minded agenda. Why should they have any level of credibility?

Murphy's Law of Computer Gaming: The listed minimum specifications written on the box by the publisher are not the minimum specifications of the game set by the developer.

 

@\NightandtheShape/@ - "Because you're a bizzare strange deranged human?"

Walsingham- "Sand - always rushing around, stirring up apathy."

Joseph Bulock - "Another headache, courtesy of Sand"

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This is coming from a site that makes fake interviews and fake game pics to promote their narrow-minded agenda. Why should they have any level of credibility?

 

What is it with you making sense and being moderately reasonable lately?

My blood! He punched out all my blood! - Meet the Sandvich

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What is it with you making sense and being moderately reasonable lately?

 

Lack of sleep. :)

Murphy's Law of Computer Gaming: The listed minimum specifications written on the box by the publisher are not the minimum specifications of the game set by the developer.

 

@\NightandtheShape/@ - "Because you're a bizzare strange deranged human?"

Walsingham- "Sand - always rushing around, stirring up apathy."

Joseph Bulock - "Another headache, courtesy of Sand"

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What is it with you making sense and being moderately reasonable lately?

 

Lack of sleep. :)

 

I loved this exchange. I'm usually not a big Codex fan, but sometimes, even when I disagree with their overarching point, I might agree with individual members. For example, Vol is absolutely right about the old skool rpgs.

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codex is always good for a chuckle. not everything from codex is terrible, but their pov is so extreme, and they is so darn certain of their conclusions (in spite of often bad logic or horrible reasoning,) that debate is largely pointless.

 

codexian staff likes to start with an initially flawed premise, which they assume is unassailable and undeniable, then they simply run with it... extrapolate out to some ridiculous conclusion which they then declare Proved.

"If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence."Justice Louis Brandeis, Concurring, Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357 (1927)

"Im indifferent to almost any murder as long as it doesn't affect me or mine."--Gfted1 (September 30, 2019)

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"I might agree with individual members. For example, Vol is absolutely right about the old skool rpgs."

 

I'm not your typical Codexer.

 

 

"Care to share some?"

 

If I wanted to discuss your article with Codexers, I'd have replied to it there. It was shared here, and I decided to share my opinions with Obsidianites.

 

Codex has enough I N T E R N E T D R A M A going on.

 

R00fles!

Edited by Volourn

DWARVES IN PROJECT ETERNITY = VOLOURN HAS PLEDGED $250.

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The problem of comparing films to CRPGs is that is it is a false comparison for one key element: Interaction. Even the most linear of games, CRPG or not, has a level of interaction that draws in the player to continue playing while a film, regardless of genre and themes, do not have that level of interaction. In cinematic CRPGs, there are indeed elements borrowed from films, such as camera angles, dramatic posturing, and the like but there is still a measure of interaction that sets it apart. Given the newer technologies we have today compared to 10 years ago we can actually show not only the action of the game but also the reactions and actions of characters in both inflection of their voice, movements in their genstures, and facial expressions. So instead of being "told" in text that a character is acting in a certain way or reacting in a specific matter we are shown.

 

Anyway, that is how I see it. If one does not like the way CRPGs are being made today, as a consumer, you have the option of not buying the games. Vote with the wallet as they say for the video game industry is a business and it will go where the money is. If there is money to be found in "old school" CRPGs then they will be made. If not, they won't. Either move with the times and have fun for what the newer games are or find a different hobby. Plain and simple.

Murphy's Law of Computer Gaming: The listed minimum specifications written on the box by the publisher are not the minimum specifications of the game set by the developer.

 

@\NightandtheShape/@ - "Because you're a bizzare strange deranged human?"

Walsingham- "Sand - always rushing around, stirring up apathy."

Joseph Bulock - "Another headache, courtesy of Sand"

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If I wanted to discuss your article with Codexers, I'd have replied to it there. It was shared here, and I decided to share my opinions with Obsidianites.

 

Codex has enough I N T E R N E T D R A M A going on.

 

R00fles!

 

If there were ever any doubts your answers rarely manage to comply to the questions that preceded them, the above dispeled them all.

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I didn't read it all (it's too big to read in front of a computer screen), so if I say something irrelevant, please ignore me.

 

He seems to believe that role-playing and storytelling are contradictory while I think that are in basis the same thing. If there is no story in a game (and I believe that it is the most important aspect of an RPG) then there exists no reason to role-play. Why go and talk to that guy in order to steal his purse if I don't need the money to pay the shadow thieves and save Imoen? (I think the example makes clear what I am trying to say). Without a story the game gives you no reason to interact with characters in a game while you can go out and talk to your friend.

 

Another thing he doesn't appear to understand (even though he mentions it) is that we are talking about a video game. There is no actual GM to hear what the player wants to do and create the story so that it affects the player in a way he wants to. When a designer makes a video game he is bound (in order to make something interesting for me to play) to have a story (before he releases the game). The designer cannot read our minds and create things what we would personally like to do in a game. They have to make one thing for everyone.

 

And let's face it, if we really want to role-play we must pretend. While playing a game we can find a harlot and we kill her while screaming "I am Jack the Ripper!", but that is not role-playing. That is, doing something stupid in a hypothetical life that we wouldn't do in the world we experience as real. To role-play means that you will think the consequences of your actions.

 

For example: In a DnD session while I was GMing the players were interrogating a crazy mage who was in prison and would also be interrogated by the city guard. One of my players said: "I go and kill him because he is driving me crazy with his stupid answers". I told him that his character wouldn't do that because he knew that he would be killed for crimes against the city (as that man was crucial to a series of murders). But, again, in a video game there is no GM to stop you from doing things. If you have a paladin in your party you can't blame the designer of the game if you put him to kill a kid. You can't role-play if you don't want to role-play.

 

 

I don't even think that implementing a whole world in a game, with every NPC having a unique story and living a unique life with intelligence comparable to a human, where things happen with the passing of time, would stop players from doing things they are not supposed to do, because they have the freedom of loading.

 

 

In the end the only thing that would stop them would be a law system that uninstalls the game from your computer and never allow you to play again if you die once. :)

I think therefore I am?

Could be!

Or is it really someone else

Who only thinks he's me?

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The problem of comparing films to CRPGs is that is it is a false comparison for one key element: Interaction.

 

Words fail me, though "WTF?" would come pretty close. Did you read the article or didn't you felt like it but still wanted to simultaneously post something to increase your post count as well as trying to give the idea you read it and therefore try to become relevant to the discussion? I suspect you assumed the article was about a direct comparison between both mediums after you gave a selective glance over some people's posts. Which would be fine, except assuming the issue of interaction was neglected when it was one of the primary points of the article pretty much killed any chances of that being taken seriously. The rest of the text where you go "move with the times" and "old school yadda yadda yadda" is also amusing and irrelevant since none of it is a hymn to dungeon crawlers nor a manifesto against contemporary games.

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