thread: 2013-08-02 : Conversations and Games

On 2013-08-07, Vincent wrote:

-J Sure. There are a couple of important things to make clear first.

Games can have cooperative goals. Examples include The Lord of the Rings Boardgame and Red November. In these games, the group of players takes a united side against the game design.

Games can have goals that don’t include winning and losing. Examples include Eat Poop You Cat and (some ways of playing) Minecraft. In these games, the object of the game is quite legitimately to see what will happen, given the constraints of the rules.

Most RPGs’ objects are cooperative and don’t include winning/losing, including all of mine before Murderous Ghosts.

The object of Apocalypse World is very explicit in the text. It’s to find out what these characters will make of the world they’re in. It’s a cooperative goal, without winning and losing. The tension in gameplay nevertheless comes, as always, from the uncertainty built into gameplay.

I haven’t looked back at my older games for their stated objects of play (except, by chance, Dogs in the Vineyard). I’d expect them to be less explicit.

But I did pull a stack of games off my shelf and look for stated objects of play in them. Surprisingly many had them. I’ll write about it soon. Meanwhile, especially given this idea of cooperative and non-victory-oriented goals, I think if you look you’ll find the same.


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