Saturday, July 30, 2016

Games Need No Stories

Story and Gaming don't mix well. Story is Rhetoric, Gaming is Dialectic. Feelz vs. Reals. The reason most people suck at gaming is because they can't parse Dialectic at all; "Git Gud" helps because it's a Rhetorical hit where it counts, making gaming better by shaming the suck players into not-sucking.

Where Story takes priority, the gameplay always suffers and replayability really takes a hit. As there is a definite end, and as players are expected to reach that end normally, the effort (and therefore skill and determination) required is nerfed to the ground. (And yet, many STILL fail to Git Gud enough to meet even that made-for-retards level of expectation.)

This is why gaming and story are unstable at best, and when push comes to shove the way to go is to ditch Story- and gaming companies really do need to kick it to the curb because they're gaming companies and story is not their core competency. Every spinoff of the RPG favors one or the other, to the commercial benefit of those who do so, while shirking the commercial space for this unstable hybrid.

Similarly, RPG users favor one or the other, to the long-term detriment of the publisher since they never get clear feedback (nevermind those who only read RPGs; those fuckers need to be taken out back and shot, in terms of publishing consideration) so they waste resources on products that can't justify the expense of creation (and refuse to use a fucking Wiki for most of this anyway). This just proves that most tabletop RPG makers are fucking retards and shouldn't be in business, and most TRPG users are similarly incompetent and should be mocked for their "intelligence".

Proper games are derived from the training exercises meant to teach children the skills, habits, and knowledge that they will need in their adult lives, especially boys (which is why gaming is, and must remain, male-dominant; even now, they are training aides at their core). Story "logic" interferes with this Dialectic process, corrupting the mastery of the skills, habits, and knowledge such that real life application will result in counter-productive results.

Most at risk is the necessary cultivation of "Git Gud", the patience and persistence that serve as the foundation for everything else. Story logic has success as presumed, as the minority of stories where the protagonist fails shows (and most of those who fail fall into "Horror" or "Tragedy", presumed to be cautionary tales of Things Not To Do). If success is presumed, then there is no concept of persisting in the face of adversity--you're the Hero, so you just do the thing and move on--especially if the scenario is a Solved Problem (so all you have to do is follow the checklist and execute on que; this is why Storygames and other weaksauce shit is so bad).

No resilience means no persistence means quitting when things turn difficult. Story is passive by design, and story in gaming makes a medium of active participation and virtual life-experience into a medium of passive spectation and spoon-fed emotional manipulation. To ensure the ending, player choice has to be truncated or made irrelevant, killing the agency required of good gameplay. ("I kill the Rancor!" has to be a thing that can happen, or the RPG experience is fucking pointless; similar requirements of agency exist in other gameplay genres.)

And here's the kicker: you can have one of the most fulfilling gaming experiences of your life without once having any form of story structure or logic imposed. I have, so I know from first-hand experience that RPGs in particular (and all gaming in general) doesn't need any story whatsover. Instead, your lived experiences (however virtual) become the fodder for post-facto stories when you recount the events to others- just like in real life.

Gaming is about Virtual Life Experience. Life Experience is Dialectic, Not Rhetorical.

And now you know why so many RPG people are terrible game makers: they're really frustrated storytellers working in the wrong medium. These people, both in vidya and in tabletop, need to be named and shamed until they're driven out. Once out, they need to STAY out- for life.

No comments:

Post a Comment