Friday, June 16, 2017

Narrative Warfare: Storygames - Fake Games for Fake Gamers

I wondered for years why (a) tabletop RPGs, contrary to what we've been told, are actual games with win and loss conditions and (b) why so many people who ought to know better keep pushing this "RPGs are for storytelling!" lie. Then I read Anonymous Conservative's blog, focused on r/K evolutionary biology and its applications to all areas of human behavior. Well, gaming is such an area, and the part on Individual Competitiveness is most applicable here:

When Competitive males meet, to compete with each other, the r-type male changes their skin coloration to the pastel colors of a female. They draw in their long, flowing male tentacles, making them short and stubby like a female’s. Dressed like a pastel colored female, these r-type males glide in past the brightly colored K-type males, and mate quickly with the waiting female, before slipping away unnoticed.

Here, the r-type psychology’s aversion to competition with peers adapts into an actual strategy designed to not just avoid competitions, but to actively seek advantage when confronted with the K-type Competitor’s competitive scheme. Those r-type individuals which simply sought to avoid the K-type Competitor’s competitions, failed to acquire mates, and died. Eventually however, a few adapted to exploit the Competitive male’s adherence to rules, and these rule breakers persisted, and became the defacto form of the r-type organism.

Because this diverges from the simple passive aversion to competition of the r-type psychology, we consider this an evolutionary advancement of the r-selected psychology, and we call it Anticompetitiveness.

Pay attention to these key points: the aversion to competition (and conflict), the exploitation of rules to substitute for winning competition (cunning), and the perversion of standards to gaslight enemies into defeating themselves through exploiting the rules as a deliberate strategy.

Guess what "Storygames" are? The attempt by people who can't hack it with proper tabletop RPGs to exploit the competitive nature of gamers by gaslighting them into accepting the fakes' redefinition of the medium as valid. Fake Games for Fake Gamers indeed.

The Big Lie is also the Big Tell that this is rooted in rabbit psychology: "We're just here to tell stories." Bullshit. If you want to tell stories, go open a Kindle account and get your ass to work writing, publishing, and hawking your stories already. But no, that's competitive. That's taking a risk at running a business, and these folks--being SJW death cultists, by and large--are not the sort to do that. They'll do the usual route of entryism and convergenece of something someone else already built up, struggled for, and fought to make into a success.

Only it's not a single corporation, but rather an entire market niche. Sure, they want that (relative) big dog (and they have it; Wizards of the Coast is SJW-converged, as is all significant players save Palladium Books), but that's never enough. They want it all, and they want it now. Which means not only purging passive-aggressively within specific oompanies, but also every significant part of the scene, everyone that calls them on their fraud. (e.g. RPGNet and other online forums of note). Same old song and dance, too; if you've read SJWs Always Lie then you know the playbook.

This would be trivial, even laughable, if it were not for the influence tabletop RPGs had, and have, on the wider culture. Many of them network through the CHORFs to get book deals (e.g. Ari Marmell, who got started in D&D) or move into videogames, film, or television in a writing capacity (since few can code for shit), and you see this networking whenever Geek & Sundry get Wheaton to rent out the porn set for another series of Tabletop. Fantasy Flight Games has the RPG license for Star Wars, and (like West End Games and WOTC before them) are gladly taking the opportunity to define the fucking property for all of fandom. Dig through the wider culture and you WILL see the influence of tabletop RPGs everywhere, from Pink Slime SF/F to class/level/gear grind games and more. The leverage to be had here is huge, and they know it.

All of this, because they just could not grok that to make in RPGs--being wargame derivatives--you have to Git Gud to succeed. In order to Git Gud, you have to get out there and compete. You have go out there, fail, and then learn from your failure before you try again. With each new character, new adventure, new campaign, new game you get better. The entire point of gaming is to teach you how to fail, how to recover from failure, how to benefit from failure, so that you can properly earn--and appreciate--your success. "Storygames" directly undermine this justification for gaming's entire existence by making it anti-competitive.

And, having afflicted tabletop RPGs for so long, you now see this cancer spreading to other gaming media. Walking simulators, visual novels, and other fake game types that "are all about the story" and not about playing a fucking game. It started in tabletop, folks, and now they're coming for other genres- and yes, they ARE wanting to take games away, because they're rabbits and rabbits hate and fear competition and conflict, and they're using our rules and good nature against us to do it. Sound familiar?

It should. The other thing rabbits grok that we often forget because we're too close to see is that gaming derives from training for war, and politics is war by other means. Therefore, gaslighting the culture is war by other means, and it's long past time to start naming and shaming the fakes in our midst. Welcome their disapproval, their disavowal, their tut-tuts and nay-saying- and then ban the living fuck out of them. Permanent. Lifetime. Bans. There's no hiding place for fake gamers or fake games here any longer. Git Gud or GTFO!

No comments:

Post a Comment