Sunday, July 11, 2010

Lessons to be Learned

Read this

Which influences every part of our culture, including game design.

18 comments:

Timeshadows said...

M. A. R. Barker: Paracosm Prodigy. :)

JB said...

Wow, that's a very interesting article and an excellent reason for promoting not just table-top role-playing, but "old school" role-playing (with its challenge the PLAYER philosophy).

Thanks for sharing!

scottsz said...

Great article, but a few decades late.

Here's hoping for a more 'Ionian' future for a country founded on trades, crafts and agriculture.

Lately, I've begun to cringe hearing about what the school system is creating with its maniacal fixation on 'math, science, and technology'.

Lord of the Green Dragons said...

@ TSL Righto!l and even before that: re: The Bronte children..

Timeshadows said...

Well, that forms a nice cross-discipline example of the Three Castles Award criteria.

Lord of the Green Dragons said...

@ JB: Play in general, and from the earliest age, Trying to teach a play philosophy later in life to those that have not experienced it from the get-go is like trying to light a fire with water, methinks.

Lord of the Green Dragons said...

@Scottz: Yeah. But we truly give up when we stop talking about things that matter (paraphrasing an old M. L. King quote).

scottsz said...

@LotGD: Too true. Perhaps it's time to look into RPG/Tabletop games as 'educational' devices?

Are there studies or other data that could be put forth? From a certain view, it seems strange that RPG's arent' in the curricula for those pursuing education in theater, for instance.

Instead of 'education', does a 'therapy' approach offer more data? Are there statistics in psychology or sociology that could support taking another look at games as potentially helpful to education in general?

scottsz said...

I was thinking about Chess, today.

Netherwerks has a post about The Singularity, which got me thinking about RPG, Classic D&D play, and Dark Druids' ethical challenges to players.

Is the truest core of a quality campaign/encounter/game something which has the pressure of the final moves of a chess game, but the possibilities of a blank canvas?

The idea that 'chords' of action, problem solving, AND ethical dilemmas thrust players into scenarios that are outliers outside of expectation.

Does 'true' role playing occur 'after checkmate', so to speak.

Lord of the Green Dragons said...

@Scottz: Please refer to Neva Boyd's play philosophy. All play from earliest on is a social interaction and thus ideally cannot (or should not) divest participants from growing within its context. When the over-competitive need to win at any cost or under any condition prevails is when and where the socially immersive play experience gets corrupted and loses its focus as an unselfish exercise in sharing and cooperating. I have covered some of this in previous posts here, of course, and pointed to many links therein for further research and study.

If this does not answer, please rephrase, perhaps with an example.

Grendelwulf said...

Powerful article.
Sadly, not unexpected. The ripple effects have been evident for awhile. Kids are told what to do, not to think for themselves, just go with the flow, etc as it is better to guide them through the cattle chute of our education systems and into the ever drone-hungry job market that will tell them what they need to do next.

It has always made me chuckle at how often after years of this that as we reach maturity, it is THEN that people ask, "so, what do you want to do with your life?"

[Tires Screeching!] NOW, someone asks?!

Of course, mileage may vary depending on how well the person was creatively encouraged in life.

The big step will be what will be done about to reverse this, other than checking another mark on a clipboard.

Ciao!
GW

NetherWerks said...

Ethics need to be tested to matter.
Intelligance needs to be applied to mean anyting.
Creativity is in the doing, not in the discussion.
Allowing franchises to cram crapulous scheiss down the throats of children who then become uncomfortable with their own creations stifles imagination early-on.
Stifling imagination is the kind of thing that Hitler got into doing...
Look where that gets things...

Encourage a kid to think differntly, to paint green skies and blue grass, to make up their own world and tell stories about it. I thought that the OSR would be more about launching a hundred new Prof. Barkers into the unknown...people like Timeshadows who are doing just that level of hyper-inventive personal creativity and imagineering (in the origianl sense, not the fascistic re-interpretation).

We need more imagination, less orthodoxy. But then, I'm a heretic at heart...

Grendelwulf said...

@LotGD: Yes, the ever popular need to win at any cost. You have to be aggressive & win! Etc.

Not that competition is bad, but it has to have a common context. Competing to better one's skills and lead others to aspire to the same is far better than cruching your opponent into the dirt.

Okay, sometimes, it can be fun when the opponent is an obnoxious jerk. Otherwise, a sense of sportsmanship is called for.

Ciao!
GW

Grendelwulf said...

NetherWerks said...
Encourage a kid to think differntly, to paint green skies and blue grass, to make up their own world and tell stories about it.


Yeah, don't just tell kids, that's wrong, looks stupid, or you have to live in the real world.

I have a sister-in-law that would tell her grade school kids that and bases their "creativity" only on their grades --- nottomention overlooking their "troublesome" nature in school as examples of them growing into the needed agressiveness for when they are older, . . . so I may be abit biased here.

Ciao!
GW

scottsz said...

@LotGD: I think I gave a bad example, as the purpose of Chess is for one player to defeat another.

My thought was that player creativity might be strengthened by circumstances that had limited or no mathematical or statistical options.

Then I answered my own question and realized that, to my knowledge, there is nothing cooperational in Chess at all.

The fixation on Chess is from the fact that there are more possible chess games than there are particles in the universe. Limited sets of squares and pieces, yet vast and almost unlimited permutations possible. Is there some way to tap into this in a cooperative way that could be a creative training tool?

Stray thought... probably a dead end...

Lord of the Green Dragons said...

"NetherWerks said...
Encourage a kid to think differntly, to paint green skies and blue grass, to make up their own world and tell stories about it.

GW responded:

"Yeah, don't just tell kids, that's wrong, looks stupid, or you have to live in the real world."

Yup. Nothing like ruining abstract thinking with authority figures driving it home, and often right in front of their peers. The kids go out and experience free-play and then come back in to that... Think about the consequences with that dichotomy...

Travis said...

Nice article. I'm glad that my wife and I are able to send our daughter to a school that gives a high priority to creativity.

http://www.villageschool.to/imag_play.htm

Lord of the Green Dragons said...

Great kink and read, Travis. There are schools like this in Wisconsin, too. Thanks for the link and keep on "playing".