On the Shoulders of Dwarves

Why We Play (episode 30)

On the Shoulders of Dwarves
Why We Play (episode 30)

What is this and why it matters

The reasons people come to play - why we should be able to recognize them, and what to do with this info. Your own motivations can change between sessions.

Ars Magica

GNS Theory

Historic overview (6:20)

Glenn Blacow’s “Aspects of Adventure Gaming” (1980) - read here

Power Gamers vs. Role Players vs. War Gamers vs. Storytellers. Robin D. Laws’ Player Types (2001) - read here

As above ,plus Specialist, Butt-kicker and Casual Player. Roger Caillois “Man, Play and Games” (1961) Agon, Alea, Mimesis, Ilinx; Paidia vs. Ludus Models of roleplaying game theory

The list (18:30)

The "what I like" glossary

Agon (20:00) - Enjoying winning against another person at the table.

Alea (21:50) - The fun of taking a big risk, the tension that comes with it, and the release of the tension.

Catharsis (24:40) - The feeling of release following an intense or overwhelming experience.

Asabiyyah (27:00) - The enjoyment of working as a team toward a shared goal.

Closure (28:55) - The satisfaction of having a story arc come to its conclusion.

Expression (30:20) - The enjoyment of being creative at the table.

Fiero (33:20) - The feeling of triumph, of facing a challenge and defeating it.

Humour (38:05) - The enjoyment of making people laugh.

Kairosis (39:15) - The feeling of fulfilment when a character’s story arc is complete.

Kenosis (43:00) - Satisfaction from being deeply engaged with, and attached to, your character.

Kinesis (42:15) - The enjoyment of having physical stuff that you get to touch and move.

Ludus (45:55) - The enjoyment of using rules.

Naches (49:10) - The enjoyment of seeing someone whom you have taught or were responsible for go on to do well.

Paida (51:35) - Freewheeling fun, enjoying the ability to act in unstructured ways, without constraints.

Schadenfreude (54:45) - The enjoyment of seeing other people fall.

Sociability (56:00) - Enjoying the company of others.

Venting (58:45) - Working out your frustrations, channeling your emotions into a harmless activity.

Agency (59:55) - The desire to feel like you have control over things, that you are able to affect change.

Accumulation (1:00:45) - The desire to catch them all.

Think you’ve found a new motivation? Let’s discuss it.

How to use this (1:02:05)

Should players have a “motivations player sheet” that help us match players together? Probably not. Each of us might have some general likes and dislikes, but they can certainly change between games. When something is troubling you in a game, this information can help you understand why you’re not enjoying the game as you should, to know what to focus on, what might need changing.

Matching the Players to the Game (episode 29)

A good introspection tool, not necessarily a good filtering tool. Avoid trying to use these as a way of defining “what kind of player I am”. This is not what I am, it’s the things that I like - in the context of a specific game, with specific people. 

Summary (1:09:25)

Quantic Foundry - The Science of Gamer Motivation

The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion, Jonathan Haidt

Taking the load off (1:14:00)

Uri: dead characters.

Eran: Got a new professional website, wrote a review on the Mistborn Adventure Game.

Avner: Twitter at @lisardggY (mostly Hebrew) Blog at  https://blog.strawjackal.org (Hebrew)


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Brought to you by Eran Aviram of On the Shoulders of Dwarves