Saturday, September 19, 2015

Emergent game play and narrative, a subject worth consideration

In the board game world is where I first learned the term "emergent narrative". There are many pseudo RPG-like board games (like A Touch of Evil :The Supernatural Game) where random elements converge and a form of story emerges from these random details.

Apparently the terms "emergent play" and "emergent narrative" came out of the development of video games, as you can read about in this Wikipedia article, which explains the whole concept in more detail.

Oddly enough, as much as I've discussed solo RPG'ing, it never really occurred to me that this thing and process that I've been struggling to describe, help others with, and implement myself, is really the same thing that I'd encountered and discussed in my other gaming endeavors.

I raise this point appropriate of nothing, other than I think it puts things in the proper context to realize what we're engaging in, when we solo role play, is a form of emergent play, where we're take random, disparate elements, and allowing a coherent narrative structure to emerge.

I don't know if I have any other point, other than having a useful frame of reference when discussing solo RPG'ing, and when considering the process ITSELF. I think it clarifies and crystallizes a something that I've struggled to put into words. The play itself is part of the process. The process itself is part of the play. And the narrative is what emerges.

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