Just a bare snippet of a thought today on the drive to work.

Game designers don't create stories. We create procedures that create stories. We in fact create procedures that let other people create stories. We're like, three steps removed from the actual end result. What a weird little hobby we have.

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I prefer to think of game

I prefer to think of game designers as the equivalent of application programmers- they make the tools you use to make cool stuff.

Ah, that's probably more

Ah, that's probably more accurate. Good call.

I'm uncomfortable with such

I'm uncomfortable with such sweeping language. Perhaps /Narrativist/ game designers are the tool-makers of story. But a lot of us other designers don't build 'story first.' I've played in many games where you could only get away saying it had story if you include a serial recount of events as 'story.'

However, in story games, you guys completely rock!

Fang Langford

p.s. I'd say that role-playing game designers are grocers of imagination. (As opposed to the chefs....)

The "grocers of imagination"

The "grocers of imagination" - that is so uncool that it rules. ;) However, I don't think we are realising the full job that a game designer has to do when we characterise them as the people who make tools that others use to tell stories. For the game designer is also at least the following:

- a social engineer, whose game creates a social situation that could not exist without it (I was impressed by how easily Bacchanal created a situation that would never have come into existence without it)
- a dramaturgists, who gives thought to the meaning of the stories and can manipulate this meaning through the rules,

and probably many other things as well.

PS. What does any of this have to do with Von Neumann?

Self-replicating machines.

Self-replicating machines. Von Neumann machines are designs that create other things (albeit the same thing). No, it's not entirely accurate, but that's why it's a passing thought. ;)

Game designers are

Game designers are world-builders who manage (if they're good, or lucky) to give people more than just a glimpse of their worlds, but provide vehicles for meaningfully exploring, manipulating, and expanding those worlds. I haven't decided if that's better than what novelists do, but it is certainly on par.

Replace 'world' with

Replace 'world' with 'experience' and you've got 100% agreement from this corner, Quentin.

Just when you think Von

Just when you think Von Neumann did absolutely everything that mattered in 20th century mathematics and mathematical physics, you find out that he did some more things you hadn't even heard of!

Quentin -- not what novelists

Quentin -- not what novelists do.

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