Saturday, August 13, 2005

Interaction action #1: Long weekend in geek-central

Interaction, the 63rd World Science Fiction Convention has just passed in Glasgow last week, a 5-day extravaganza of fannish celebration of the multimedia breadth of our favourite worlds of the fantastic. An avid gamer, I was pleased at the sight of several panels about games and games design. More promising I felt was the mention of 2 games rooms set aside onsite. Here was my taste of the games programme at Interaction.

The games rooms were a joke. I checked them out on Thursday after passing on drinking the evening away in the Moat House foyer. Rockall ("for noisy games like Werewolf") and Malin ("for the more serious boardgames") were pokey wee meeting rooms barely fit for 2 comfortable gaming tables each, let alone for the numerous members at other games programme items. So I didn't get any gaming in at Interaction then.

Thursday afternoon though, I had had the chance to listen to 'Roleplaying Game Design Theory', David Cake's comprhensive whistle-stop tour of Ron Edwards' GNS model of rpg theory as propounded here: The Forge. Was Cake aware of the irony under which his exposition laboured I wonder? I mean, he had perhaps as many as 100 gamers in a decent lecture hall several times the size of the space alloted to actually playing games, and it looked like we weren't even going to get a Q&A? It speaks volumes for the intrinsic interest of the GNS model that interjections remained always polite, and Cake's account was rounded-off in good order.

The GNS model is a multiplex topic in its own right but I can certainly report that it actually does what it says on the tin, so to speak- I found my own recently started WFRP2 clarifying in my mind's eye as I listened. The Old World of GW's Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay is a gem of a place to adventure in, a grim and gritty scab on the otherwise all just a little too pristine face of classic European high fantasy in SF/fantasy geekdom. ;)

- Interaction action #2: The theory and practice of good gaming...?
- Interaction action #3: Elsewhere in the convention guide
- Interaction action #4: Schmooze and small adventures

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