The Story Gamers as a Community?

edited September 2009 in The Sandbox
Hello, I'm Jacob. It's very nice to meet you.

I've played a few story-type games in my day, and I've even had the great opportunity to attend Jiffycon over the summer; it's great fun. I'm fascinated by the culture of people who play story games; the shared terms and continuing discussions. There is clearly a growing community with an emerging identity all its own.

In my Writing and Rhetoric class, we are being asked to write a fieldworking research paper on a subculture of some sort, and I intend to focus on those who play story games, which is to say "The Story Gamers." I was wondering if anyone here would like to share their thoughts on the subject or would be willing to be interviewed as a member of the community.

Thank you very much for your time.

Comments

  • edited September 2009
    Sure.

    What do ya need?

    EDIT: Why is it doing this again? My response comes in BEFORE the post I am responding to. This is the second time today it has happened.
  • Thanks, Judd. Well, you see, I'm interested in learning about how people who play story games view other story gamers. I mean, do you feel a sense of camaraderie? Who are the people who play these games and how does it affect their lives? I mean, the hobby is obviously growing, but how does the community help or hamper that? Has there ever been a time when you've felt you've identified as a part of this thing that's bigger than just you? Just go nuts, guys. I want to hear it all from you.
  • Hey,

    I'd love to talk about my experiences and opinions, but don't feel comfortable just dropping them all here.

    Perhaps you'd be interested in a phone interview early next week? or an email Q&A thing?
    My email is joethomasmcdonald, at gmail.
    My phone is 319 7518 (with an area code of 604).
  • Hey, I can help! I don't identify this as a community in any reasonable sense of the word "community". There you go. :)
  • Personally, I feel somewhat ostracized from the community by Judd's insistence on constantly placing his own posts above those of others. It feels very elitist.
  • Posted By: BWAPersonally, I feel somewhat ostracized from the community by Judd's insistence on constantly placing his own posts above those of others. It feels very elitist.
    I only put them there when they are better than the posts below and I only do that when it clearly seems right.
  • I'd happily be interviewed.

    This post is better than all the others below it.

    Graham
  • Jacob, I'd be happy to be interviewed. Are you the guy who came to the last JiffyCon who's from the area but just never heard of us and found out from the paper or something? If so, maybe we can meet up to do it.
  • You gotta interview Andy, the creator of this site, if anyone.
  • edited September 2009
    Posted By: JDCorleyHey, I can help! I don't identify this as a community in any reasonable sense of the word "community". There you go. :)
    JD's post is very interesting. Although he doesn't identify with "the community" (because he hasn't designed, not interested in designing, issues aimed at designers, etc; it just so happens that a lot of the vocal members here are either doing design or interested in it as well as play the games, too), he is nevertheless an important member of these forums (because he does PLAY these games, he is a player and GM, is somewhat up-to-speed on the games coming out of the S-G scene, plus organizes community events aimed at making playing role-playing games more fun ---> Which is exactly the goal of this actual website, in the end).

    So I think his viewpoint might be worthwhile. He's like Eric from Head of the Class: Technically is 'one of us' because of what he does and who he is, though his focus/interests in many ways are outside the focus/interests of others here (design-wise, design-focus, etc).

    image

    -Andy
  • Posted By: AndyJD's post is very interesting. Although he doesn't identify with "the community" (because he hasn't designed, not interested in designing, issues aimed at designers, etc;
    *Headscratch*

    I design games, and I don't think of this site as a community in and of itself. It's one locus of action for a subculture that seems to have less and less communities in any kind of classical sense.

    Maybe that's all semantics; I mean, I can get all het up because I adore my adopted gamer-tribe (because I do). But I also think it's important - as gamers connect online across platforms, each platform becomes less "the community" and more a platform for a subset of expression.

    As a subculture, we selfcast, network, collaborate, recommend, discuss, organise, and many other things. A forum isn't ideal for all those activities. No platform is.
  • edited September 2009
    Look, come on. Help the guy or don't. This isn't the thread for what-is-the-meaning-of-community.

    Graham
  • ...Fair. I'll butt out.
  • Posted By: Levi-Who-Babbles....Fair. I'll butt out.
    Actually, I think you bring up a fair point (but yeah, Graham is definitely feeling the cold wind of Yet Another Discussion of What Is Community, and Who Are We): Personally, if I were Jacob and looking to talk to people about this whole story games (the Games, not the Site) thing, I'd hit up Levi as well as JD: They have views, ideas and thoughts which I think would provide some great variance to such a discussion (so that you don't like up 10 people who all kinda say the same thing, just in slightly different ways).

    -Andy
  • "Simone, I'm like a doctor, I'm doing very important work here."
  • I think it's fair to say he means, roughly, "People who play the subset of Roleplaying games which may or may not be defined as "Story Games"."... not just people who design games, and not just people who frequent this site. This is just a pretty good place to start... like Andy said, some folks here have pretty varied opinions.
    And that's a darn cool thing.

    Jacob, I've told you a few of my opinions, but I can replicate them here if you'd like.
  • I am very sorry everyone, but, unfortunately, I will not be needing to interview anyone. My paper proposal was rejected by my professor on the grounds that it will be too difficult to meet consistently with members of the community in-person, since I live in RI. Apparently it will be quite regimented, and phone interviews are just not what she's looking for. I, for one, am very disapointed. But fear not! My efforts to bring story games and story game awareness to RI will not be thwarted!
  • The "story gamer community" is a myth.

    There are many, many communities of gamers all over the world who share tastes and have compatible (but rarely identical) play philosophies. But is my local group of 6-to-20 (depending on how you count) gamers a "community"? Like...two or three of them ever post to story-games.com. One or two of them go to conventions. Those conventions may or may not have room for non-D&D/Warhammer/Magic/WW/Battletech gaming.

    It's fun to imagine we're all holding hands in solidarity. It's also bullshit perhaps unhealthy self-deception.
  • I think it is important to consider that at one point no one played dnd but a small group of people and slowly that spread to become a massive community. I'll take definition g of community.
    "g : a body of persons of common and especially professional interests scattered through a larger society"
    While Story Gamers may not be vast in number we are no doubt a growing minority.
  • Posted By: Paul BThe "story gamer community" is a myth.

    There are many, many communities of gamers all over the world who share tastes and have compatible (but rarely identical) play philosophies. But is my local group of 6-to-20 (depending on how you count) gamers a "community"? Like...two or three of them ever post to story-games.com. One or two of them go to conventions. Those conventions may or may not have room for non-D&D/Warhammer/Magic/WW/Battletech gaming.

    It's fun to imagine we're all holding hands in solidarity. It's alsobullshitperhaps unhealthy self-deception.
    Hey Paul,

    I have welcoming places to stay in Victoria, Seattle, Olympia, Portland, Eugene, Sacramento, the bay area, Edmonton, Montreal, Toronto, Chicago, New York, New Jersey, Western Mass., Durham, Minneapolis and probably abroad, too.

    One of my litmus tests of community is this: after meeting me once, will you invite me into your home on the basis of shared community?

    Are those community connections I've built via Story-games.com? No, of course not.
    I don't feel a strong sense of engaged, charitable, mutually-respecting community here.
    But through conventions and in-person connections, I feel like there thrives a genuine community.

    Does it extend to all story gamers? I don't know.
    I don't feel loved and respected and taken in and everything from all story gamers, but I do from lots.
  • "A group of interdependent organisms inhabiting the same region and interacting with each other "

    That seems about right, to me. *laugh*
  • Joe,

    I do think there's a stronger community connection between the folks who a) are into roleplaying and b) hit the same conventions for FTF time and, perhaps c) haunt the same online communities. That's a lot of parallel connections to make, and it seems like "community" can easily arise from all those things at once. I just don't see meaningful "community" arising from just one of them at a time.

    You also have the "published author" element to take into account. That has to earn you goodwill. Also, the Canadian thing -- I mean who doesn't like a Canadian? I mean Canadians other than the Pundit.

    p.
  • Posted By: Paul B
    You also have the "published author" element to take into account. That has to earn you goodwill. Also, the Canadian thing -- I mean whodoesn'tlike a Canadian? I mean Canadians other than the Pundit.
    While those are neat things, sure, they aren't crucial.

    What is crucial is that I go to conventions, organize local game days, run games for people, talk to people and seek to be genuine with people who I meet at conventions and other events.

    Which is to say, I do active community building.
    That's an essential component of being part of a community - working for it.
  • I just read the Wikipedia article on Community, which has some great perspectives. First and foremost, lots of experts seem to disagree about what exactly constitutes a community, so we're in good company. The Virtual Community article is also really interesting.

    One of the definitions includes four elements of "sense of community": 1) membership, 2) influence, 3) integration and fulfillment of needs, and 4) shared emotional connection. Call me crazy, but I get that stuff from my interactions with storygamers online on forums and in private correspondence, and offline at game conventions and in my house and other people's houses.

    The idea of "social capital" also seems to be an element of communities, and there's definitely a bit of that involved in the storygaming-community. I'd argue that some of the folks who fight against the idea of there being a storygamer community actually have a fair amount of social capital in this gaming subculture.
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