Democracy in games.

edited January 2010 in Story Games
Let's open a new discussion: Does democracy have a place in your games or play-style?

By democracy I don't mean state-democracy by which nations may be run, but game/social-democracy where the inclinations of a small group shape its decision-making and further action.

My thoughts on the subject of game-democracy:
There are two types of democratic modes in roleplaying: inferred and formal.
The former is group consensus (or lack of) to imagined events, as per the Lumpley principal, without overt ceremony; the absence of objection by members of the group when new elements enter play is tantamount to unanimous democratic victory. Vocal approval/disapproval ("Awesome!"/"Hmm.. I dunno.") or more subtle indications of the same are members effectively casting votes which influence events thereafter, whether or not anyone comprehends this.
The latter is manifest democratic process with members of the group physically voting for or against a specific subject. This is a rarity in relaxed social conduct and express game rules both. Any reason?

Sorry if this is simply wrong in a punch-the-screen-because-this-gorramed-art-student-doesn't-know-anything-about-political-science-or-sociology kinda way. If you find this to be the case, I urge you to school me.


  • My thoughts on this topic about six months ago.

    I don't think they've changed much, since then. But I'm certainly willing to revisit the notion or see how it applies from other angles.
  • quick:
    totally think that consensus has a oft-unexplored spot at the table.

    i read something that vincent baker said about how a game system should not only navigate between the desires of the people at the table, but also inject its own content/ ramifications/ occurrences that may not be anyone at the table's first choice, but is totally interesting and so on.
    eg, perhaps no one at the table would suggest it, but if the house where our characters were basing their operations out of was to be burnt down, that would be very interesting and, more importantly, solidly in line with the style of fiction this game seeks to have us make.

    and i think that's a very interesting idea that vincent has there, and agree with him, too.

    also agree with you about social situation wherein silence equals consent being common in our western culture, and how that is easy to continue with and problematic for a bunch of reasons.

    also, trying to play wherein Everybody agrees All Of The Time has proved annoying, to be concise.
  • jackson,
    to me, what you're describing/vincent is describing is the point of playing a game. an rpg that doesn't inject itself into the creativity cauldron is soooo early 00's, and falls flat in practice - a recent Questing Beast campaign I ran proved that to me. it just doesn't give you enough to work with to give the story-game some shape, you know?

    AND - complete and utter consensus among the group, all the time, is very fertile territory for the Czege Principle to manifest itself.
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