GDNS official, canonical theory!!

You may have heard of some older theory called "GNS" and "Creative Agenda" which talked about "why we play" and which aesthetic principles were important to the players.

In GDNS, the talk is instead about how we play and about what even constitutes play.
Overlap with GNS "Technical Agenda"? Heck yes! And that's fine!

Because getting on the same page about which techniques are kosher and which are iffy is SUPER IMPORTANT to us humans! It's the outside-in approach to finding common value ground!

Now what is GDNS? It stands for Gam, Dram, Narr and Sim!

In Dram, one or more of the participants is a super talented story writer in the attic and pre-writes a very interesting story that the group can then bring to life and experience in full color at the gaming table! This could be a GM writing "First the players are gonna do X, then they're gonna do Y, then they're gonna do Z" style notes before play, this could be a player writing ten pages of backstory for their character which is going to be recounted closely during play!

In Narr, one or more of the participants is a hippie! They want to encounter choices that would be meaningful diegetically, such as "Should the hard-working cop abandon her family in order to protect them?". The most important life dream of a Narr hippie is that a very unexpected story is created during play that can then be retold to your hippie friends at the next con!

In Gam, one or more of the participants is a power-hungry munchkin! They want to encounter choices that would be meaningful mechanically, such as "Should the hard-working cop equip a +1 one beastmaster sword or a x3 mod lightning round gun in order to best protect her family?". The most important life dream of a Gam munchkin is to test their own might! To face challenges and bravely stare them down with their lifelong journey of system mastery!

In Sim, one or more of the participants is a curious individual! They want to examine the clockwork of the system, how will the little ants in the sandhill move around and what will happen when they collide! The most important life dream of a curious and imaginative Sim daydreamer is to see their doll's house come to life and see the dolls do What They Would've Done Really. If they were alive. But with spaceships.

Wait, there's more!
These four corners of the GDNS quartet may sound like mortal enemies. But that's not the case, they are the best of friends!
Here is the official poster for the GDNS kumbaya of FRIENDSHIP:
image

But not everything is a paradise in the GDNS land!
Here is the official diagram of the official GDNS Hatred Parade of Eternal Enmity:

image

Any questions?
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Comments

  • Check out this article:

    http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/134842/personality_and_play_styles_a_.php?page=3

    "This leaves undescribed the preference for raw sensation. A fourth design style, which I've given the ungainly name of Experientialist, would emphasize play features that generate intense experiences -- the definition of the sensation-seeking Artisan/Killer. If this Experientialist style is recognized as a valid game design interest along with Gamist, Narrativist, and Simulationist, then we have what might be called a GNS+ model that aligns completely with the Keirsey/Bartle and related models of play."
  • Thank you Rickard!
  • Gotta love Experientalist play! It is now an official fifth wheel in the official GDNS quadrumvirate!
    So say we all!

    In fact... it's the D that's the fifth wheel because G, S, N and E are all about playing while D is about finding out what the pre-existing story already is.
    It might however the case that players who get primary Exp-kicks can find joy with any CA. That's why many happy and functional groups have a Dram game master and Exp players!
  • edited July 2015
    I liked the idea from the other GNS thread to call Experientialist instead Immersionist so you can have SING as the acronym. :)

    I think one of the most interesting things about the Dramatist GM is "what do the OTHER players do?" My first guess is that, if taken to any extreme, your Dram is actively at odds with your Gam/Nar and shares nothing with your Sim, but can facilitate Experientialism/Immersionism just fine.

    ...and I just re-read your previous comment, and it sounds like we're thinking along similar lines. I agree that any GM who's only part Dramatist can be a fun ingredient for a wide variety of games.
  • Love it. Instant classic.

    For me, this approach makes it much easier to see these classes as flowing into each other, rather than excluding each other like pie pieces (as people often tried to do with the GNS model). For example, my home GMing style tends to oscillate between Dram and Nar, with subsystem hops to Gam and Sim, depending on Player desires and flow, then back into Dram and Nar again.

  • I love the flowcharts with the various examples of actual play problems and styles. Lovely!

    However, I really, really don't get this "Dram" thing. I mean, sure, we can aim to recreate a pretty-written plot. But what are we doing if we want to CREATE one, you know, live, and without prep? Like improv theatre, Fiasco, etc? It certainly doesn't fit the other categories.

    (Also, seeing Gamism as concordant with system-mastery is a very limiting view, I think.)
  • edited July 2015
    David & Paul: The Dram GM is a well known enemy to all that is good. The inclusion of them in this theory is not meant as a legitimization. But it's to keep the other categories (particularly sim) clean.

    Paul: What are we doing if we want to create one, like Fiasco? That's 100% the core of Narr!

    Gamism's concordance with system mastery should be taken as a particular example of gamism and that example's concordance with system mastery.
  • edited July 2015
    Fiasco being in Narr is supported by the Official Poster for the GDNS Kumbaya of FRIENDSHIP since it's about stories (indigo) but it's not about prep (no green): that leaves Narr!
  • My own favorite style is Sim + Gam.
    But I add a lot of Exp to all games I'm a part of, I roleplay vividly and loudly! That's right!
  • AsIf: from now on the hatchet is buried between us. The GDNS Official, Canonical Theory has cleared up all misconceptions!
  • Wheee! One World One Love!

  • That's right
  • Hehe, awesome! I'll drink to that.


    (Sandra, I don't know if this matters to you or not, but the "create a story together" thing is most definitely not exclusively Narrativist in the Big Model. It can just as easily be Gamist or Simulationist. And, I think, Fiasco is more supporting of Sim than of Narr - however, I wouldn't be surprised if some gamers felt otherwise. But it can definitely handle both very well. If your "Sim" and "Narr" mean different things, though, it's all cool.*)

    (*: Unless you want other people to pick up on your use of the terms. That's doomed to failure, as we've already seen.)
  • Paul, I guess I should rename the four corners completely instead of just trunking to the first syllable.
    If you go through the old rgfa Threefold posts, you'll see the criteria for "sim" games excluding Theatrix, which to my mind seems more like Fiasco.
  • "Sim" also excluded No Myth back then and so is the case in GDNS official, canonical theory.
  • For information on the GDNS official, canonical theory's biggest rival, check out the Big Model wiki.
  • It seems like the GDNS official, canonical theory made a similar mistake that GNS did: re-appropriate old names. (In my case, I re-reappropriated them because I wanted to bring them more inline with threefold era usage.) Then no more "Well, what Ron really meant was that Fiasco was a Gamist game meant as a next step up from optimizing 3.5 Druids, that should be clear as day".

    I'm of two minds of this. Part of the motivation for GDNS official, canonical theory was to finally bring some sense and order back into these terms.

    But I want try something and see how it's received, whether it works better or worse.
    Thus, I present to you, a sneak preview of a beta of a maybe kinda release candidate of the 1.1 version of GDNS official, canonical theory. This is a test version, it has not been canonized and made official... yet! Here it is, the theory that might one day replace the glorious 1.0 version:

    You may have heard of some older theory called "GNS" and "Creative Agenda" which talked about "why we play" and which aesthetic principles were important to the players.

    In GDNS, the talk is instead about how we play and about what even constitutes play.
    Overlap with GNS "Technical Agenda"? Heck yes! And that's fine!

    Because getting on the same page about which techniques are kosher and which are iffy is SUPER IMPORTANT to us humans! It's the outside-in approach to finding common value ground!

    Now what is GDNS? GDNS stands for Gnusto, Blorb, Nitfol and Frotz!

    In Gnusto, one or more of the participants is a super talented story writer in the attic and pre-writes a very interesting story that the group can then bring to life and experience in full color at the gaming table! This could be a GM writing "First the players are gonna do X, then they're gonna do Y, then they're gonna do Z" style notes before play, this could be a player writing ten pages of backstory for their character which is going to be recounted closely during play!

    In Nitfol, one or more of the participants is a hippie! They want to encounter choices that would be meaningful diegetically, such as "Should the hard-working cop abandon her family in order to protect them?". The most important life dream of a Nitfol hippie is that a very unexpected story is created during play that can then be retold to your hippie friends at the next con!

    In Frotz, one or more of the participants is a power-hungry munchkin! They want to encounter choices that would be meaningful mechanically, such as "Should the hard-working cop equip a +1 one beastmaster sword or a x3 mod lightning round gun in order to best protect her family?". The most important life dream of a Frotz munchkin is to test their own might! To face challenges and bravely stare them down with their lifelong journey of system mastery!

    In Blorb, one or more of the participants is a curious individual! They want to examine the clockwork of the system, how will the little ants in the sandhill move around and what will happen when they collide! The most important life dream of a curious and imaginative Blorb daydreamer is to see their doll's house come to life and see the dolls do What They Would've Done Really. If they were alive. But with spaceships.

    Wait, there's more!
    These four corners of the GDNS quartet may sound like mortal enemies. But that's not the case, they are the best of friends!
    Here is the official poster for the GDNS kumbaya of FRIENDSHIP:
    image

    But not everything is a paradise in the GDNS land!
    Here is the official diagram of the official GDNS Hatred Parade of Eternal Enmity:

    image

    Any questions?
  • edited May 2016
    I like it! Now just start a cult around the idea that understanding it is the way to gaming nirvana, and I'm sure it'll take off!

    I think the nonsense words dispense with a lot of baggage but are hard to keep track of. Which one is Frotz? I have to go read the definition again. And again. Maybe use words that evoke the right vibe?

    Booyax, Tessel, Womwom, Sculpa -- is it easier to pick which of those is which?

    Or, less subtly: Boo-Ya, Testo, Feelstown, Sculptron

    Or, grounded in Latin: Certamine, Princips, Motus, Consilium
  • The words Gnusto, Blorb, Nitfol and Frotz are spell names in Enchanter, so for me they're much easier to remember and associate than "Booyax" or "Boo-ya" or "Tessel" or "Testo".
    I'm kinda guessing that Sculpa/Sculptron is Blorb? Is that right?

    When I write programs I have a rule for myself, one that I decided early on and have followed. If I have the slightest bit of doubt what the right name for a function is, I put in frobnicate, and for variables I put in foo, bar, quux, xyzzy etc. The idea being called "frobnicate", the function can be created without being attached to some iffy or half-formed concept, it will be a pure and great function and when it's done, tested, I immediately rename it (I'm motivated to rename quickly because I can only have one frobnicate per namespace, right?). This avoids all bad and half-baked function names like "LDAPConnectionManagingKeeper" and it also frees up my thinking on the function in order to make the function's code as neat, efficient and clear as can be. I can see if the finished function resembles any known programming patterns (and I have a whole bunch of my own) and reference those in the name, for example.

    Similarly, I'll gladly consider good and descriptive names once the definitions of these four corners have been completely conveyed and not risked mixing up with concepts from my main competitor, the self-proclaimed "big" model.

  • edited May 2016
    Frotz is a light spell. Similar to the light cantrip wizards get. Wizards are a great class for power gamers. Ergo frotz.
    Gnusto is the spell for copying other spells. Writing things down is something frustrated novelist GMs do. Ergo gnusto.
    Blorb is the spell that protects things in a safe bubble. I want to procted the space ship doll house from the requirements of story. Ergo blorb.
    Nitfol is the spell for talking to animals. I bet the animals have had an interesting life to talk about with many hard life choices that created a great story. Ergo nitfol.

    Uh, yeah... I'm gladly considering other names thank you!
  • As soon as I read the names I flashbacked to my teen years. One of my middle school yearbooks is even signed by a friend "Have a great summer, KILL KRILL". Thanks for the memories!
  • DUFFY, ANALYZE LOBLO
  • I find the new terms impossible, and I have to keep scrolling up to look at the old definitions, then back down again. Have you considered perhaps using verbs or gerunds? E.g.: Writing, Deciding, Winning, Exploring.

  • I kinda like Writing, Exploring, Mastering for Dram, Sim, Gam… but, I want to avoid any terms with previous baggage which those three seem to have. "What are you talking about, we're 'exploring' my pre-written story!"
    I am not attached to using the Enchanter spell names. But… I want to make it clear that my Sim is not Ron's "simulationist" (rather, I've tried to follow my understanding of jhkim's usage).
    Hmm I'm noting that I've used space ship doll house or doll house space ship a couple of times… a name in progress? Maybe "+1 sword" can similarly turn into a name for the frotz mode.
    That's the point of these spell names -- to be temporary to allow us to freely think about the concept without referring back to GNS conclusions.
  • I find the new terms impossible, and I have to keep scrolling up to look at the old definitions, then back down again. Have you considered perhaps using verbs or gerunds? E.g.: Writing, Deciding, Winning, Exploring.
    If it works for Mark Rosewater (Spike, Johnny, Timmy), then it should work for 2097. :)
  • edited May 2016
    Rickard, maybe that's it…!!! Names!!!!
    Archetypal people tend to stay in people's memories!
    Maro recently changed Melvin to Mel and added alternates Tammy for Timmy and Jenny for Johnny. Vorthos and Spike are unchanged.

    I see new overlaps too, Vorthos overlaps Gnusto, Nitfol and Blorb (stories IOR world), Melvin overlaps Frotz, Blorb and Nitfol (interesting mechanics), Tammy overlaps all four (strong emotional experiences -- this is the experientialist mentioned upthread) and so does Jenny (self-expression). Spike is to prove mastery of some aspect of the experience. That's close to Frotz.

    So maybe Frotz should be renamed Spike and I'll make up new names for the other corners. I'm especially looking for female names because reasons. But, who in pop culture wants to put a city in a bottle? Brainiac? Suleiman?
    And who wants to tell their story and have listeners? Sheherazade? Uh I got Arabian Nights on the brain
  • The temporary names remain the spell names with the hope of finding canonical, official new names soon.
  • How about Lois (from Lois Lane, a journalist) for the author, Judy (sounds like a good cop name) for the interesting-life, Spike for the mechanical mastery and Petra (from "petri dish") for the "what would really happen"?
  • Which of the twenty-four orders of the four letters S, P, L, J are the most open? SPLJ doesn't seem to be taken by anything interesting. I think LJSP is the most cellar door but it's already has a lot of meanings.
  • edited May 2016
    I probably thake the whole thing too seriously, but here it goes ...
    ... deleted ...
    (in my stupidity i fell for the joke, disregard)
  • edited May 2016
    Petra for petri dish is brilliant.

    To me, though, reporter is the opposite of author. I'd pick a famous novelist or director instead of Lois Lane. Maybe Ingmar? Federico? Quentin? Fyodor? Edgar? J.K.?

    I don't know what the connection is between Spike and challenge; nevertheless, I think I'd remember that one. Huh. Maybe it works by contrast to the other three.

    As for hippie story maker, maybe a poet? Maya? Walt? Or an actual hippie like Lennon? Or a hippie-era icon like Jimi or Janis? Or someone who cared depply about human issues like Mohandas?

    Or you could do a pantheon or genre cast. Tony, Clint, Jane and Vis for control freak, strategist, scientist and philosopher? Zeus, Ares, Athena and Apollo? Ra, Set, Thoth and Osiris? Gandalf, Gimli, Faramir and Treebeard? Petyr, Drogo, Qyburn and Varys?
  • edited May 2016
    I probably thake the whole thing too seriously, but here it goes ...
    ... deleted ...
    (in my stupidity i fell for the joke, disregard)
    I didn't get to see this :(
    It's written in a way that tries to be funny, because funny = memorable. It's still the way to gaming nirvana.
  • edited May 2016
    To me, though, reporter is the opposite of author. I'd pick a famous novelist or director instead of Lois Lane. Maybe Ingmar? Federico? Quentin? Fyodor? Edgar? J.K.?
    Quentin is perfect. Such an auteur, writes and directs.
    Some sorta hippie... yeah! Judee for Judee Sill.

    Update: The enchanter spell names are obsoleted. I'm now trying out Spike, Quentin, Judee and Petra.

    Edit: maybe I shoulda chosen someone dead instead of Quentin. In case his namesake makes a fool out of himself in the future.

    Edit: Or better yet, fictional, and the same goes for Judee.
  • I agree with your assertion that Spike and Frotz are similar, but I think Rosewater's other psychographics also line up with single GDNS agendas.

    Quotes from Rosewater's article on the topic:
    Timmy wants to experience something. Timmy plays Magic because he enjoys the feeling he gets when he plays. What that feeling is will vary from Timmy to Timmy, but what all Timmies have in common is that they enjoy the visceral experience of playing.
    This sounds to me like Experimentalism, or the Artisan/Killer of Stewart's Unified Model. Both agendas seek visceral thrills and raw emotion. The exception would be Social Tammys, which are closer to Robin Laws's Casual Gamer: someone who plays to interact with their friends. These Social Tammys also have some overlap with Stewart's Idealist/Socializer, which he equates to GNS Narrativism.
    So why does Johnny play Magic? Because Johnny wants to express something. To Johnny, Magic is an opportunity to show the world something about himself, be it how creative he is or how clever he is or how offbeat he is.
    Jenny seems most like Gnusto/Dram to me. Both focus on preparing content (a deck, a story, an environment, etc.) and then showing that content off to other people (your gaming group, your local game store, the Internet, etc.) Jennies, I think, are also the people that like to make levels, maps, or mods for digital games. I'd guess a lot of game designers are also Jennies; Rosewater himself identifies as one.

    Rosewater has also discussed Vorthos and Mel, two "aesthetic profiles" that are distinct from the psychographics. I think there are some similarities between Mel and Blorb/Sim, and perhaps Vorthos and Nitfol/Narr, but I'm not sure whether we should apply them to the model.
  • I... kinda talked about Vorthos and Mel upthread?
    And that Tammy overlaps all four corners. Tammy is a "why to play". Where as GDNS is more... how to play.

    I've seen plenty of Jennies on the character creation side that express their jenniness in different ways. Some bring long character backstories (Gnusto) and some bring out wonky builds and combos (Frotz -- an argument that Frotz and Spike maybe isn't the same after all).
  • Right, I missed the Vorthos and Mel bit earlier. Sorry about that.

    Can you elaborate on the difference between the "why" of GNS versus the "how" of GDNS? My impression of Forge theory is that the goal is to have all players agree on a Creative Agenda for this game, with these people, and that the agreed-upon Creative Agenda is simply what action wins out in cases of Agenda Clash. If this is the case, how the group plays seems to be a function of why each player plays.

    I agree that min-maxers are a kind of "mechanical" Jenny. I was thinking about Jennies and Gnusto after my previous post, and I think this might be another axis, rather than a separate agenda. Each agenda might have players who enjoy having content created before sitting down at the table, and those who enjoy creating content at the table.
  • The official poster for the GDNS kumbaya of FRIENDSHIP is one way to try to resolve agenda clash, to find common ground. I think the core idea is when there's a feeling of "You can't do that, that's… that's cheating, that's going against what RPGs even are", there might be a GDNS official, canonical theory issue.

    Yeah, just like Mel and Vorthos are on two separate axes from the plane of T/J/S, so is GDNS official, canonical theory on a separate plane. I can easily imagine a Jenny-Frotz.

    I think a difference between GDNS official, canonical theory and GNS (note that I'm not an expert on my competitor's model) is that I think Ron is a strict "narrativist" in the GNS whereas I'm into all three of the "play to find out" corners of the GDNS official, canonical theory.
    I also bring a strong emotional engagement (Tammy) and a desire for self-expression (Jenny), and an appreciation for well-designed mechanics (Mel) (not saying I'm any good at those things, just that that's what I like).

    In the GNS, I have no idea where I supposedly belong, nor where my opposite, the frustrated novelist, belongs. Which is fine, I'm no longer interested in the competing model.

    As for names, OK, so far Petra for Blorb seems like the best. Spike for Frotz wasn't great b/c Jenny-style Frotz.
  • Can you elaborate on the difference between the "why" of GNS versus the "how" of GDNS?
    I really don't want to turn this thread into a GNS discussion (which too easily happens whenever those three letters are put together), but Creative Agenda is explicitly NOT about motivation. There's no "why" in GNS; the CA:s are activities, e.g. it's a "how", much like the GDNS. The theories differ, but I don't think this is a significant difference between them.

  • Thanks Simon, that makes sense. Yeah, I'm not an expert on GNS. Luckily we now have the GDNS official, canonical theory.
  • Can you elaborate on the difference between the "why" of GNS versus the "how" of GDNS?
    Here is something else that focuses on the WHY rather than the HOW.

    http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/238349/Video_Applying_psychology_to_build_better_games.php
  • I can't say how much I love it that the terms don't mean anything by themselves because that actually helps solve the confusion the use of common terms ends up generating; and that the examples are the most extreme negative cases of each agenda, because if we all agree about anything at all is about things we consider to be wrong.

    I find quite easy to figure out where most ways of playing I've seen and most game experiences I've experienced, because none are completely inside an specific group, but more towards a balanced spot between two or three, where most real people are. By using negative archetypes you've guaranteed that nobody would easily or healthly clain that they are making a game which is, say, pure Gnusto.

    Make it official everywhere now!

  • I really hope that anyone interested in this kind of discussion has read the fundamental Story Games guide to roleplaying theory (and a system for naming theory terms):

    "Fixing Gaming Theory Terminology Once and For All"
  • I hadn't seen it. Oh and also news. I saw some posters an another forum had seen this and thought it was an epic trolling spree. So, obv there's still some presentation issues with our beloved GDNS, official, canonical theory.
    Meanwhile if you see someone w a Gnusto&Blorb&Nitfol&Frotz t shirt it's probably me.
  • I saw some posters an another forum had seen this and thought it was an epic trolling spree.
    Would love to read it. I really enjoyed reading how the review of Järn, and critique of BRP, was handled on a BRP forum.
    Meanwhile if you see someone w a Gnusto&Blorb&Nitfol&Frotz t shirt it's probably me.
    Love it!
  • edited June 2016
    Hey Sandra, I dunno if this is important to you or any part of this endeavor whatsoever, but it did just occur to me to wonder if/where these play styles fit:
    - roleplaying just to roleplay -- playing pretend, imagination, inventing fiction, talking about such things with friends
    - virtual experience -- thrill ride, exploration, fear, awe, wonder, anxiety, discovery, passive or active
    - transportation -- the sense of being somewhere else, removed from your real-world time, place, and/or self
    - reference celebration -- Star Wars with a twist, Westerns done right, our version of B Horror, Firefly meets Cthulhu, etc.
  • That's interesting, Dave!

    What's the difference between virtual experience and transportation?
  • edited June 2016
    I think you can experience awe, wonder, etc. in play with or without a strong/consistent feeling of "really being there".

    As for transportation, well, that's probably the weakest of my four categories. I know it can be an end in itself even with pretty low emphasis on resonant experience, similar to "I'm down for whatever, as long as it's immersive." But I suppose that could be lumped in with other technical agendas like "I want to play something with lots of dice rolling." I dunno. From among the technical agendas which are also reasons to play, transportation stands out to me, but that might be highly subjective.

    I feel like "immersion as goal or top priority" beyond just virtual experience ought to be represented somehow. Maybe there's a better way to put it.
  • Dave, I like this question! As a well-known Petra/Blorb-lover, it's been my experience that Blorb can do very well with your three first categories, especially with careful borrowing of some, not all, of the other categories in the "Play to find out" overlap in the official poster for the GDNS kumbaya of FRIENDSHIP.

    For the fourth, the genre celebration, I would go to the blue "Stories are interesting" overlap and use any mix of any the techniques there, they're all appropriate and can be selected from by means of other criteria that the players bring with them. For example, railroading is very appropriate here but some types of railroading might or might not be undesired by participants for reasons unrelated to the genre.
  • edited June 2016
    For the first category I would select techniques from Petra/Blorb and from Nitfol. For the second two, I would select techniques primarily from Blorb, with careful additions from Frotz and Nitfol.

    For the fourth, I'd take everything in Gnusto's and Nitfol's toolboxes and put them in a big box and say: participants and designers, select delightful and enjoyable techniques from here, and leave the unwanted ones.

    Maybe this is a good way to think of GDNS official, canonical theory: as toolboxes for people with very clashing ideals. That look at each other's toolbox and say: "Mmm, that's a tasty-looking spanner you have there but what's that gross hammer doing in there? You can't roleplay for real with such a thing around!" And some of these toolboxes map to one corner, and others of these toolboxes map to an overlap in the official poster for the GDNS kumbaya of FRIENDSHIP.

    Like "Stories are interesting" is one toolbox that contain everything that Gnuste and Nitfol has, while Gnusto alone looks at Nitfol and says "Those tools are inappropriate, you'd ruin my wonderful plot" and Nitfol looks at Gnusto and says "No, those tools are inappropriate, you'd take away my delicious choices". Whereas "Stories are interesting" looks at them both and says "Girls, girls… you both have great tools for my purpose"

    (That's not to say that the overlap is "better" than pure Nitfol. In no way, shape or form am I endorsing the use of Gnusto's tools.)
  • Sandra,

    I like that take on the way different playstyles and tools may or may not overlap. (Although I have to be honest: I find your terms completely opaque. I read your last post with ZERO idea of what's what - I think I'd have to read your posts with the diagram printed out in front of me to follow at all.)

    Dave,

    I'm sorry! I still don't understand. I suspect it's because, in my mind, the term "virtual experience" is basically synonymous with "feeling like I'm there" (which is how you define "transportation", I think).

    How can one experience "awe and wonder, exploration, discovery" without feeling "transportation"? Can you think of an example?

    Is that the feeling of exploring and discovering an imaginary place *without* feeling like you're there? I'm not sure what that looks like. All I can think of is, say, reading a sourcebook and being excited about what's inside; but that's not really compatible with "anxiety, fear, thrill ride".
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