Roleplaying Toys

edited August 2008 in Story Games
When you play with a doll or a Hot Wheels car, there's nothing to tell you when you're finished. It's quite unlike a board game. Still, the form of the thing constrains what you do with it in some way -- a doll doesn't roll on the sidewalk the same way a car does, and cars generally don't have faces. A good part of the fun comes from exploring all the different things you can do while you're constrained in that particular way.

I'm interested in creating roleplaying toys.

Comments

  • To me, that's what I always ultimately hoped for in a realistic game system - something that would mimic the laws of reality, so I could do stuff and watch the consequences.
  • I think it's a really valid direction - hate to bring up computer games, but sim city and the sims are toy like in their direction. Indeed, I think distinctly calling it a toy really helps focus it on the special qualities of toys and helps free it of old assumptions which would actually restrict the toy aspect.
  • edited August 2008
    Max, what elements are you interested in getting at besides the 'play around with this thing until you get bored with it' aspect and the 'play around freely within a set of constraits' aspect? Because Kazekami Kyoko Kills Kublai Khan does both of those, and I've always thought of it as a fun thing to fiddle around with for a while, but not a full game persay.
  • Posted By: Matthijssomething that would mimic the laws of reality, so I could do stuff and watch the consequences.
    As it turns out, reality is a very complicated thing to mimic. I'm happy to settle for much less complex systems, with the idea that a simple set of constraints can produce very interesting results, and, if you choose them well, can show you something about your reality.
    Posted By: Jonathan Waltonwhat elements are you interested in getting at besides the 'play around with this thing until you get bored with it' aspect and the 'play around freely within a set of constraits' aspect?
    I really don't like the way people tend to frame open-ended play as continuing until you get bored or frustrated. Connecting with the idea of showing you something about your reality, I see roleplaying toys as something to play around with in order to see how the constraints functioning in the toy system are mirrored in the larger system of life. In a way, it's similar to the idea of a "toy model" in physics -- we know that it doesn't model reality, but playing around with it shows you something interesting or important that is a part of this place we live. That's me attaching some philosophy to the "roleplaying toy" concept, but for me, those are the important bits: play freely within constraints, for as long as you like, with the ability to set your own goals if you choose, in order to explore how this particular system functions and find the parts that tell us something by analogy about our world.
    Posted By: Jonathan WaltonBecauseKazekami Kyoko Kills Kublai Khandoes both of those, and I've always thought of it as a fun thing to fiddle around with for a while, but not a full game persay.
    I'd have to agree; it's hard to call KKKKK a game exactly, because there is no preset goal or endpoint. I'd nominate it for roleplaying toy status.
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