It's our last chance to define "Story game"

edited May 2019 in Story Games
When Alex Roberts wrote the first story game in 2001, she defined them as "Games in which over 50% of players have a narrativist creative agendum".

Since then, we've learned much more about story games. We know that GMs and Difficulty Numbers are not part of a true "story game", but relationships and sex are. We know that Story Games form one of three types of games in the Big Model.

Before this website closes, let's define "story game" once and for all. What do you think a "story game" is? What theoretical concepts, diagrams and acronyms can help us understand this?

Note: This is a tongue-in-cheek thread. It's a chance to gently make fun of our theories and definitions.


  • A story game is any design which mixes narrativist and gamist agendas incoherently but at least doesn't have any simulationist baggage.

    GN, story game.
    G, failed attempt at story game that doesn't treat the preferences of in-world people as first-class.
    N, failed attempt at story game that doesn't give the mechanics any teeth at all.
    *S, not a story game but might not be a failure either, it's too weird to discuss.
  • The real story game was the friends we made along the way.
  • Those friends were inside you all along...
  • A true story game can only exist in the form of sad things written on index cards.

    Everything else is just poor imitation.
  • I've successfully shot down all definitions of story games for the last eighteen years, you think I'm gonna let you bastards take this hill now?!?!?
  • Story games is a set where you add each new story game to the previous state of the set, obviously starting at Vampire the Masquerade.
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