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Archive for April, 2007

The Threefold Model

Posted by Brian on April 29, 2007

A controversial theory in the RPG world is the GNS model of player types. It’s a contentious issue because some believe that players can’t easily be dropped into any one category… that there is too much overlap. I believe it does have some value:

The Threefold Model is one way of grouping many aspects of “group
contracts” into logical categories. Full group contract includes every
facet of how the game is played: not just the mechanical rules, but
also how scenarios are constructed, what sort of behavior is expected
of PCs, how actions not covered by the rules are resolved, allowance
of outside distractions, and so forth. The Threefold divides up many
of these into categories known as Drama, Game, and Simulation.

OK, here is the short definitions:

“narrativist”: is the style which values how well the in-game action
creates a satisfying storyline. Different kinds of stories may be
viewed as satisfying, depending on individual tastes, varying from
fanciful pulp action to believable character drama. It is the end
result of the story which is important.

“gamist”: is the style which values setting up a fair challenge for
the players (as opposed to the PCs). The challenges may be tactical
combat, intellectual mysteries, politics, or anything else. The
players will try to solve the problems they are presented with, and in
turn the GM will make these challenges solvable if they act
intelligently within the contract.

“simulationist”: is the style which values resolving in-game events
based solely on game-world considerations, without allowing any
meta-game concerns to affect the decision. Thus, a fully simulationist
GM will not fudge results to save PCs or to save her plot, or even
change facts unknown to the players. Such a GM may use meta-game
considerations to decide meta-game issues like who is playing which
character, whether to play out a conversation word for word, and so
forth, but she will resolve actual in-game events based on what would
“really” happen.

More here:

I’m definitely a dramatist. The well-being of my characters takes a
back seat to creating great story for the group as a whole.

I’m definitel a narrativist, as I always put the story first ahead of any personal preferences.

Posted in Gaming | 2 Comments »

And yet they still support him…

Posted by Brian on April 28, 2007

After reading Victor Gold’s Invasion of the Party Snatchers: How the Holy Rollers and the Neo-Cons destryoed the GOP and Bruce Bartlett’s Impostor: How George W. Bush Bankrupted America and Betrayed the Reagan Legacy, I’m once again left wondering about the mysterious 30% of the country that still supports our president and what they see in him. Across a broad swath of issues that I used to think mattered to the right (fiscal disipline, small government, competent foreign policy, individual rights, states rights), Bush seems to be running in the opposite direction, yet still manages to hold steady with “the base.”

My guess is that we have a cult of personality at this point and whatever Bush does or does not do is simply irrelevant. These people would follow Bush through the gates of hell and into a lake of fire.

Fine by me, I guess. His incompetence will only make it easier for the dems to demonstrate competent leadership to the country and the world. Personally, I hope Dubya’s failures (and I don’t mean to brag, but I did foresee him wrecking the country back in early 2000 based on his time as Texas governor; unfortunately, I was right) doom the Republican Party for the next few elections. There should be ample evidence for the dems to paint the GOP has the party of cronyism (“Heck of a job, Brownie”), corruption, and incompetence, which should be enough to swing most of the independents our way.

Posted in American Issues | 1 Comment »

They lie to us…

Posted by Brian on April 26, 2007

I suppose I shouldn’t be all that shocked and disappointed about the news that the Jessica Lynch and Pat Tillman stories are absolute frauds. I was never naive enough to think that the military wouldn’t spin both those stories to their advantage, but I never imagined the extent to which they would just make shit up and lie to the American people. I’m disappointed.

The ray of light in this whole cloudy mess is that these congressional investigations show that our government is one step closer to working the way it’s supposed to. Glenn Greenwald writes:

So why is Congress holding hearings to investigate these matters only now?

The answer, of course, is because the Republicans who controlled Congress for the last four years absolutely suppressed any attempt whatsoever to exert oversight on the administration. They not only investigated nothing, they aggressively blocked every real investigation into allegations of wrongdoing and corruption on the part of the administration. Our government literally ceased to function the way it is designed to, because Congressional Republicans deliberately abdicated their duty of checks on the executive and actively helped to conceal every improper and deceitful act.

The only reason any of this is being aired now is because the American people removed the President’s party from control of Congress and they are no longer able to keep concealed the Bush administration’s misconduct.

Right-wing partisans may be unhappy, but for those who, you know, care about trivial details like congressional oversight and checks and balances it’s a welcome relief. I hope the congressional dems continue to fulfill their duties even if the donkeys win 2008.

Posted in American Issues | Leave a Comment »

The nonsense continues…

Posted by Brian on April 26, 2007

Korean actress Chang Jin-young is taking out a “personal safety” insurance policy while filming a new TV drama in America because of concerns about an anti-Korean backlash following the VT massacre.

Elsewhere, the Korea Times ran yet another article on how the VT shooting is having a profound effect on Asian and Asian-American students in America, particulary Korean students:

Senior Chung Jae-ryung said she remembered her roommate’s boyfriend’s reaction after the killer’s identity as a South Korean was revealed. He waited until his girlfriend’s classes ended and escorted her to her house by car.

“He told us we shouldn’t go to bars or crowded places at night,” Chung said. “He told us we should be careful.”

You know, I read this kind if stuff and I wonder just what sort of monsters they think American people are. To be honest, it makes me angry that they would assume the absolute worst about so many Americans.

Posted in Korean Issues | Leave a Comment »

Excellent News

Posted by Brian on April 22, 2007

From the UK Telegraph:

Friends of Al Gore have secretly started assembling a campaign team in preparation for the former American vice-president to make a fresh bid for the White House.

Two members of Mr Gore’s staff from his unsuccessful attempt in 2000 say they have been approached to see if they would be available to work with him again.

Run, Al, run.

Via the Drudge Report

Posted in American Issues | 4 Comments »

Penis Power

Posted by Brian on April 21, 2007

You see the craziest shit on public access TV:

Thanks to my friend John for the link.

Posted in Humor | Leave a Comment »

Getting it all wrong…

Posted by Brian on April 19, 2007

I have no idea where the Korea Times cartoonist came up with this piece:
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Granted, I’m in Korea now and haven’t seen a lot of American coverage of the event, but from what I have seen the issue of gun control has been one of the central issues surrond this unfortunate event. But more importantly, the only discussion I’ve seen of scapegoating Asian students has been here in the Korean media, who GI Korea believes actually wants race to be front and center in the debate so as to shift the focus away from the (Korean) shooter and to racism in America.

The cartoon above is deeply irresponsible.

Posted in Korean Issues | 2 Comments »

Incredible Car!

Posted by Brian on April 19, 2007

Four members of K-pop group Super Junior were injured in car crash. Here’s what happened:

Kyu Hyun, Lee Teuk, Shin Dong and Eun Hyuk of the group were returning from a radio station, where they host a show, to their residence in Chongdam-dong when the car suddenly flipped in the middle of Olympic Road in Seoul.

That’s a pretty cool car if it can up and flip itself over without the slightest cause. I’m imagining some sort of cartoon car with a mind of its own and eyes in place of headlights.

Apparently, the new Korea Times layout prevents me from a providing a link to the article.

Posted in Korean Issues | 1 Comment »