Normalizing What's Cool

September 29, 2008

I’m not sure I agree with Vincent’s recent comments, but I do know that they are important. They’re definitely part of a larger reaction to the fallacy that everybody should be able to play / enjoy every game and an extreme diagnosis for the problem of dysfunction (stop playing with these people or play something else).

I’m talking about what I think is cool. I design games to get you to say things that I think are cool. So should you, if you design games.

My supposition is that you and your friends all agree with me about what’s cool. If you don’t, you won’t pick up my games in the first place. (Which is fine. If you don’t think is cool what I think is cool, you won’t like my games, please don’t bother.)

If you don’t even agree with each other about what’s cool, I’ve got absolutely nothing for you. Are you sure you should be playing games together in the first place?

Seriously. I’m categorically uninterested in roleplaying, theory or practice, when the players’ agreement about what’s interesting isn’t a rock-solid given. Any theorizing where you have to attend to “the speaker thinks it’s cool but the listener doesn’t,” no thanks. I’m out, good luck and god bless.

2 Responses to “Normalizing What's Cool”


  1. […] I’m stealing a quote from the excellent gameplaywright blog, as a counterpoint to the stuff I quoted from Vincent earlier: “Players will incentivise themselves to death. If the optimum path is boring, they will do […]

  2. Callan Says:

    I know ‘viva la difference’ refers to the differences between the genders as being wonderful, but I think in roleplay the differences between people is the wonderful thing. Not extreme differences, because you probably wouldn’t be friends/associates in that case. But a certain difference is where the zing is at, as I understand it. That’s why I didn’t understand Vincents post. But then there was a turn around in that thread.


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