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  1. - Top - End - #91
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    Default Re: Why collaborative storytelling is a meaningless phrase

    Quote Originally Posted by Blackjackg View Post
    Ok, maybe I'm being the psychological quibbler on this, but I can guarantee that you are.
    I am not. And don't you DARE try to tell me I am.

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    Default Re: Why collaborative storytelling is a meaningless phrase

    Quote Originally Posted by Blackjackg View Post
    Have you considered the possibility that while you're insisting that you don't care about story, the parts of the game that you do claim to care about fall within the working definition of story that we are using?

    Like if you said "I don't care about breakfast, I just want to eat waffles and bacon in the morning," one might be justified in saying that what you're describing sounds like breakfast.
    What some on this thread are saying is "I eat waffles as part of my breakfast, therefore if you have chicken and waffles for dinner, you're actually having breakfast, even if you've been up for 12 hours and already ate twice."


    Quote Originally Posted by Blackjackg View Post
    I don't think anyone has been saying that the way you play the game is wrong, or that you're caring about the wrong things. I also like developing rich, interesting characters and vibrant settings, and making decisions for fictional persons. But those things are all part of the definition that I (and I think most of the other folks on this thread and in the world at large) have for storytelling.
    Here's where I'm coming from:

    There's no intention to tell a story.

    There's no concern about the quality of story, even one that might emerge post-session or post-campaign.

    There's no concern for plotting, pacing, structure, tension, "try-fail cycles", maintaining the validity of the antagonists as real threats, or other elements of story.

    If the PC has a chance to accomplish their goal or defeat their enemy in the first session, they're going to take it, "story arc" and "drama" be damned.

    And I really dislike "narrative" mechanics (might not even be fair to call them that, given all the discussion we've had about "narrative" vs "narrative") that attempt to emulate genre or give the players control of events outside their PCs' interaction with the setting and NPCs.


    Quote Originally Posted by Blackjackg View Post
    Ok, maybe I'm being the psychological nitpicker on this, but I can guarantee that you are. We all tell ourselves stories about our lives constantly. When I reflect on my past, or make predictions about how my future will go, I am creating a story, if only for myself. Seriously, there's a whole branch of psychotherapy built around this. Even that bit up there, where you say "as I live my life, I am neither living nor creating a story" is a story.
    Nonsense.

    And deeply, deeply insulting.
    Last edited by Max_Killjoy; 2017-12-31 at 12:42 PM.
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  3. - Top - End - #93
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    Default Re: Why collaborative storytelling is a meaningless phrase

    Quote Originally Posted by Tanarii View Post
    I am not. And don't you DARE try to tell me I am.
    ...Dang, you got scary there.

    I'll refrain from commenting on your experience. How you perceive the living of your life is your business.

    I can say that I, along with every other person I have ever met, am in a near-constant process of storytelling with myself.

    So, to sum up my perspective on this before I bail and get on with my day:

    1. Storytelling is a broadly defined process that exists in a great meany of the things that we do.
    2. Tabletop RPGs are collaborative storytelling games not because they are the only form of collaborative storytelling that we do, nor because collaborative storytelling is their sole defining feature, but because that is their primary purpose and the category of games that they fall into.

    I'll add to that that because the concept of collaborative storytelling is so broad, the phrase doesn't necessarily contain a whole lot of information. So there are many contexts in which it might be used, in which a listener would then be justified in asking "So What?" But that doesn't make it meaningless. Just unspecific.
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    Default Re: Why collaborative storytelling is a meaningless phrase

    Quote Originally Posted by Tanarii View Post
    I am not. And don't you DARE try to tell me I am.
    first off, this has nothing to do with you personally, so I find it odd that you are affronted by the statement. It is about people’s definition of the word. By their definition everyone’s life is a story. You might as well say “how dare you suggest that I exist”

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    Default Re: Why collaborative storytelling is a meaningless phrase

    Quote Originally Posted by Tanarii View Post
    I am not. And don't you DARE try to tell me I am.
    Wow. Needlessly hostile, much?

    Let's do an experiment:

    1. You are driving down the freeway, about to take an exit. Suddenly you are cut off by red truck with raised suspension and a confederate flag on the back. Why did they cut you off?

    2. You are driving down the freeway, about to take an exit. Suddenly you are cut off by a lincoln sedan being driven by an old man. Why did he cut you off?

    3. You are driving down the freeway, about to take an exit. Suddenly you are cut off by an ambulance with its lights off. Why did they cut you off?

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    Default Re: Why collaborative storytelling is a meaningless phrase

    What I don't get is why "collaborative storytelling" has no meaning as a phrase, while "narrative resolution" does.

    Feels like a simple unjustified bias between terminology and itself seems to have no relevance or meaning.

    "So what?"

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    Default Re: Why collaborative storytelling is a meaningless phrase

    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    Here's where I'm coming from:

    There's no intention to tell a story.

    There's no concern about the quality of story, even one that might emerge post-session or post-campaign.

    There's no concern for plotting, pacing, structure, tension, "try-fail cycles", maintaining the validity of the antagonists as real threats, or other elements of story.

    If the PC has a chance to accomplish their goal or defeat their enemy in the first session, they're going to take it, "story arc" and "drama" be damned.

    And I really dislike "narrative" mechanics (might not even be fair to call them that, given all the discussion we've had about "narrative" vs "narrative") that attempt to emulate genre or give the players control of events outside their PCs' interaction with the setting.
    Sounds to me that maybe you have a certain concept of what makes for a good RPG “story” (using their definition of the word), and that concept differs strongly from what a nerdy thespian university course would dictate a “good story” should be.

    A good RPG “story” doesn’t need any of that BS textbook stuff like “character arc”. And if the players are engaged with the events of the game, then there is drama, and good drama. (Even if it doesn’t fit the narrow definition of “good drama” in a literary textbook)
    Last edited by Aliquid; 2017-12-31 at 01:02 PM.

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    Default Re: Why collaborative storytelling is a meaningless phrase

    Alright, one last thing because I appreciate your clarifying where you're coming from.

    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    Here's where I'm coming from:

    There's no intention to tell a story.

    There's no concern about the quality of story, even one that might emerge post-session or post-campaign.

    There's no concern for plotting, pacing, structure, tension, "try-fail cycles", maintaining the validity of the antagonists as real threats, or other elements of story.

    If the PC has a chance to accomplish their goal or defeat their enemy in the first session, they're going to take it, "story arc" and "drama" be damned.

    And I really dislike "narrative" mechanics (might not even be fair to call them that, given all the discussion we've had about "narrative" vs "narrative") that attempt to emulate genre or give the players control of events outside their PCs' interaction with the setting and NPCs.
    I would not call plotting, pacing, structure, tension, "try-fail cycles," or maintaining the validity of antagonists necessary elements of story. They can contribute to how good a story if you choose to use them as criteria for assessing quality, but they do not define what makes a story. A story, by a basic dictionary definition, is an account of real or imagined events. That's it. There's no spectrum of narrative quality on one end of which is "story," and on the other end of which is "non-story." Stories are the whole spectrum.

    You describe a character having a goal and the opportunity to accomplish it. That's a story. Whether it takes one session or four hundred is immaterial. Whether everyone enjoys the story, or no one, or just the person who gets to accomplish their goal quickly, doesn't matter because it's all story. Narrative mechanics (which I think is a thoroughly apt term, well done) are just one way of directing the kind of story and the way it's told.

    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    Nonsense.

    And deeply, deeply insulting.
    Is it, though? I'm talking about something that literally every conscious, sentient person does. This includes me and everyone I love. To say that one is not doing it is to invent one's own definitions.
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  9. - Top - End - #99
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    Default Re: Why collaborative storytelling is a meaningless phrase

    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    Nonsense.

    And deeply, deeply insulting.
    Indeed. Others can live their life any way they want. But don't try to tell me how I live mine.

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    Default Re: Why collaborative storytelling is a meaningless phrase

    Quote Originally Posted by Tanarii View Post
    It's entirely possible to play an RPG by making decisions as your character, and not telling anything.
    My character says this. My character goes there and attempts that. All these things only "happen" as they are being told at a table.

    Quote Originally Posted by Blackjackg View Post
    We all tell ourselves stories about our lives constantly.
    Yeah, my shrink is having me write a short autobiography in an effort to break the loser glasses I am apparently looking at my life through.

    But here I would agree that we are way beyond the common understanding of "a story".

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    Default Re: Why collaborative storytelling is a meaningless phrase

    Quote Originally Posted by Tanarii View Post
    Indeed. Others can live their life any way they want. But don't try to tell me how I live mine.
    HOW you live your life is completely and totally irrelevant to this definition of “story”. If you are alive, your life creates a story, no matter what you do or don’t do. The only way to avoid this is to not exist in the first place.

    Heck. Your posts on this thread are telling me a story about who you are.

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    Default Re: Why collaborative storytelling is a meaningless phrase

    Quote Originally Posted by Blackjackg View Post
    Is it, though? I'm talking about something that literally every conscious, sentient person does. This includes me and everyone I love. To say that one is not doing it is to invent one's own definitions.
    More than that. Every living and inanimate thing can have a story. Material and abstract.

    A story can be a simple recollection of a series of events.

    Usually conscious attempts to story-tell will be best served to carefully craft the narrative structure such that the story produces a very particular effect.

    But that's an evolved method of story. The primordial elements of story just involve recounting things that allegedly have happened.

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    Default Re: Why collaborative storytelling is a meaningless phrase

    Quote Originally Posted by Aliquid View Post
    HOW you live your life is completely and totally irrelevant to this definition of “story”. If you are alive, your life creates a story, no matter what you do or don’t do. The only way to avoid this is to not exist in the first place.
    A story is more than a sequence of events, and there's a difference between the story told about something, and the thing itself.
    It is one thing to suspend your disbelief. It is another thing entirely to hang it by the neck until dead.

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  14. - Top - End - #104
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    Default Re: Why collaborative storytelling is a meaningless phrase

    Quote Originally Posted by Aliquid View Post
    HOW you live your life is completely and totally irrelevant to this definition of “story”. If you are alive, your life creates a story, no matter what you do or don’t do. The only way to avoid this is to not exist in the first place.
    Then the definition must be wrong. Because I exist (or believe I do if you want to get technical), and yet I personally do not create a story as I live my life. I can recount a story based on events in it, but that's not why, how, or the purpose of living my life. To claim otherwise is insulting.

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    Default Re: Why collaborative storytelling is a meaningless phrase

    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    A story is more than a sequence of events.
    Why?

    I've yet to see you or Tanarii give any fixed definition of "story". You say what it isn't, you fight others' definitions (which are in line with how I've always used the term), but you provide none of your own. That's not productive discussion.

    It seems that you two don't like the word as applied to RPGs due to bad associations with a certain, very limited application style of gaming and are trying to hedge out anything that even uses the same terms, as if those are the only uses of those terms. That's fine for personal use, but don't claim we're using the terms wrong (or that they're meaningless) because we use the unpoisoned meanings.
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    Default Re: Why collaborative storytelling is a meaningless phrase

    Quote Originally Posted by Tanarii View Post
    Indeed. Others can live their life any way they want. But don't try to tell me how I live mine.
    So any comment about people in general should be thrown out then? One can't say that people breathe air, because that's telling you how you live your life? One can't say that people excrete waste, because that's telling you how you live your life? One can't say that people have blood flowing in their body, because that's telling you how you live your life?

    That's ridiculous. It gets no less ridiculous for any host of psychological behaviors. People recognize patterns. People learn. People sort that new information into various models by recognizing patterns among that information. Bluster about how DARE people tell you how you live your life is irrelevant here.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tanarii View Post
    Then the definition must be wrong. Because I exist (or believe I do if you want to get technical), and yet I personally do not create a story as I live my life. I can recount a story based on events in it, but that's not why, how, or the purpose of living my life. To claim otherwise is insulting.
    Nobody is claiming that you create a single story as you live your life. Similarly nobody is claiming that creating a story is why, how, or the purpose of living your life. What has been said is that you create stories.

    It's much the same way as saying that you breathe. You don't take a single long breath as you live your life. You can choose to take a breath, but breathing isn't why, how, or the purpose of living your life.
    Last edited by Knaight; 2017-12-31 at 01:43 PM.

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    Default Re: Why collaborative storytelling is a meaningless phrase

    Quote Originally Posted by Tanarii View Post
    Then the definition must be wrong. Because I exist (or believe I do if you want to get technical), and yet I personally do not create a story as I live my life. I can recount a story based on events in it, but that's not why, how, or the purpose of living my life. To claim otherwise is insulting.
    unless I am mistaken, nobody here is suggesting that “creating a story” is the purpose of anyone’s life. It is just something that happens as a result of living.

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    Default Re: Why collaborative storytelling is a meaningless phrase

    I may have lost some of the point while reading the thread, but... Why exactly does it bother you that other people use a different definition of the phrase "collaborative storytelling"? Is it because they are misrepresenting the meaning that you have inferred from that phrase?

    Assuming it is, Isn't that kinda like, the nature of a difference of opinions? You're attacking people's opinions (with your own as ammunition) and wondering why they're not agreeing with you. This seems futile.
    ???


    Hope I'm not derailing the conversation, I'm just lost as to the point of the op. Are you making an assertion, trying to convince folks, stating an opinion, or something else?

    Edit: or are you trying to point out a hypocrisy? This seems like the most likely answer?
    Last edited by Deaxsa; 2017-12-31 at 03:09 PM.
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    Default Re: Why collaborative storytelling is a meaningless phrase

    Quote Originally Posted by Blackjackg View Post
    Alright, one last thing because I appreciate your clarifying where you're coming from.

    I would not call plotting, pacing, structure, tension, "try-fail cycles," or maintaining the validity of antagonists necessary elements of story. They can contribute to how good a story if you choose to use them as criteria for assessing quality, but they do not define what makes a story. A story, by a basic dictionary definition, is an account of real or imagined events. That's it. There's no spectrum of narrative quality on one end of which is "story," and on the other end of which is "non-story." Stories are the whole spectrum.
    As sometimes happens with dictionary definitions, the rush to be thoroughly inclusive of all usages reduces the word "story" to meaninglessness. "Events that happened somewhere sometime involving some stuff and/or someone" makes the word useless and pointless as it includes all of existence at that point -- it's a word that ends up meaning nothing by trying to mean everything.

    By that definition, an RPG is "a story"... because everything is supposedly "a story".


    Quote Originally Posted by Blackjackg View Post
    You describe a character having a goal and the opportunity to accomplish it. That's a story. Whether it takes one session or four hundred is immaterial. Whether everyone enjoys the story, or no one, or just the person who gets to accomplish their goal quickly, doesn't matter because it's all story. Narrative mechanics (which I think is a thoroughly apt term, well done) are just one way of directing the kind of story and the way it's told.
    Yes, by the definition of story that amounts to "any sequence of events", any sequence of events is a story. Which I guess is a great victory by the "story uber alles" side of this, but doesn't provide anything useful to the actual attempt to understand or explain gaming.


    Quote Originally Posted by Blackjackg View Post
    Is it, though? I'm talking about something that literally every conscious, sentient person does. This includes me and everyone I love. To say that one is not doing it is to invent one's own definitions.
    Yes, it is insulting, because people are telling you "I don't think that way", and you're saying "you don't even understand your own mind, obviously I know more about than you do."



    Quote Originally Posted by Tanarii View Post
    Then the definition must be wrong. Because I exist (or believe I do if you want to get technical), and yet I personally do not create a story as I live my life. I can recount a story based on events in it, but that's not why, how, or the purpose of living my life. To claim otherwise is insulting.
    EXACTLY.

    Crafting and telling stories is about more than going through a sequence of events -- it requires intent. If someone is going through their day without intentionally crafting a story, then they're not "living a story", even if a story could be told after the fact.
    Last edited by Max_Killjoy; 2017-12-31 at 03:05 PM.
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    Default Re: Why collaborative storytelling is a meaningless phrase

    ... This thread got very toxic very fast. And if you quoted this statement to pin blame on someone, YOU'RE NOT HELPLING.

    Still I would like to take a shot at clearing up what I mean by storytelling. (I think we are good on the collaborative part.)

    So say I am playing a fighter and I attack a zombie and deal 9 damage and then manages to block the zombies counter attack. That is not a story* as I see it, nor is stating the damage roles and defence scores as we resolve this moment storytelling.

    When it becomes a story/storytelling is when we "present" it (not a perfect word, but I don't have a better one) to someone, even ourselves. In the context of this moment, that just takes some flavour text. "I sweep my axe down and... {rolls, sees zombie has 3HP total} tear a massive hunk out of the side of its chest." "OK it claws at you. {rolls} And is so weak you can easily stop the attack." "I push its hands aside with my shield as I prepare for another blow."

    So by that definition, role-playing games aren't collaborative storytelling in terms of equivalence, but they often contain quite a bit. The ones I enjoy at least.

    * A little bit of irony (for after the rest of the post) here it technically is a story because I presented it to you, quite purposeful to create some context. A very try and short story.

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    Default Re: Why collaborative storytelling is a meaningless phrase

    Quote Originally Posted by Cluedrew View Post
    ... This thread got very toxic very fast.
    That's what happens when people go around saying "Your own experience of your own life doesn't matter, here's what's actually going on inside your head".
    It is one thing to suspend your disbelief. It is another thing entirely to hang it by the neck until dead.

    Verisimilitude -- n, the appearance or semblance of truth, likelihood, or probability.

    The concern is not realism in speculative fiction, but rather the sense that a setting or story could be real, fostered by internal consistency and coherence.

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    Default Re: Why collaborative storytelling is a meaningless phrase

    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixPhyre View Post
    Why?

    I've yet to see you or Tanarii give any fixed definition of "story". You say what it isn't, you fight others' definitions (which are in line with how I've always used the term), but you provide none of your own. That's not productive discussion.

    It seems that you two don't like the word as applied to RPGs due to bad associations with a certain, very limited application style of gaming and are trying to hedge out anything that even uses the same terms, as if those are the only uses of those terms. That's fine for personal use, but don't claim we're using the terms wrong (or that they're meaningless) because we use the unpoisoned meanings.
    I've given elements required beyond "stuff happened", and I've explained why the "stuff happened" makes the word useless.

    If anything, the poisoned meaning is the one being thrown around that includes anything that ever happened anywhere involving anything or nothing.


    The problem isn't their definition -- the problem is that they're using a broad definition of "story" to claim that everyone who ever played an RPG was actively and intentionally telling a story.
    Last edited by Max_Killjoy; 2017-12-31 at 04:08 PM.
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    Default Re: Why collaborative storytelling is a meaningless phrase

    I thought it was more "no when I say storytelling, it does include that" than "your brain doesn't work the way you think it does". I'm all for "Never blame on malice what can be blamed on stupidity, never blame on stupidity what can be blamed on bad communication" and since I can see what both sides are trying to say, and agree with what they are trying to say, depending on how I read what is happening, I would say it is mostly the third here.

    Also, yes English tends to be very vague and often overly flexible when it comes to assigning words meaning. I word argue against this in a number of cases myself, but that doesn't change the fact that is how it works.

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    Default Re: Why collaborative storytelling is a meaningless phrase

    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    As sometimes happens with dictionary definitions, the rush to be thoroughly inclusive of all usages reduces the word "story" to meaninglessness. "Events that happened somewhere sometime involving some stuff and/or someone" makes the word useless and pointless as it includes all of existence at that point -- it's a word that ends up meaning nothing by trying to mean everything.

    ...

    Crafting and telling stories is about more than going through a sequence of events -- it requires intent. If someone is going through their day without intentionally crafting a story, then they're not "living a story", even if a story could be told after the fact.
    "An account of" is right there in the definition. It's the first few words. Something like it has consistently appeared in every definition given, and yet every time you two try to repudiate the definition it mysteriously vanishes from the definition being repudiated.

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    Default Re: Why collaborative storytelling is a meaningless phrase

    Quote Originally Posted by Cluedrew View Post
    I thought it was more "no when I say storytelling, it does include that" than "your brain doesn't work the way you think it does". I'm all for "Never blame on malice what can be blamed on stupidity, never blame on stupidity what can be blamed on bad communication" and since I can see what both sides are trying to say, and agree with what they are trying to say, depending on how I read what is happening, I would say it is mostly the third here.

    Also, yes English tends to be very vague and often overly flexible when it comes to assigning words meaning. I word argue against this in a number of cases myself, but that doesn't change the fact that is how it works.
    It doesn't help that there's a serious conflation from one side of "things happening that a story could be told about" and "telling a story".
    It is one thing to suspend your disbelief. It is another thing entirely to hang it by the neck until dead.

    Verisimilitude -- n, the appearance or semblance of truth, likelihood, or probability.

    The concern is not realism in speculative fiction, but rather the sense that a setting or story could be real, fostered by internal consistency and coherence.

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    Default Re: Why collaborative storytelling is a meaningless phrase

    Quote Originally Posted by Jormengand View Post
    Yes, that is your point, but it's not my point. My point is "The players are, one hopes, participating as much in the actual doing of stuff as the DM" and your point is "there is at least one player there doing their 5% or less of involvement" I'm sorry, but if I were in a 4-player party and less than 5% involved in the doing of stuff, I would walk. The whole point of D&D is that it's not just the DM telling his story of how the PCs went on the railroad all the way down to the DM's preplanned story. It's the players participating in the story, and actually doing meaningful things.
    I don't think you get it.

    Ok, the DM creates and controls the game reality, the setting, the game world, everything in the game world and really, just to say it again: Everything: Except a couple characters. So does that kinda of show you the 95% vs 5% split?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tanarii View Post
    It's entirely possible to play an RPG by making decisions as your character, and not telling anything.
    I do wonder what ''story'' everyone is telling with their characters? The DM makes an Adventure Story: The princess is grabbed by a dragon. The players choose to follow that story and save the princess. So that is the Story. So the story starts at ''the characters talking the job'' and stops at ''the characters do the job....or die".

    Now as it is an RPG the players can..try..to do anything the characters can do. If the players are like ''Wez charge the dragon's lair! Attackz!" Then the story will (most likely) be about how the dragon killed the characters. If the players come up with a plan to sneak the princess out of the lair...and play through the game world and pull it off..then the story is ''how the characters saved the princess by sneaking her out of the dragon's lair."

    Is everyone counting things like ''my character Joz attacks the kobold with a club before the kobold with a dagger'' as the player Storytelling? Is the player making in game decisions about their character suddenly ''a story''.

    And sure, the tiny, tiny, tiny decisions each player makes to become part of the Big Adventure Story, the one made, controled and maintained by the DM.

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    Default Re: Why collaborative storytelling is a meaningless phrase

    Quote Originally Posted by Knaight View Post
    "An account of" is right there in the definition. It's the first few words. Something like it has consistently appeared in every definition given, and yet every time you two try to repudiate the definition it mysteriously vanishes from the definition being repudiated.
    That's not what several participants in this "discussion" are saying -- they are literally saying right here on the page that anything that happens, any sequence of events, is a "story".

    Furthermore, some of them are asserting that everyone is always actively creating stories.


    If you are alive, your life creates a story, no matter what you do or don’t do. The only way to avoid this is to not exist in the first place.
    But the moment that something happens in that scene, or the character does something, that is a story
    A story doesn't have to be anything other than a sequence of decisions and events.
    A story can be a simple recollection of a series of events.
    Ok, maybe I'm being the psychological nitpicker on this, but I can guarantee that you are. We all tell ourselves stories about our lives constantly.
    I can say that I, along with every other person I have ever met, am in a near-constant process of storytelling with myself.
    You´re basically kidding yourself. We're humans, were prone to connecting the dots and everything will create a narrative in hindsight.
    That would be the story of your character.
    So yeah, that's exactly what they're saying. "An account of" isn't entering into the story uber alles side of the discussion -- what they're asserting is that the very events are themselves are always a story, and that the very act of living is a story... that doing or saying or thinking anything is "a story". Which not only reduces "story" to near-meaninglessness, it also creates a backdoor to claim that all gaming is "storytelling" by conflating "a story" with "storytelling".

    Furthermore, some are asserting that every person everyone is constantly in the act of storytelling, no matter what any one person actually experiences in their own heads.


    ~~~~

    Quote Originally Posted by kyoryu View Post
    My personal beef is the "it's all about storytelling." No, it's not, unless you stretch the definition of "storytelling" to the breaking point, and make it so expansive that any human activity can be "about storytelling."
    Exactly -- it's a definition without a distinction.

    I'm starting to suspect that this whole "all human activity is a story" thing is getting into the postmodernist drivel that narratives supposedly matter more than facts, and that indeed we supposedly only have narratives and no facts at all.
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    Verisimilitude -- n, the appearance or semblance of truth, likelihood, or probability.

    The concern is not realism in speculative fiction, but rather the sense that a setting or story could be real, fostered by internal consistency and coherence.

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    Default Re: Why collaborative storytelling is a meaningless phrase

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaptin Keen View Post
    I've stated opinion. You've stated opinion. The difference is that I'm not insulted by yours. I haven't uttered even one word about any intention of yours.
    The insult is in someone saying "this is what's going on my head", and you replaying "No, you're wrong, you're kidding yourself, I know better than you do what's going on in your head".
    It is one thing to suspend your disbelief. It is another thing entirely to hang it by the neck until dead.

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    The concern is not realism in speculative fiction, but rather the sense that a setting or story could be real, fostered by internal consistency and coherence.

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    Default Re: Why collaborative storytelling is a meaningless phrase

    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    It doesn't help that there's a serious conflation from one side of "things happening that a story could be told about" and "telling a story".
    You keep assuming that a story must have a larger meaning in order to be a story.

    This is not true. I can make up any number of meaningless stories you like. We can retroactively apply interpretive meanings to these meaningless stories and they will still be stories if we don't.

    Saying this principle is universal is no judgment on anyone's life, just a consequence of the definition that story is a series of events.

    "Everything can be related through story" is not the same statement as, "everything is story." Story is a means for communication and a person could choose to communicate nonsense rather than meaning. They're still telling a (nonsensical) story.


    And human life has inherent meaning to humans, even if some people use that to guide their thoughts and actions while others don't. Therefore, human life naturally creates stories. It's part of why humans often struggle with the idea that nothing really matters.

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    Default Re: Why collaborative storytelling is a meaningless phrase

    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    It doesn't help that there's a serious conflation from one side of "things happening that a story could be told about" and "telling a story".
    That's just it. I, personally, don't see those as usefully different things in this context. As long as there is a connected series of events, there's a story being told. I see the universe as telling stories all the time--some fragmentary, some observed only in hind-sight, some more formal.

    I don't understand why you believe that stories can only be told after, not during the events. Take serial fiction (probably the most widespread and popular form of fiction). In many cases, the end of the story (or even the later events!) are unknown to the writers when the series is first published. Or they're known in principle, but are changed based on feedback from others (readers/watchers/critics/etc).

    Stories are almost fractal--there are layers of sub-stories in every story, going down several levels.

    Take a long-running TV show, book, or manga series. There are multiple layers (starting at the smallest):

    1a) The episode (chapter, etc). Often this is only a fragment of a scene, especially in anime, although it might also be many scenes. The time period covered is anywhere from a few seconds (Dragonball Z is a prime offender here) to thousands of years. In RPG terms, this is a session.

    1b) The scene. Scenes too are of variable lengths, although unlike episodes they don't tend to start or stop in the middle. Multiple scenes might happen in an episode, or one scene might take multiple episodes. An encounter (social, combat, or otherwise) is the closest RPG equivalent.

    2) An arc (character or plot). This is a set of scenes that all continue the narrative about either a plot point or a character's development. Multiple arcs might be in motion simultaneously. In RPG terms this is usually an objective or (sometimes) an adventure/module.

    3) The sur-story--this is the entire narrative from start to finish. Includes multiple arcs. May or may not ever be finished (see canceled TV shows, unfinished book series, etc). The RPG equivalent is a campaign.

    4) The setting meta-narrative--this is to the sur-story as an arc is to the sur-story. Each sur-story changes the setting; the meta-narrative sets the range of possible stories. Some settings lack this element (or only have it occasionally). RPGs call this the setting meta (OWoD, TDE, and L5R are notorious for having strong meta-narratives).

    All of these are stories in every meaningful sense.

    You're too caught up in formal definitions and can't see how the words are commonly (and rightfully!) used.
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