Friday, June 02, 2006

Shared Fantasy.
Gary Alan Fine wrote a ground-breaking study of non-computer RPG back in 1983. His approach was sociological, and has been copied by other researchers ever since.

He writes:
"Fantasy is constrained by the social expectations of the players and of their world."

and later...
"Collective fantasy lacks the seemingly random, illogical feature of dreaming; it does not have the egocentric or autistic qualities that Freud and Piaget discuss as characteristic of fantasy (or psychotic states). Because gaming fantasy is based in shared experiences, it must be constructed through communication. This communication is possible only when a shared set of references exist for the key images and a clear set of expectations exist for which action are legitimate."

What we need today is to understand the aesthetic and artistic qualities of con-computer RPG. Yes, it is a shared fantasy! It's not an egocentric or autistic dream. How do we create criticism and poetics for these shared fantasies?


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