mardi 18 juillet 2017

The Paladin Ethic and the Spirit of Dungeoneering [peer-reviewed]

Mizer, Nicholas J. 2014. “The Paladin Ethic and the Spirit of Dungeoneering.The Journal of Popular Culture 47 (6): 1296–1313.
D&D is a paradoxical mix of "free narrative imagination and complex rule-based limitations".

D&D follows the development curve of wargame designs. It becomes more and more rationalized and, when it's are too dull or unplayable, an innovation is introduced to re-enchant it. Wargame rules for Middle Ages were dull, too complex and not satisfying, so Arneson "re-infuse [them] with a play spirit".

D&D game designs reflect the values
  • of America: imagination, flexibility, limitless possibilities
  • of puritanism : character advancement, accumulation of XP and treasure (wealth and divine favor)
  • of actuarial science (Gygax profession): scores, ratings, charts,...
  • of modern standardization (ex: McDonaldization: efficiency, calculability, predictability, and control): "prepackaged fantasy characters and sending them into ready-to-explore adventures".

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