Thread: A Thought
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September 22nd, 2013, 01:04
Just to type this thought in here before it becomes forgotten again :

Conflict based storytelling is leading into a dead lane. It goes nowhere, at least in MMOs.

I'vbe been playing SWTOR (and DDO a bit, too), and what I see is : NOTHING BUT conflict.

This becomes tedious and boring over time.

Because this means fighting, fighting, fighting.

In terms of storytelling, this is unhealthy, because, what it does NOT show in-game (but it DOES exist in Real Life !!! ) is :

- farmers
- crafters
- Joe Public
- families
- non-aggressive animals
- any non-combat related profession
- wanderers
- millers
- mechanics (at least for non-war-machines)
- bureaucrats
- writers
- messengers
- smiths (at least not those who do no weapons)
- scientists
- gardeners
- sailors
- cooks
- bakers
- miners
- any other profession NOT related to any sort of fighting.

Over time, conflict-based storytelling leads into an dead end, because once you have nothing but fighting within a game - or within a story as well, or within a movie, or in any other media), it becomes tiresome at one point. It creates some sort of burnout - for some later, for some sooner.

Plus, conflict-based storytelling is narrowing down possibilities of storytelling (like a funnel) into only one or a few variations of the same theme. You can produce only so mamny variations of the same theme of combat, of conflicht.

Plus, another point is that conflict-based storytelling effectively ignores or even negates the existence of anything NOT combat related - like the professions I listed above. In conflict-based storytelling, no-one mentions the miller or the baker.
And that even although they are there - in the backgrounds. Providing EVERYONE within the story with bread, for example.

Tristram and any other town in this game : A dead town. They are not going to survive, because there is no farmer, no miller, and no baker there. This is the ultimatively reduced conflict-based storytelling : Everything but the mere objects required for maintaining conflict-based storytelling is simply left out.

Me, I'm dreaming of one day being able to write a "Reiseroman", a genre of literature for which there doesn't seem to exist a direct translation (at least according to Wikipedia) : A "Reiseroman" is basically anovel describing a journey; a journey, and the landscapes around it. The Old Ways is some sort of an "Reiseroman", I guess (I haven't read it yet). A Reiseroman is not at all an sight-seeing tour; in fact, it takes more emphasis on describing people, customs, the environment met during the journey than anything regarded "important" like for example castles. A Reiseroman is about the journey, not about the sight-seeing.

It would be - I suspect - the ultimate opposite of conflict-based storytelling : A Reiseroman takes emphasis on the normal people, on Joe Public, not of anyone "important".

But, to sum it up, I still believe that conflict-based storytelling can become boring and tedious over time, if used too often.
And in MMOs, it is used too often.
--
Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction. (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
Last edited by Alrik Fassbauer; October 29th, 2013 at 12:09.
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