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[Push] Why do I want this?

Cyrus

Retired User
#1
I like Indie RPGs a lot, and when I stopped by for my weekly or so trip to Indie Press Revolution, I saw Push. I don't follow the Indie scene too closely, so I recognize maybe two of the names involved off the top of my head, which means the description is functionally meaningless to me. So I need someone who's read it to explain to me what is in it and why I would want to read it. It sounds cool, but I don't really know what to make of, say:

John H. Kim
Immersive Story Methods for Tabletop Roleplaying

What will reading something like this explain to me about roleplaying, show me about roleplaying, or help me with in my roleplaying?



(As an aside: The entries on the main page of IPR really need to list the company name. While I can find the company for, say, Kevin Allen Jr. pretty easily, I had to click on just about every single one of the links to find the damn page for Push to link it here.)
 

The Eye

is podcast...
Validated User
#2
John H. Kim
Immersive Story Methods for Tabletop Roleplaying

What will reading something like this explain to me about roleplaying, show me about roleplaying, or help me with in my roleplaying?
I presume form the title that the article is a description of methods for role-playing that help to create immersive stories. It seems pretty straight-forward to me: if you want immersive stories, here's some ways to get them.

I doubt everything in the book would be useful to everyone who buys it, but that's why it's a collection of things by a bunch of different people. Personally, I've seen this once before, and it doesn't carry much interest to me. I'm not a huge fan of the "cutting edge" theory stuff that I've seen from the guys who write for it.
 

four willows

en faire tout un flan
Validated User
#3
I say this as a contributor to the book. Keep that in mind.

Push is a journal about-and-for roleplaying. In this one, there are articles and games.

Emily Care's article is really cool. It's sort of an ethnography of collaborative games; she tells you about the GM-player divide and how games have explored different structures. I think with some thinking you could get some techniques out of this.

Jonathan's game is really cool. It's inspired by text-adventure computer games and it's simply a blast to play.

I haven't read John Kim's article in literally years, but it's full of good thinking and great techniques that you could pull out and use every day in your own games.

Eero's article will not improve your gaming one bit, but it tells interesting stuff about the Finnish gaming scene.

My game is a thought experiment and a text experiment and it's okay. It's kind of there to draw attention to things that we don't really notice usually - like what roleplaying texts omit - if it gets you thinking about what you need to be a person who could play it, then I have done my job.

There are marginalia throughout by really smart people, which really make the book; without them, it would be seriously a lesser document and I would not give it the strong recommendation I do. Between them, you get some tomfoolery and some references to other interesting things and some applications and variations and ways to play around with the stuff in the articles. It's great.

I think that you can definitely use Push to improve your gaming, if you're willing to invest an afternoon in reading it slowly and really thinking about what it's saying.
 

Cyrus

Retired User
#4
Awesome, that's what I was looking to hear. The blurb on IPR doesn't give you any real idea of the actual meat of the book and how to use it. And I like reading about crazy indie ideas quite a bit.

Anyone who didn't write for the book have an opinion? I'm pretty much sold on this as it is, but I'd like to hear some other people's experiences with it anyway.
 

Cyrus

Retired User
#6
This should give you a better idea:

http://plays-well.com/push1-sample.pdf

I'll be getting this. Not sure what to think of a bibliography that includes Wittgenstein, Mieke Bal (for whom my hat know no limit, but hey), AND Klaus Teuber. But John Kim is smart and nondogmatic, and as a European I can relate to (the snippet from) Tuovinen.
Excellent. That sample pretty much pushed me over the edge on this. I'm pretty sure I'll have to pick this up just for the ideas in Mridangam and Waiting for the Queen/Tea at Midnight. Which is not to say the other articles won't be interesting reads--it's just that my favorite thing is to read how new ideas in Roleplaying are implemented more than just pure theory.
 

Steven Kei Kenobi

Dark sage
Validated User
#7
It is a decent read, but ultimately I didn't "learn" anything from it. That being said, I feel it's very well written, and covers some interesting subject matter. It also contains a few games, which both look interesting (I haven't played either, but they aren't really my thing).

Mostly I picked the book up for John Kim's article. John is an occasional aquaintance of mine, whom I've had the pleasure of meeting and playing with on several occasions. He's a very intelligent, perhaps even innovative author, and I highly recommend his work.
 
#8
There was a review in the Finnish roleplaying magazine Roolipelaaja, IIRC. I just can't find it.

Here is what I remember: Kim's article was good. The same article, or an older version of it, was published in Beyond Role and Play. You can read it here.

Emily Care's article tells about alternatives to traditional GM/player split.

The article of Eero Tuovinen tells about his perspective, and I'd put great emphasis on that, on Finnish roleplaying scene and how to keep it as is (especially the latter part was criticised).
 

Craig Oxbrow

Ah, y'know. This guy.
Validated User
#9
I was surprised not to see IF (Interactive Fiction) on the bibliography, since this is what the promo most reminds me of.
 

iago

www.evilhat.com
Validated User
#10
I can at least say that as a designer, reading just one article in Push gave me solid, applicable ideas for many games. I think this extends to non-designers too, but it's hard for me to read without that part of my brain engaged. ;)
 
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