RPGs As Language: Resolving

September 8, 2013

From a language perspective it is possible to generalize the typical RPG concept of resolution. While most often resolution in RPGs refers to a movement in time taking an action from attempted to accomplished or failed it its consequential effects – but this ties things into fictional time in a way which doesn’t extrapolate well when things are not evolving in fictional time, or there is no immediate fiction at all. But it is just as valid to look at that situation in terms of resolving a discrepancy among possible outcomes – in which case it is the process of paring down possibilities and clarifying details of the social or fictional content which is the root of resolving.

Which means you can resolve anything from play procedures to fictional relationship statuses, from back story to exposing hidden emotions (fictional or otherwise). Resolving is, in essence, a fairly self-contained part of the process of sharing which is built on mechanics and ephemera (which I’ve described earlier). For the moment, we can think of resolution as a ‘sentence’ within the overall communication of sharing. and in that vein the ‘how’ of the resolution can the thought of as a ‘verb’, while the ‘what’ is like the ‘noun’.

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