In this post, I’m going to lay out some concepts I picked up, in part, from the documentary . These lessons align with an important observation made by Rob Kunst. That observation is this; Role playing games are a combination of open and closed systems. Role-playing games are games in which players can do things that are not in the rules. Dave Arneson’s genius was in making this leap, according to Kunst. I don’t think Arneson had a “Eureka!” moment where his lateral thinking led him to that understanding. I think it was a series of experiments by Arneson and his friends who were trying to make their war games more enjoyable that led to a discovery. That discovery is that the combination of open and closed systems allow for a depth of play that cannot be matched by a pure closed system or a purely open system.
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