Monday, May 4, 2015

hypothesis: I game in the same manner I solve problems

In a discussion on different ways to run Mass Combat with a friend I realized that I cannot imagine how else to run Mass Combat because I can only run it given the Coping or Problem Solving mechanisms I have. Which jumped to the hypothesis: Is the way I game based on how I solve problems?

This is a good meaty  question as all of a sudden I am criticizing all of the ways I run games and all of the ways  I deal with problems. Its a good question to meditate and write about, which I am doing now (as part of a multi-part exploration). It brings me to realize the Blind Side of my GMing - to solve problems the ways other people solve problems.

Of course with any Hypothesis there needs to be a way to prove or disprove it. For this hypothesis I need to learn the other methods of problem solving as I continue my biz studies and review the problem solving techniques I've discarded since It does not work for me.

One of the core things about Gaming (as it relates to problem solving), for me, is that it can accommodate different ways of solving problems. In a gaming table, I can (and should) accommodate the play styles (conflict resolution techniques) of all my other players while being able to push the narrative.

Which sounds like something I heard from my wife when she discussed a book she was reading. The wife is currently reading Quiet by Susan Cain and it talks about Introvert vs Extrovert Leadership. Particularly the Introvert leadership tends to be receptive to input and more-extrovert team members while Extrovert Leadership requires submissive team members ( a claim in the book). A mix of the two is always good - the ability to listen and take in input, and the extrovert confidence to follow through a course of action. The point being that GMing is very similar to how Introvert Leadership as described in the book.

By self examination my Universal Conflict Resolution System UCRS based on Scaling and Scope, Course of Action and Pacing Metre is now my go to for Mass Combat. Now I need to explore other systems and take away more ideas how to possibly run things. Note that I cannot really leave my UCRS because I need it to break things down to smaller things I can handle.

I realized my Problem Solving techniques (those mentioned above) follows the principles of the Pomodoro Technique (time boxing and similar techniques) in the sense of breaking things down to actionable time amounts. One key difference is that I realized scaling the task to the smallest kind I can perform with the least anxiety and distraction. I've recently realized that within me I only have so little of my mental resources reliable (the prefrontal cortex) and the rest are distract-able (the limbic system) mental resources. That breaking things down to Pacing Metres Stages, Course of Actions, and using flexible sense of Scaling and Scope is what I will be using to process new techniques.

So with this I can look for other methods.


  • Is the way I game based on how I solve problems? 
  • GMing relies on Accommodating different play styles = Problem Solving able to Accommodate different Problem Solving styles similar to Inrovert Leadership discussed in Quiet by Susan Cain. 
  • UCRS is similar to pomodoro technique (and various other similar techniques) in the way it breaks down problems in smaller chunks.
  • That after eliminating these methods I can look at other methods. 
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