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Subject: 'Storytelling' as a category vs as a mechanic. rss

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K T Magiosnik
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I've recently noticed that there is a discrepancy between the definition of the Storytelling mechanic "You are supplied with basic concepts, letters, or pictures with which to tell a story. The pieces you are given have to be part of the story." and many of the games which have this listed as one of their mechanics.

This mechanic is evident in games such as Once Upon a Time: The Storytelling Card Game and Aye, Dark Overlord! The Red Box, for example. However, this mechanic seems to have been put on games such as Eldritch Horror and Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island, which while strongly thematic, and tell a story, do not have the player tell a story. It seems to me that games with storytelling mechanics (which for the most part are storytelling games) should be the only ones that should be listed as having the mechanic, as otherwise this 'mechanic' simply just lumps together anything that could be defined as 'thematic'.

Games that explicitly tell a story of sort (so Eldritch Horror and Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island are excellent examples of this) but lack the storytelling mechanic either should be sufficiently classified in the 'Thematic' Subdomain, or a new Category needs to be provided to allow for differentiation of games that tell stories and games that have players tell stories.
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Is the fact that thematic games lend themselves to being interpreted as a "story" not covered by them being categorized as thematic games?
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K T Magiosnik
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Kaffedrake wrote:
Is the fact that thematic games lend themselves to being interpreted as a "story" not covered by them being categorized as thematic games?


That might very well be the case, but some people might desire for there to be a distinctive category (as opposed to a subdomain) for games in which there is some narrative or story (namely games where blocks of story text are read, such as Mice and Mystics, Eldritch Horror), and I didn't want to put them off from the start.

My major issue is the misuse of the storytelling mechanic, since:

A) Having mechanics listed for a game can be informative to someone curious about how the game works.

and

B) Browsing by mechanic ought to allow you to find games that actually use that mechanic.
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K T Magiosnik
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RainyDays7 wrote:
Browsing by mechanic ought to allow you to find games that actually use that mechanic.


I'd rather get some momentum/consensus on this idea here before I start removing 'Storytelling' from half of the the games labeled with it.
 
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Derry Salewski
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You can probably go and do this for every label on the site.

But I bet you're on to something.
 
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K T Magiosnik
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scifiantihero wrote:
You can probably go and do this for every label on the site.

But I bet you're on to something.


Quite right, I haven't even begun to look into mislabeling of other types. It would seem to me though you'll see a lot more misuse of 'storytelling' than 'worker placement'. At least for mechanics (through the browse submenu), clean definitions are usually given, and so blatant incorrect usages really standout for something as uncommon as the storytelling mechanic.

That all being said, I'm utterly baffled by the fact there is a 'singing' mechanic, since there don't seem to actually be any notable games that prominently feature it.
 
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I have a thread that I like to point back to: A category observation and a mechanic observation.

The upshot of these threads is usually "submit corrections". It's not realistic (it seems) to get people to agree on refining the meaning of a label and then get official support to push it through.

I would start "sounding the waters" by submitting corrections to remove Storytelling from some entries where you think it's particularly unapt, giving a short description of why. Underpaid evil content admins will approve the changes or perhaps ask you for clarifications.
 
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K T Magiosnik
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Kaffedrake wrote:
I would start "sounding the waters" by submitting corrections to remove Storytelling from some entries where you think it's particularly unapt, giving a short description of why. Underpaid evil content admins will approve the changes or perhaps ask you for clarifications.


That's pretty much what I was planning on doing, I just wanted to see if there was any consensus about what I was saying (which as evidenced by both your referred thread and just the little feedback within this one is present) before I went on a correction rampage.

 
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