RPGs: Story vs Life
Subscriber John Henry―I think he’s a subscriber―asked me to expand on my thinking regarding story, life, and RPGs in a G+ post. So here it is. But first a few definitions, according to Alan Kellogg
The belief that the Earth is at the center of the Universe, and that everything orbits around her.
After Claudius Ptolomaeus, a 2nd century AD Greco-Roman astronomer who formulated a model of the geocentric universe. In the Ptolomaic system the Universe as a whole revolves around the Earth, as observed by early astronomers who had only their own eyes with which to observe with. My identification of him with one of the Pharonic Ptolomies of Egypt was a mistake.
Early observations gave a simple model, but later models added complications such as the appearance of the planets in their orbits halting in their motions, then going backwards. A so called retrograde motion or epicycle which complicated geocentrism.
In addition, it was observed that the planets didn’t exactly orbit the Earth, but a location outside it. For as they orbited there would be periods when the planet would be in the constellation associated with one season for a shorter period of time than in those associated with another.
And Ron Edwards: I compare the industry figure Ron Edwards with Ptolomy because like Ptolomy he formalized
In so far as RPGs involve the make believe, the imaginary, in that sense it would make sense to see RPGs as involving story. Which they do to be honest with you, but I submit that it does not make them story. I’ll explain later.
A model of the universe in which the Sun is in the center and all else orbits around it.
A Polish astronomer of the 15th-16th century who formulated an astronomical model in which the Earth orbited the Sun.
A Danish astronomer who lived in the 16th century. Brahe adhered to geocentrism at first, but through his observations apparently came to accept that the geocentric model was inaccurate. Near the end of his life he presented a model that apparently presented a compromise between geo and heliocentrism. But his model had problems, so he started on correcting them. Unfortunately, being of advanced age at this time he died.
German astronomer and in his early days one of Tycho Brahe’s assistants. After Brahe’s death Kepler absconded with his work, fearing to see that work getting stashed away in a vault somewhere by the Brahe family where no one could access it.
Using his mentor’s work Kepler made additional observations and performed a series of calculations. Thanks to his work he came to the conclusion that the orbits are not perfectly spherical as Copernicus and Galileo had said, but rather eccentric. More like ovals, though in some cases―Earth’s orbit for example―closer to a perfect circle than most people can produce free hand. Later work by his contemporaries and successors demonstrated that the Keplerian model better represented the Solar System than any others. The work done up to today has pretty much demonstrated that Kepler is right, and by using his conclusions we are able to successfully navigate to bodies outside of Earth.