Apparently the start of 2006 is an especially fertile time for new RPG theory jargon to arise. Over on Fair Game, Meguey explains in comments on this post that:

Here’s another example of what I mean by IWNAY.

Jill has a hard line at kids-in-danger. Robin says “The victim is a child.”

Jill says “Please don’t make the victim a child. I really don’t want the victim to be a child.” Robin says “I know you don’t like it, but the victim is a child.”

Jill says “You *suck*, Robin. And I’m still not going to abandon you.” Robin says “I know you think I suck. I know this is sucky of me to do. And I’m still not going to bail on you and your reaction to me being a sucky person right now.”

This strikes me as sounding more like a therapy session than a game, and while I get that part of the idea here is that conflict that cuts close to the bone makes better stories, it’s not an idea with which I necessarily agree.

While there are writers and other artists who create great works of fiction by confronting dark and terrible issues, there are also those who do a brilliant job of finding conflict and meaning in things that seem more mundane. By the same token, a game doesn’t need to push past all of a player’s lines in order to create a great story. There are plenty of great stories to be told in that grey area between comfortable and horrible, even if some of them aren’t as obvious.

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