|What value would you put|
on this "intangible" experience?
The PBS Newshour feature explores how the museum monetizes these intangible art experiences while highlighting their novelty. Certainly game components serve as marketable, tangible products necessary for enabling play; yet on their own they don’t create the game experience. Purchasing materials isn’t always necessary, either, as gamers have a reputation for creating their own, either to enhance an existing game or to form an entirely new game of their original design. What’s an “intangible” game experience with a good gamemasters or referee worth these days? Does it matter? In a successful game the experience is often its own reward. (For this discussion I assume we’re considering game situations where everyone finds some enjoyment, even with a few negative quirks, and not those cases where disruptive players or a gamemaster’s particular style make for a less-than-ideal experience.) Gamemasters gain some satisfaction from the enjoyment they give their players. Players enhance games in their own way and can provide positive feedback for the gamemaster. Some groups offer other benefits to the gamemaster for organizing and running the game through his “performance,” from bringing snacks and beverages or providing a place to gather to giving game-related gifts (some of which might enhance the action at the game table and thus benefit the group).
|How do we place a value on|
"intangible" experiences like this?
Whether I run convention games for general attendees or special events, I often try to give players something tangible they can take away from the table as a souvenir of their brief game experience: their character sheet and tent card, any printed player handouts used in the game, and sometimes the gamemaster’s copy of the scenario (occasionally autographed by a flattered gamemaster).
What do we take away as tangible reminders of our ephemeral gaming experience? Certainly the character sheets, dungeon maps, scrawled notes with related doodles in the margins, and other props from the game itself constitute small reminders of our fantasy achievements and heroic deeds. Some folks keep character or party journals, in character or otherwise. Artistically gifted gamers often create sketches of characters, treasures, villains, monsters, and locations. At the very least satisfied players and gamemasters have the memories of an enjoyable experience, perhaps all one can ask from an intangible few hours rolling dice, plotting strategy, and playing games.
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