Thursday, April 26, 2012

What if there is a transcription program for Gamers

I was musing things I'd making for gaming If money was no object. I was wondering if there was a tool that allowed a group while playing can transcribe and arrange everyone's actions in a way that it is easy to follow and post. A tool that allows the GM and Chronicler to wrap things up in a nice tidy bow for posts. 

I got the idea from work and taking the minutes of meeting. What if players would write what they do as "official" actions on an Intranet API, that way we can cut through the distracting chatter. I love the distracted chatter as much as the next gamer, but It gets in the way of note taking. 

Now the problem is one centralized place where everyone's notes can be found. First tool to come to mind is using Google Docs with the built in collaborations. In google docs the Game Chronicler, a position I reward with perks, takes the notes of the game and the GM's action. His lieutenant, the Lieutenant Chronicler, writes the narrative focusing on summarizing what has transpired. The Chronicler and the Lieutenant can mix and exchange roles, which ever the Chief Chronicler decides, as long as there is a unifying narrative and the actions are transcribed. 

A Intranet Google Wave or Apache Wave is also a worthwhile program to try. Especially loaded with all the gamer plug-ins that were made prior to the Wave closing down. In fact that's a great service for a gaming location. 

Having games on the record is an interesting and revealing. I've watched my recorded games and pay close attention to my quirks because of being self conscious, but I also notice my narrative form go astray with distractions. After all that Game Prep, the hours GMs pour into the game, the Play itself should be recorded and made into something presentable and mined for data. Having the results of one's hard labor and spontaneous creative inspiration come into being documented makes so much sense. Also it serves as great material for critical analysis. 

To me, Game Sessions are like brainstorming meeting: the problems are always different, changing and escalating, at the same time we don't know if things work out until we try to execute the plan. In the Chaos we fail but against such great risks and odds we get to exercise strengths that get honed through recall and practice, note that there is no real life risk involved BUT the Role-playing actually cognitively exercises the mind as though it was a really stressful and exciting experience. Since its a RPG the normalization response or the compartmentalization is much faster. 

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