Friday, February 20, 2015

A Call for better definition of Skills, and more

If you agree with these assertions, then I want to point you towards Agency and Skills. Particularly how people feel a greater sense of Agency when they acquire skills, and that we can define and develop a set of skills through RPGame.

One things I loved about GURPS is that their research brought them to use some real world skills. Of course, they use the term depends and is not always drawn from the real world. Still it hits some key terms on various soft skills in the discussions of the forums and in the source books. (ex. using Fortunetelling when the definition is more like Cold Reading)

If you've seen me GM then you'll notice I focus a lot on Soft Skills, particularly using the correct definition and expounding the concepts for skills. If you look at how I approach Administration, Merchant, Diplomacy, etc... (and many other skills) I go well beyond the GURPS definition and use the real world definition and scope of these skills. As a student of management and cognition, you'll notice I try to use the correct concepts when it comes to biz dealings, and draw from that for many of my explanations. This, in my guessing, should help people better understand the real world practices I draw from.

I didnt realize how important it was to me, or how to verbally communicate how important it was until this video from Extra Credit - it gave me a sense of AGENCY. If we can define the real world skills we accumulate and try then the sense of control we have over our lives become more tangible, more real.

I try most of the time to go by Conventional Definitions, and to cite sources where I get these definitions since many skills have different meaning per industry, profession, and cultural business background. So its easier to "match assumptions" and "definition of terms".

So in the system I'm working on in the side, Ill try to keep using the same real world convention for certain soft skills (while putting the particular discipline I draw from in one of notes). When we use such terms, more techniques and nuances tend to be available for the PC's creativity to master and manipulate.

I realize, not a lot of people game this way but most people feel the need to  have verbal tools to express the skillset they want to communicate to research, or expect from others. So I hope this helps in seeing how important such a verbal tool can be and how it can make teaching and learning easier through a greater sense of agency.

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