GNS Theory - History


The theory developed out of the Threefold Model that defined Drama, Simulation, and Game as three paradigms of role-playing. The concept first appeared in the newsgroup, and the name "Threefold Model" was coined in a post made by Mary Kuhner in 1997 which outlined the principles of the theory.

In his article "System Does Matter", Edwards said that all participants in RPGs hold one of three mutually exclusive perspectives or aims. He wrote that enjoyable RPGs focus on only one of these perspectives and that it is a common mistake in RPG design to try to satisfy all three types. It is for this reason that the article could be seen as a warning against generic role-playing game systems made by larger developers.

Ron Edwards has since further refined his understanding of RPGs, discarding GNS Theory in favor of The Big Model, which redefines and recontextualizes problematic aspects of GNS.

On December 2, 2005, Edwards closed the forums on The Forge regarding GNS theory, explaining that the forums supporting the GNS theoretical framework had outlived their usefulness.

Read more about this topic:  GNS Theory

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