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Calling Narrative Events Theater


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Greetings, all!

I am interested in Narrative play.  The potential of what happens on the tabletop is my motivating force for continuing to play this game and enjoy this hobby for 9 years now.  But to me, there has been something lacking for Narrative events in the terminology.  Specifically in comparison to tournaments.

In the past few years, I have seen discussions and arguments over the intent of wargaming events (particularly on other websites a while back) and have even personally been affected by it.  In most cases, it boils down to the expectations of a gaming event.  For example,  a "tournament" must mean a competitive event for the competitive mindset, bring your best or stay home.  Whenever someone tries to put together a "casual" tournament, someone else will chime in that a tournament cannot be casual by the very use of the word tournament.  So we have tournaments that have an expectation of competitive play.

But for Narrative?  You just have "narrative event".  Which is fine and dandy, and explains what it is.  But I have a proposal for a term to use in place of or in addition to "narrative event":  Theater

There is a double meaning in the use of the team theater that are fitting.  First, the connotation of a stage production, a story – actors putting on a show to depict a story for an audience. In this case, the audience is the same as the performers, with the Event organizers playing the directors, producers, writers, and set designers.  Secondly, there is the phrase "theater of war" which refers a geographical or determined sector of a war or conflict. It has a meaning related to warfare, and this can be tied to wargaming with no issue.

To me, using such a term helps to differentiate a narrative even from a competitive one, while also giving narrative events their own identity.

What are your thoughts on this?

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Jumping in for my2cent, but to me, this is all about semantics. And so, completely irrelevant on how it affects the game. Conclusion: it's prefectly fine to use the term "Theater" if one considers it to be fitting to their events.

Further explanation: I find quite irking all this trend in "partitioning" the different ways of playing this hobby (3 ways to play and other so called inventions).  I really don't see the issue with making a tournament casual (ie. non competitive), there is no NEED to make a tournament competitive. A lot of people only consider tournaments competitive? Fine. But it won't make tournaments "competitive" (netlists, etc.) exclusive. Thus, using different terms to describe what type of events (or inventing new ones like "Theater) will have zero impact or relevance for the event itself. It is onlya discussion on how different opinions consider a certain type of game should be played. And for that, there is no objective answer. 

I mean, you can have a "narrative events/tournament" that plays exactly like a regular net-list win-at-all ¡-cost type of tournament, but with a narrative behind (make a story, fitting battleplans, etc...). You can also have "narrative events/tournaments" that are very casual, where players have fluffy non-optimized lists. Both can be called "narrative tourments", as they are exactly that: a tournament (contest between competitors) with a narrative (story done for the competition). It's all down to what people participating in it understand by "narrative events/tournament". Or accessorily, the ability from orginizers to transmit and organize the tournament to fit their vision of the game.

So yeah, using the Theater term is fine but I think that not really necessary as other terms already in use can already transmit your idea without pushing further semantics and partitioning so called "ways to play" as all these terms do not have a rigid and objective definition.

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