I’m bouncing around with my thoughts rather but my intent with this series of posts is primarily to brainstorm, so I guess that’s OK. I just hope as a result it’s not too disjointed for anyone reading. Please do chip in with any thoughts or questions as I go along.
Anyway continuing on, as shown in the diagram below, it seems fairly intuitive to me to think of the constituent elements of roleplaying as being kind of layered, with I guess complete immersion in the roleplaying experience at the centre and Out-Of-Game chatter on the periphery. Thus the Players and social aspects that surround the game are farthest from the centre, they encase the Game system and processes of play, and the Story itself (the fictitious sequence of events and experiences being created) is in the middle.
The player experience is a combination of interactions with elements on all three levels; other players, the game processes and the story that is being produced collaboratively. Governed by the rules of play (or perhaps ignoring them) the players both contribute to and perceive their own interpretation of the shared story that is being created. Their imagination is stimulated, possibly the game rules (as well as presumably facilitating play) provide an intellectual challenge (e.g. game tactics) and the activity is a social one so they can bond with or compete against other players. All-in-all a fairly wide range of experiential needs are catered for.