Agenda

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The most general aim the player wants to achieve within a game.

RPG — Role-Playing Game, a game where main focus is assuming the role of a fictional character.

In Brian Upton's Aesthetic of Play, author draws from discussions about RPG (e.g. Threefold Model) and describes three players' agendas. The three categories fit surprisingly well to music games as here also every player might focus mostly on one of three:

  1. goals (we'll call these players gamists),
  2. coherence (formalists),
  3. closure (expressionists).

Originally, two latter types are called "simulationists" and "narrativists". Despite differences between storytelling and music, the analogy holds. You may look for more approaches towards the aim of the (music-)game. A popular one would be an agenda of looking for a learning experience or treating games as means of exploration of (musical/social) possibilities (instrumentalists?).

Some games might be tailored towards a specific agenda. But many music game may be considered a mediating platform for players of different preferences towards both playing and music (see: good music). If the game aims to reach diverse audience, it should be tested also against all the agendas. Furthermore, such a game may serve it's purpose only when stating the rules very precisely.

It's not that every player locks oneself in a chosen category, but differences are apparent and easing interactions between approaches is a task for every facilitator or collective that deals with music games in an open environment.

Other player taxonomies:


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