Saturday, December 01, 2007

the XP mistake

You know, doesn't the XP system of computer RPGs and many pen and paper RPGs seem odd sometimes? Doesn't it seem backwards?

I was reading an article my dad sent me about the role making mistakes has in learning. Consistently it was proven that those who think that doing things right was more important than struggling in the process i.e. being smart is better than trying hard, were more motivated to work hard and took on more challenging problems. In short, they learned better.

Playing and learning are intertwined, amirite?

So, shouldn't games reward players for trying rather than succeeding? And certainly XP is the appropriate bonus. A number that is supposed to be abstracting the total experience of the PC should be measuring the mistakes far more than victories. Giving the PC some badass scars would be cool too.

Methinks the "grind" would be discouraged, no?

'Course it requires and RPG where failure doesn't equal death and this is not exactly an original idea. Some RPGs do give XP for battle loses as well as gains, usually tactics games where its units who level up.

Though, I suggest that we do not give XP for successes. Especially if winning already confers enough game rewards. I can't think of any RPGs that do that.

also: this principle would work for use based skill systems.