Sunday 10 June 2012

Dissociative Mechanics and Rules vs. World Centric Gaming

Pictured: NOT a Dissociative Mechanic

There have been a few posts about Dissociative Mechanics floating around the old blog-o-sphere lately.

Justin Alexander gives the following brief definition, before trying to come-up with something more precise:
An associated mechanic is one which has a connection to the game world. A dissociated mechanic is one which is disconnected from the game world.

What it all comes down-to is immersion.  Dissociative Mechanics tend to encourage Rules-Centric gaming and ultimately hurt immersion.  It's not a direct relation. You could have a World-Centric game with dissociative mechanics, or a Rules-Centric game with associative mechanics. The point is what the rules tend to encourage.

The more things going on in the game that have no intuitive mapping to the game-world, the more players are drawn out of the game-world.

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