I posted a response to The Digital Antiquarian blog post:
These kind of thought experiments can be allot of fun. Humans love to categorize things and there are a few of us that obsess over them (sheepishly raises own hand). I’ve spend the past few years working on a theory that points to a layer of play that cuts across genres, themes, and motifs. It is called Playstates and sees there being five distinct motifs of play found in Video Games and in all other aspects of play. They are more like an chemical compound than like a border. Some products will have more toy-play and some will have more narrative-play and some will have game/sports-play. We see these eventually congeal into the popular genres that have captured our imagination. We would see RPGs being x parts game-play, x parts playground-play, x parts narrative-play, and so on while IFs would be mostly narrative-play, puzzle-play, and some parts playground-play.
One thing that old Adventure and IF video games used allot of is puzzle-play. The puzzles were there to delay the narrative reveals. This became frustrating for many who wanted to see the story mostly or wanted to have a more pure puzzle experience. Thus we see the creation of the ‘casual game’ genre (casual in theme mostly) where puzzles-play was predominant and the ‘visual novel’ genre where narrative-play was predominant. These two new genres gave players more of what they wanted and this is why traditional Adventure and IF video game became more niche genres.
I liked your take on TTRPG and would say that the TTRPG ruleset is an ’emergence engine’ while the modules themselves are a narrative framework for that emergence to spring from.
I have been planning on reading your blog for a few years and am now going through the Table of Contents. It is so far a fascinating and well-written perspective on computers and video games. Thank you for your efforts.