Quantifying You: A talk from games historian Jon Peterson

Tuesday, Oct 11, 2016 - 3:00pm to 4:30pm

The Jacob Marschak Interdisciplinary Colloquium on Mathematics in the Behavioral Sciences at UCLA

Role-playing games like Dungeons & Dragons resulted from the application of the principles of conflict simulation to fantastic literature. These two cultures, a games culture and a story culture, competed to define role-playing games in their infancy. Was a character in a role-playing game the Sum of its quantified characteristics, was it a literary or theatrical quality, or something else?

Games historian Jon Peterson explores what the role-playing in role-playing games meant to the earliest practitioners, and how the tension between quantifying personal attributes and deferring them to the imagination of players informed the early evolution of these games as they began to migrate from the tabletop to the computer.

Light refreshments will be served. Please RSVP as seating is limited.

Peterson is the author of Playing at the World: A History of Simulating Wars, People, and Fantastic Adventure from Chess to Role-Playing Games.

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