Monday, June 23, 2014


I am getting quite close to finishing the book.  The release date is still floating quite close to July 15th - at this point I don't see any trouble in hitting that date, although there is always the unexpected.

I've gathered a small list of those books whose information was intrinsic to my thinking and to various parts of the book.  I thought it might be good to publish these, as an 'Appendix N.'  It certainly won't be the sort of list people would normally turn to for role-playing.  In my case, these represent content I turned to for understanding what is going on while we play and what goals we should strive for.  Most importantly, they aided me in understanding why things go right during a session, which was one of the secondary themes in the book.

Much of this content can be found discussed or described on youtube and other places in the net:

Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking, Malcolm Gladwell. Back Bay Books, 2007

Conceptual Models: Core to Good Design, Jeff Johnson & Austin Henderson. Morgan & Claypool Publishers, 2011

Consumer Behavior and Algorithm Design, Prabhakar Raghavan. Video, Simons Institute for the Theory of Computing, University of California, Berkeley, 2013

Here Comes Everybody; The Power of Organizing Without Organizations, Clay Shirky. Penguin Books, 2009

Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion (Collins Business Essentials), Robert B. Cialdini. HarperBusiness, 2006

Learning and Memory: From Brain to Behavior, Mark A. Gluck, Eduardo Mercado & Catherine E. Myers. Worth Publishers, 2007

Physical Therapy for Everyone: Understanding of Our Body & Simple Pain Management As Home Therapy, Clarence Chan. Video, Asian American/Asian Research Institute, City University of New York, 2013

Situational Awareness for Emergency Response, Richard B. Gasaway. Pennwell Corp., 2013

The Art Instinct: Beauty, Pleasure, & Human Evolution, Denis Dutton. Oxford University Press, 2009

The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference, Malcolm Gladwell. Back Bay Books, 2002

In all honesty, this is really more of a "reading list" than a bibliography.  I do not quote from any text, nor directly present any another author's position throughout my book.  I do, however, apply some of their general ideas to role-playing.


Tom said...

Will you be including anything from your The Paradox of Choices article you wrote on 2-15-13. I found this information insightful and useful particularly as how it relates to versions of the game that overwhelm the players and DMs with too many options and chioces ( through the core rules and splatbooks) that seem to limit creativity and ingenuity during play and encourage metagaming and min/maxing character options.

Alexis Smolensk said...

I do not address the choice issue philosophically in the book. However, I do present a detailed, step-by-step strategy for narrowing your choices, for managing the process of creativity and for working towards being happy with the choices that you've made in creating a world.

Dave Cesarano said...

What's really interesting, here, is how remarkably different from Gygax's "Appendix N" this list is. There's not a single work of fantasy/SF fiction on the list--heck, there's not even a single work of fiction on it at all. The message this bibliography sends is pretty clear--you've done a lot of research into the nuts and bolts of what happens when people sit down to play and that is far more important than all of the stuff Gygax, Arneson, et. al. have focused on.

Barrow said...

Thank you for this. This bibliography could provide the tool set I was looking for to help me harness and manage the creativity I bring to the table. I have some reading to do...