My final year of my Sociology degree has started. So far, it looks very interesting. It should be a year of mostly Sociology with a bit of Political Science. And yes, I do consider this post to be relevant to gaming. Many concepts from my classes are extremely helpful when I run or participate in a game. Frameworks and perspectives can be mined to create more realistic societies for the players to inhabit. As the year progresses I might post more detailed intersections of my interests.
A quick case in point: Currently I am in a PBF (Play By Forum) game of Battlestar Galactica over at boardgamegeek.com. One of the reasons I enjoy playing BSG is the social aspect of it. Much like the old B5 CCG, player interaction is vital to winning. Negotiation, deception, and tactical planning merge into an unpredictable experience. Human players spend the game struggling to survive long enough to find a new home for the fleet, while constantly trying to decipher the true loyalties of the other players. Cylon players (determined secretly and randomly) win by preventing a human victory by any means possible. While the theme may make it sound somewhat removed from the world of Political Science or Sociology, the heart of the game relies on an individual's ability to sway the actions of other. Cylons adept at feigning innocence and triggering misdirection have ruined more than one human group's chances of victory. Conversely, adept human players that can manage the oncoming disasters and deduce the nature of the other players have saved many fleets. I really want to incorporate the game into some projects this year.
To see how things are going on the U.S.S. Why-The-Frakk-Can't-We-Roll-Above-A-Two follow the link: