Week 2 and 3 (Fiasco)

In the second and third weeks of playing games in class we played a game called Fiasco. This game is all about story telling and interacting with other people. In Fiasco players tell a story through scenes where they interact with other players. The players interactions are based upon the setting in which they inhabit which is determined by dice and the players as they choose the relationships they share with each other. The outcomes of the scenes determine a characters outcome at the end of the story as characters collect dice for a scene either ending good for their character or poorly for their character. True to its name though this game typically ends up as a fiasco for some people and my group was no different.

In this game of Fiasco me and the other players played a group of a gambling baseball player who betted on their own games, a bookie who assisted in the baseball player’s gambling and was in his own legal troubles, and a lawyer who was the baseball player’s cousin and helping the bookie with his legal problems. In this game the baseball player wanted to make a huge gamble in the playoffs game his team was supposed to win against a much lesser team in terms of skill by throwing the game and collecting a large amount of cash. In the meantime the bookie was trying to save up money to get out of the gang he was in. All of these are the identities of the characters and an important part of being a leader, knowing yourself.

In this game leadership is displayed in two ways. The first of which is knowing your character in the game corresponding to knowing yourself in real life. This is demonstrated through how your character is “made” in the game. As you find what relations your character shares with others that is all you learn. Your character does not yet have a name, possibly profession, a favorite color, or many other traits that all people are expected to have. So you the player have to figure out what makes your character who they are, much as a leader has to understand who they themselves are. The other part of leadership that is relevant to this game is the ability to react to the unsuspected.

About halfway through Fiasco a game mechanic called the tilt happens. The tilt throws some unexpected curveball at the players that the players and their characters must react to. This demonstrates leadership simply in the fact that a good leader must be able to react to varying situations that may arise.

When I played the game I enjoyed it a lot. There were a lot of fun mechanics that made the game interesting in a way the same game would not be repeated again even if I tried really hard. I think my favorite part of the game was creating my character and their relations to other characters. This aspect of the game is really fun from a storytelling perspective as well as learning what other people want to do with their character. On the other hand I did not enjoy the end of the game.

At the end of the game all of the conflicts and story that happen in the game are resolved. In my game I the lawyer got off scot free from all potential problems pocketing some money from helping my cousin gamble. On the other hand the other members of my group the bookie and the baseball players had less desirable outcomes. The bookie ended up being harassed by his former gang for the rest of his life, in jail and out, after failing to out the gang boss in court. The baseball player was beaten up by his former teammates after getting caught betting against the team and throwing the game. While the ending of our story was interesting and exciting the mechanic that got us there worked relatively strangely.

The dice that are given from scenes throughout the game are used to determine the final outcome. The dice are rolled and you subtract the total of the dice from each other and the further away from zero the better the characters outcome. In the situation of having a lot of good dice this makes sense. However when rolling high on the bad dice this outcome seems very strange to me as in my head rolling even should be an impartial outcome whereas a high roll either other way should be some extreme, either fortune or misfortune. Overall this was my least favorite mechanic of the game.

In the end this game was a lot of fun to play and I enjoyed the time I spent playing it. I would recommend it to anybody who likes roleplaying games or just roleplaying. If I were to recommend this game to anybody I would definitely recommend it to my mom who enjoys roleplaying games like dungeons and dragons for the roleplaying aspect as well as many of my friends whom I play dungeons and dragons with.