I have never in my life played a game that was so dependent upon what other people make up in their heads, a game based purely on imagination with a little help from the situational prompts. However, I have also never played a role playing game before. Before starting to play, I honestly viewed this game as just another homework assingment, just another obligation I had to get done. But as we started playing, I got more and more into it, and I could see everyone else in my group getting more and more into it too.
I expected Fiasco to be a game that guided you, with tiny choices you could make here or there that would slightly affect the outcome of the game. Little did I know, players have immense freedom in this game, allowing the story line to flow wherever your group lets it. One significant aspect I noticed is that the person who establishes the first ever scene has the most say in where the story ends up. For example, I started out the story by mentioning that one of the players tried to drug my character because we had a manipulator/victim relationship, and the rest of the story line ended up playing off of this one little fact. Most of our conflicts in the game revolved around who was telling the truth in the story and what the fact of the matter actually was, which I believe happened because this reflected our predicaments in real life. None of us wanted our characters to be the “bad guy”, so when it was someone’s turn, they would twist the story to make their character seem favorable. Even I was more forceful at times when my character was portrayed as bad. None of us acted our part directly, but more often would describe what happened to other players instead. I don’t know how proud I actually am of our story, because I think it could have run a lot more smoothly if everyone didn’t have conflicting opinions. I admit that there were definitely times when one person was overruling the entire story because of this reason of not wanting their own character to be screwed over. However, this also made the game a lot more enjoyable because once someone suggested a new advancement in the plot, there was no going back from this and it was up to everyone else to figure out how to continue from there.
Our plot was very skewed and all over the place, and I think that if someone were to actually read the story, they would be left feeling very perplexed. I think it plays out somewhat like a mystery plot, with a lot of drama. For example, my character ended up being in love with Justin’s character, but then it is revealed that Justin is actually my son. A whole love triangle plot plays out, and then the story takes a wide turn with Justin running away to join Pablo Escobar’s drug ring in south america, ending up in jail, and my character ending up in a mental asylum. It was very interesting to me that we could change the course of events with a simple snap of a finger. Our aftermath scene was the most depressing, because every single player ended up in a bad place – depressed, destroyed, crushed.
However messed up our story line turned out to be, I will admit that Fiasco offers a gaming environment that fosters problem-solving, communication, and collaboration all at the same time. I believe that communication is one of the most important aspects, in this game and out of it as well, because without it none of us would have ever shown friendliness towards other, or have been open minded to all the different outcomes. Futhermore, we wouldn’t have received feedback, and this was important for the problem-solving aspect of the game, as well as teamwork/collaboration. We all had to work together to create some type of story, and solve the problems that existed within each story line to resolve each scene. I learned that I need to be more receptive to others and less controlling, especially in terms of this game when I was overcontrolling about where the plot of the story led to. I also realized that I had a pattern of wanting to resolve each problem, while certain players in the story felt the need to create more mess and chaos. Ultimately, I really enjoyed playing Fiasco with other people while utilizing the important skills of communication and collaboration, while also learning more about myself and how well I work with others in groups.