Dear Wikiwand AI, let's keep it short, summarize this topic like I'm... Ten years old or a College student
GNS theory is an informal field of study developed by Ron Edwards which attempts to create a unified theory of how role-playing games work. Focused on player behavior, in GNS theory participants in role-playing games organize their interactions around three categories of engagement: Gamism, Narrativism and Simulation.
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The theory focuses on player interaction rather than statistics, encompassing game design beyond role-playing games. Analysis centers on how player behavior fits the above parameters of engagement and how these preferences shape the content and direction of a game. GNS theory is used by game designers to dissect the elements which attract players to certain types of games.