I've talked quite a lot before about differing tastes in role playing games. Today, I was struck by a thought while idly browsing the HMV post-Christmas sale (a particular slice of hell on earth that you have to experience to truly appreciate): I wonder if a good way of approaching the issue is to ask the very simple question to a given gamer, "Do you prefer Final Fantasy, or Civilization?" This, to me, boils all of the differences between role players into two neat packages - either you prefer to have your freedom confined by a narrative, or you prefer to have your freedom confined by the effort you are willing to put into things. Either you prefer to discover a potentially cool and exciting story and feel part of it in a way you can never feel part of a novel, or you prefer to plot, scheme and dream up ways to achieve success. Either you like to image yourself as a bloke with weird spiky blonde hair and an unfeasibly large sword, or you have a God complex.
The thing about this dichotomy, of course, is that you don't have to define yourself absolutely as one or the other. Some days you like looking at pretty anime people doing weird stuff, and on those days you