Ron Edwards talks about a process for playing games in highly detailed settings such as Glorantha, or the worlds of Earthdawn, Wraith: The Oblivion, and Tribe 8. He recommends choosing a location inside the setting that's rife with problematic situations, then making characters that belong to that situation (rather than a group of adventurous outsiders wandering in to fix it), and finally: destabilising the situation with immediate and simmering threats.
Setting and Emergent Stories by Ron Edwards: http://adept-press.com/wordpress/wp-content/media/setting_dissection.pdf
Raffaele Manzo analyses the role of the GM in tabletop games and LARPs. Drawing off several years of essays and articles, he describes the various roles that comprise what the GM does, including:
• social organizer
• audience member
• authority over content, plot, situational elements
• narrator of events
• cleaner-upper of the leftover of sexual encounters of lavatories of the hired facilities where LARPs are held.
The article isn't online, but it can be downloaded from Dropbox:
There is No Such Thing as a "Game Master" by Raffaele Manzo: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/38479421/LF_2_14_Manzo.pdf
In other links:
- Elizabeth Sampat posts about how a game design emotionally affected her
- Will Hindmarch describes the call and response columns going on between Monte Cook (D&D) and Sage LaTorra (Dungeon World)
- (via Luke) Vincent Baker discusses the clash of expectations he experienced when prepping to run Lamentations of the Flame Princess