There is a tension in role-play gaming that springs from why people play. Thoughtful gamers have debated the different reasons that people play, and the different expectations and motivations that fuel their enjoyment. From this debate rose the Three-Fold Model of gaming, and the related GNS Theory. Here are a few places to start learning about these concepts:
I've been thinking about all this in the context of describing wemic behavior, combat tactics, and cultures. More on that next time.