Forum changes: Editing of posts has been turned off until further notice.
Started by Matt Snyder, December 03, 2004, 11:04:37 AM
Quote from: Chris LehrichInterpretation and revision are not the same animal, Matt. After I've interpreted a text, it remains itself, autonomous. What changes is the discourse about the text, which in turn may alter the way people read the text, and so forth. But the text itself remains the text itself. And one of the points I think Harrison wants to stress is that that peculiar autonomy of the text is heavily rooted in the written word, which is especially alienated from what we usually like to think of as the "real" or experiential. This is why he thinks that fantasy has to get over its current tendency toward literalism and celebrate its own potential wildness. A text cannot really be colonized, because all you can do is write around it; you cannot rewrite the text once it has been written.
Quote from: Matt SnyderRevision in gaming:Player 1: "I take the gold ring from the young girl."GM: "Ok, that works. She cries, and you leave. You're eating breakfast the next morning, when ... "Player 3: "No, wait, man, don't do it that way. Instead, let's say she hid the necklace in her pocket.GM: "Ok, sure, that ok with you Player 1."Player 1: "Yeah, actually that's much cooler! Let's do it that way. Ok, so my guy takes the candy instead."....Years later ... Player 1: "Guys, remember when we played Game X and I took that gold ring from that girl? She was so upset. It really made me think about greed in a new way -- I like to think, looking back, that my character had good reasons for it. But, I don't think I can play a character like that anymore."GM: "But that's not what happened, remember? You never took it."Player 1: "Still, it makes me think of greed that way. Our gaming really does get interesting."GM: "Yeah. I used to think your character was a jerk, but now that I have a kid, I don't think so, really. He needed to do that. I understand him better, too."
QuoteText remains fixed. The actual, temporal events of a game session remain fixed. And, yet, our memory of them, or response to them, how we play the same game even in the next session, changes as our interpretation, memory, and out-right coscious revisions of in-game events changes much in the same way we interpret and discuss a fixed text. ... You cannot redo Actual Play once it has been done by the group. I think the comparison (inexact, as I stated) is there, Chris. This phenomenon is not unique to fiction.
QuoteI do think [RPGs] can produce XXXX fantasy, where XXXX is whatever word that applies to RPGs, and has the same moral weight and value as "literary."
QuoteLong story short -- Chris, I get why and how you are defending literature and it's particular form. However, I find so many meaninful analogies between that and the potential of role-playing, that I think we can't help but compare them and benefit from doing so. Your warnings about their differences should temper the discussion. But, I don't think we can just throw comparisons literature out the window because they just aren't the same. They aren't the same, but they're damn close. We just have to remember the differences, and we're all sharp enough to do that, I think.
Quote from: clehrichSomething is happening here, but I maintain that it isn't revision.
Quote from: clehrichI'm in fact trying to defend RPGs against the steady creep of what we might call "literary-ism." Of course we have to compare them, but such comparison should aim to reveal what is different about RPGs in order to capitalize on those qualities. Otherwise we end up with bad imitation. My argument is that they aren't the same, and they're really not all that close at all. What similarities there are should be instructive and illuminating, but the abyss that divides the two art forms needs to be recognized -- and it is not.
Quote from: Matt SnyderChris, what is revision? My example may be poorly constructed, and incoherent as you say. Given a coherent sample, how is it not revision?
QuoteI suspect you may have a more considered definition, having studied text more intently that I have. That's cool. Maybe that's the crux of the problem -- that I'm operating from a fuzzy definition.
QuoteIf you don't want to term that "revision," fine. I fail to see, though, how it is so significantly different from revising one's writing that we'd quibble over the term. Your concern is that we will make an error in trying to make role-playing like fiction. Ok, understood and relevant. But, I dont' have another word for it. Sorry. I'm sticking with revision until something better come along, and I'm open to suggestions.
QuoteWow, you ARE an academic, aren't you? To the LETTER! I mean that in good spirit, not as an insult. You keep us on out toes in demanding such absolutely fine language and terminology, and we discuss a lot about terminology ... but our intent and meaning is, to me, indistinguishable. I think you may be cutting things too fine on some issues. Which is to say, I see us as agreeing on damn near everything.
Quote from: daMoose_NeoRevisions aren't always intentional. ...
QuoteThis is partly where I was bringing up the Storytelling in the other thread. For example, the Arthurian legends have been 'revised' throughout history. The French editions were among the first in print and contained the addition of Lancelot du Lake. Just because it was in print though doesn't make it 'true', cannon or absolute: other forms of the legends still exist, many of which contridict one another. At this point, the French versions are among the most widely known and thus Lancelot is accepted as a part of the myth.
Quote from: John KimFrom my point of view, "literature" refers to a body of written works. Tabletop role-playing is not literature for a very simple reason -- it is oral rather than written. However, play-by-mail or play-by-email role-playing is literary. Would you agree with that? By this idea, different systems and techniques should be developed for such roleplaying. cf. "Code of Unaris" and "De Profundis" as literary RPG systems.
QuoteOn the other hand, there are those who will claim that certain artistic merit (which varies wildly from person to person) is necessary to be literature. i.e. They will claim that H. Rider Haggard, say, is not literature but James Joyce is. This is a very different issue than the question of medium. I have no particular respect for this idea.
QuoteAnd since the entire transcript has not had anything removed, as we know because Player 1 does not have to be on drugs, revision in the literary sense has not occurred.
Quote from: Matt SnyderI view the shared imaginary space, and the events in it, [as] the "text." (That is, the thing most like text, in the sense that it is the thing produced.) So, we can absolutely revise that space, hence it's similar to revising what one writes.Consider, a writer may have volumes of notes on his novel. Are they the text? I think they are not (while possibly interesting.) I think transcripts might be similar, but not exactly. That is, to enjoy "the story" of actual play, I don't really have to care or remember about Mary changing her character's name after the first session. That, to me, is revision. I'll stick with the new name for posterity. The old one is an anecdote. The transcipt of play would detail Mary talking to us about changing her character's name. I couldn't care less (sure, other times I might, given more important changes).