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Author Topic: Sim is Bricolage and makes myth - comments?  (Read 10015 times)
Silmenume
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Posts: 467


« on: January 09, 2005, 11:05:58 PM »

I boldly propose in this thread that the Sim process is Bricolage and that the product created is Myth.

I list the following links that posters should read and be familiar with before those who wish to comment on this provisional assertion actually do so.  Before anyone responds to this thread please read and take the time to understand the following four articles (I got the count right this time!)  –[list=1][*]On Charitable Reading.  Read this post first.[*]Next read the article Ritual Discourse in Role-Playing Games.  Unless I’m the only moron here, it will take more than one day to read and understand the article as it took me several days to read and process it.  Read this article while keeping in mind the principles espoused in the post on Charitable Reading.[*]Next read this thread Not Lectures on Theory [LONG!][*]Finally read the thread On RPGs and Text [LONG].[/list:o]The pivotal ideas of Bricolage and myth are discussed in great detail in these three threads and article.  I don’t know about the rest of you, but I didn’t find the subject matter all that easy, so again I plead, please take the time to read and understand the material, as it is absolutely vital to this thread.

So… any comments?
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Jay
contracycle
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Posts: 2807


« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2005, 03:55:26 AM »

Well, only a "me too".

That is I think this is a useful distinction to draw.  I agree that Story is used far too widely - I am dubious that a group of Simmers set out to creat or appreciate Story, even though all too often this is how the statement would be expressed.  Story ahs acquired a virtuous ring, both in our media-saturated world as a whole and in our little RPG corner.  I hope this will result in fewer presumptions of story and more willingness to disengage from story as an express goal.

Second, the identifyication of the process of bricolage allows I hope some opportunity to examine the way in which Potential Setting is transformed into actual gaming situation, as discussed on other threads.  As a sally in that direction, I think we can see from bricolage principles that a heavy determinant in what gets picked up and used in actual game play is what is known to be available - that is, what exists in the bricoleurs available materials.  I would think the appropriate methodology for controlling this process would include selection or winnowing of the available objects and perhaps signposting some of them as more or less available or important.
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Mark Woodhouse
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« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2005, 09:51:17 AM »

Yah. Mostly "me too." As I commented to Chris Lehrich in one of the threads that spawned this, I feel like I really need to go back to the literature and study up a bit before having a lot that's really rigorous to say.

However, I think it's dangerously reductionist to say that Sim is bricolage. More that bricolage is the primary thing that's going on in Sim play (but it happens in all CAs!). Don't forget highly Illusionist Sim play, for example, where the GM is really the only bricoleur at the table. The typically lopsided distribution of credibility in Sim play means that not all participants are equally engaged in myth-making - some are recipients (critical ones, to be sure) of the myth-product.

I think this is what's intended by Chris' notion of Sim as being a rather "abashed" sort of myth-making - it tends to reify the symbols it uses so much that the "playful" and creative aspects of bricolage are difficult to sustain.

Provisionally, though, I think it's valuable to see the the "confirmation of input" referred to by Ron through the myth-making lens.

Best,

Mark
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2005, 10:14:29 AM »

Hi Jay,

I think you are in the position I was in back in 1999 or so. No matter how well (or badly, in my case) one articulates the process of creating stories in a mindful fashion, the argument will never convince anyone not to use the term "story creation" to describe their role-playing. The term simply has too much status associated with it, as Gareth has pointed out. Also, a focus on stories as product rather than process is nearly impossible to parse out through dialogue, especially if the person is ferociously defending his or her perceived status as an author of stories.

If we all, here at the Forge, suddenly found ourselves singing "Sim is bricolage, Nar is story-making" in harmony, it wouldn't change a thing - it would only be throwing up a wall in the faces of those role-players who, in all fairness, are using Sim play to make stories - just in retrospect or in pre-play prep, with the actual role-playing being essentially Color.

Perhaps at this point, it is best merely to enjoy the conclusion you've arrived at, recognize that it's certainly compatible with the existing theory, and then later, see if the term "bricolage" and similar become slowly incorporated into the jargon as (and if) they prove themselves necessary and useful.

Best,
Ron
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Halzebier
Member

Posts: 216


« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2005, 10:34:38 AM »

Quote from: Silmenume
I boldly propose in this thread that the Sim process is Bricolage and that the product created is Myth.


I find the term unfortunate because I've never come across it and I had to look it up in a dictionary.

But then,
(a) this may a bonus (because an outlandish word carries no baggage)
and
(b) I'm not a native speaker (i.e., it may not be as outlandish a word as I think).

I personally like the idea - Ron's, I think - of calling it *celebrationism*.

Regards,

Hal
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Lee Short
Member

Posts: 123


« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2005, 08:37:18 PM »

I guess then that I'll be the first one to step out and disagree with this, if only in part.  But before I can get to the meat of my disagreement, I'm first going to analyze the concept of CA.  

The different Creative Agendas, are all, at base, attempts to answer the question What is fun about gaming?  More precisely, the question that CAs answer is What is fun, in and of itself?.  For an immersive Narrativist, his use of immersion is just a technique he uses to address Premise.  So while his use of immersion is fun, it is not fun in and of itself; hence Narrativism's defining features do not include immersion.  To the extent that our player finds immersion fun in and of itself, she is playing in the mode of a Creative Agenda other than Narrativism.  

But Creative Agendas are more than just answers to the question 'What is fun, in and of itself?'  If that was all there was to CA, we would have many many different CAs -- there would be one CA for players who get their fun from competing against the other players, and one CA for players who compete as a team against the difficulties that the GM has placed before them.  In fact, both of these are examples of the Gamist CA.  What draws them together is that they are both examples of the same class of answers to the question 'what is fun about gaming, in and of itself?'   CAs are essentially categories of different kinds of fun.  This makes sense:  the purpose of the CA categories is to help design fun games; by distinguishing what the different kinds of fun are, we can make our game designs to cater to them.  

Now, this is usually what people here seem to be talking about when they talk about CA.  But, then again, they often seem to be talking about techniques or processes.  I suspect that's just the occasional carelessness -- but I’m not really certain I’ve got this down yet.  

How about I give an example that might make the difference clear?

------------------------------------

Here’s how I’m thinking one should make a CA categorization:  

Let’s look at a couple of players that I know.  I have GMed for them, so I know something of their preferences – though it did take me a bit of time to figure them out.  I think that what these two players want from gaming is the feeling of empowerment.  One of them has said as much; he wants to feel empowered in gaming as an escape from his daily life, where he feels powerless.  This is an internal reward, based on the player’s identifying with the character – player empowerment in the game has a low priority with them (one of them practically demands participationism or illusionism).  

How do we classify their preferred CA?  

First we should determine if CA classification is in order – is there a reason why they are gaming, rather than watching a movie?  I think so; no other medium offers the same potential for identifying yourself with a fictional character.  

They don’t qualify as Narrativist, because they are not gaming to address issues, but rather to escape and avoid them.  

They don’t qualify as Gamist, because they are not in it for competitive or other social rewards.  They are both more than happy to play powerful characters facing paltry resistance – and still revel in their success.  

They don’t want myth.  They don’t care about myth.  What they want is feelings of empowerment; myth is simply a useful tool to give them this.  So they are not Simulationist as defined here.  

What they really want is to heavily identify with a character who is successful and powerful – but how can we generalize this into a CA?  I’ve only got one idea, and I’m not sure it’s a good one.  But here goes:

We could simply call their CA “Escapism” and be done, but that’s unsatisfying – the whole point of CAs is to generalize into broad classes so that we don’t have 57 CA’s (and counting).  Another angle would be to focus on the “identifying with a character” part in the above description and say that what they really value is Immersion.  The relationship here is correct:  “Attaining Feelings of Empowerment” is a subset of “Immersion”.    

Let’s compare these people with the “Hard Core Immersives”.  I’ve known several of them, though I’ve never gamed with one for very long.  As near as I can tell, what they really want out of gaming is to be feeling & thinking what their character would feel & think.  This is fun for them – and not just as a means to attain some other goals which are fun, it is fun in and of itself.  Nearly everything else about gaming is, to hard core immersives, merely a technique to achieve immersion.  

It’s possible that these two groups share the same CA.  They both get their fun directly from identifying with their character.  

Note also that some people use immersion as a technique to achieve Myth-making.  These people are operating under the Simulationist CA (as defined here) and not the Immersion CA.  Probably many of these people both view immersion as direct fun, and as a technique to indirect fun via myth-making.  That means that they have more than one active CA.  I don’t think that poses any problems for the Big Model.  

------------------------------------------

If we define the Simulation CA as simply “the process of bricolage”, then I think we lose the difference between someone who thinks that bricolage is fun in and of itself, and the immersives that I have described above – and I think that’s an important distinction, especially as regards game design.  The objective, presumably, is to design games that are fun.  The best way to do this is to have a good idea of what is fun, for the game’s target audience.  I think that defining sim as

Quote

I boldly propose in this thread that the Sim process is Bricolage and that the product created is Myth.


misses this key distinction.  A better definition would be to define the Simulationist agenda as ‘finding fun in the process of Bricolage itself rather than in any results that it brings.’
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Marco
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« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2005, 08:57:37 PM »

Quote from: Lee Short

If we define the Simulation CA as simply “the process of bricolage”, then I think we lose the difference between someone who thinks that bricolage is fun in and of itself, and the immersives that I have described above – and I think that’s an important distinction, especially as regards game design.  The objective, presumably, is to design games that are fun.  The best way to do this is to have a good idea of what is fun, for the game’s target audience.  I think that defining sim as

Quote

I boldly propose in this thread that the Sim process is Bricolage and that the product created is Myth.


misses this key distinction.  A better definition would be to define the Simulationist agenda as ‘finding fun in the process of Bricolage itself rather than in any results that it brings.’


I'm still analyzing the rest of the post, which I think is very good, but I noted Jay did say this in the other thread:
Quote

    * Gamism: The process of addressing challenge -> Effective Strategy/Victory
    * Narrativism: The process of addressing premise -> Theme/Story
    * Simulationism: The process of Bricolage -> Myth


Which I think would mean that, in fact, Sim enjoys Bricolage and Myth is the byproduct the same way that Story is the byproduct of Nar, not the point of play. I think that's part of his formulation.

-Marco
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Caldis
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Posts: 359


« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2005, 06:04:27 AM »

I dont have time to fully reply to this right now but I do want to make a few points.


First as Clerich pointed out in his post on myth sim does not create myth it may attempt it but it fails.  

Second myth  is an attempt to retell actual events in an artistic (if not dramatic) manner using objects that bring pre-existing meanings to the tale told.  It has a story as it's basis.  I question whether sim has any more focus on the meaning of the objects that appear in game then either gamism or narrativism do.

My conclusion would be that while sim may follow the form of myth, wandering seemingly meaningless storys that do have meaning for the participants, it fails to fulfill the function of myth.
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Silmenume
Member

Posts: 467


« Reply #8 on: January 13, 2005, 06:17:35 AM »

Hey Ron,

Quote from: Ron Edwards
I think you are in the position I was in back in 1999 or so. No matter how well (or badly, in my case) one articulates the process of creating stories in a mindful fashion, the argument will never convince anyone not to use the term "story creation" to describe their role-playing. The term simply has too much status associated with it, as Gareth has pointed out. Also, a focus on stories as product rather than process is nearly impossible to parse out through dialogue, especially if the person is ferociously defending his or her perceived status as an author of stories.


All the more reason not to apply it.  However, I’m not just arguing semantics here, I am proposing a real and substantially different model (paradigm?) to the discussion of Sim.  I understand your point that people will use the term “story” out of habit, and that trying to break such habits is mostly an exercise in futility.  My point was that because people were using the word “story” in conjunction with Sim it followed that they would also apply the model of “story” to understanding/describing Sim.  The fact that Sim was identified (incorrectly in my opinion) with story distracted the debates and smothered the investigatory process.

Quote from: Ron Edwards
If we all, here at the Forge, suddenly found ourselves singing "Sim is bricolage, Nar is story-making" in harmony, it wouldn't change a thing - it would only be throwing up a wall in the faces of those role-players who, in all fairness, are using Sim play to make stories - just in retrospect or in pre-play prep, with the actual role-playing being essentially Color.


That’s just a silly argument.  Why would that understanding “throw up a wall?”  Just because something is made understandable or something’s inner working are fathomed does not prohibit people from doing what they were doing before?  Let me turn this around a bit.  If we don’t say “Sim is bricolage” and “Nar is story-making” what about that wall that is in the face of all those role-players who are engaging in the mythic process?  However, I will in time argue that play that limits player input (whether voluntary or not) to Color is not Sim.  That is yet another problem that has plagued the Sim debates.  If players are engaged in bricolage they, by definition, cannot be limited to only Color any more than a Nar player addressing Premise can be or a Gam player addressing Challenge can be without deprotagonization.

This is where the double standard of the discussion of Sim rears its unwanted head.  In both Gam and Nar players are understood and expected to have an impact on Situation.  IOW the players are doing something substantial to the events in the SIS, not just passengers to the process.  Sim should not be held to any different standard.  If CA is defined by what process the players are engaging (the process of addressing Premise/Challenge or Bricolage), the it follows that by engaging they are affecting.  Color by the glossary definition is specifically devoid of any affect on Situation (action or resolution).  IOW such play is more or less akin to listening to someone else (the GM) read a script while the audience (the players) adds some flourishes with affecting the conclusion at all.

This type of play in considered dysfunction in Nar and I believe it is called Typhoid Mary.  In Gamism such “Color” limited play totally robs the players of Step on Up and is too considered dysfunction.  So to me it seems just as dysfunctional to lump such play in with Sim and call it functional as the Big Model rests on the proposition that player input should affect Situation.  Addressing Premise or Challenge presupposes that the players are going to have an effect on the Situation that precipitated the conflicts being labeled as Premise or Challenge in the first place.  IOW if the players only had input on Color, then they are not doing much more than watching a movie or a play.  I am not decrying such play as “bad”, I’m just saying that it does not fit with the positivist nature of the model or at certainly at least not with the positivist nature of Creative Agenda.

Certainly Sim players would like a wall put up between them and Nar and Gam players when they are trying to play.  Are Nar players or Gam players offended by that on a conceptual level?  I don’t think so.  Sim players want to play with other player who want to play Sim and Nar players want to play with other players who want to play Nar and Gam…  I know as a Sim player I would go just a batty as a Gam or Nar player limited to only color input.  Conversely as a Sim player I would not want anyone at the table who is not contributing the collective process of Bricolage – be that Gam/Nar (the wrong CA) or just adding Color (not engaging in Bricolage).  For that matter I don’t thing a group of Gam or Nar players would want a player who is not engaging the CA process at their game as well.  This “Color” limited play is what Walt referred to as “Zilchplay.”  Granted the term carries negative connotations and could possibly be renamed something more less disagreeable (recreational play, filmic play, conflict free play, neutralplay, baseplay, etc.), but point still holds.  Sim needs to be divested of this paradigm of play as well.  Bricolage is no more compatible with Zilchplay than addressing Challenge or Premise.

Quote from: Ron Edwards
Perhaps at this point, it is best merely to enjoy the conclusion you've arrived at, recognize that it's certainly compatible with the existing theory, and then later, see if the term "bricolage" and similar become slowly incorporated into the jargon as (and if) they prove themselves necessary and useful.


To reiterate, I’m not so wound up with the vocabulary as I am with presenting a model for discussion.  This model happens to be called Bricolage.  I grump about story and the careless (non-rigorous) way the term gets tossed around which inevitably leads to the careless employment of it as an all encompassing model.

At least that is what I am trying to accomplish by my proposition – model not jargon.

Hiya Hal,

Quote from: Halzebier
I find the term [Bricolage] unfortunate because I've never come across it and I had to look it up in a dictionary.


I apologize for that.  I should have provided a gloss for the term.  I am working to present one as soon as possible.

No, the word is not English, and until I read it in some posts only a few short months ago, it was as alien to me as it is to you.  If you wish make the effort to read Ritual Discourse in Role-Playing Games and Not Lectures on Theory [Long] they have sections that describe Bricolage.

Quote from: Halzebier
I personally like the idea - Ron's, I think - of calling it *celebrationism*.


There is nothing about the process of Bricolage and “celebarationism” that preclude one another.  The difference between this that the former is the main “process” of play, while the latter is what is motivating the players to play.  For example Gamism could be described as the celebration of Step on Up while Narrativism could be described as the celebration of Story.  So while it is perfectly legitimate to say the players are celebrating something, the term “celebrationism” is insufficient to describe what the players are actually doing at the table – addressing Challenge, Premise or Step on Up.

Hey Lee,

Quote from: Lee Short
Quote from: Silmenume

I boldly propose in this thread that the Sim process is Bricolage and that the product created is Myth.


misses this key distinction.  A better definition would be to define the Simulationist agenda as ‘finding fun in the process of Bricolage itself rather than in any results that it brings.’


For my reply to this I shall quote Marco…

Quote from: Marco
Quote from: Silmenume

    * Gamism: The process of addressing challenge -> Effective Strategy/Victory
    * Narrativism: The process of addressing premise -> Theme/Story
    * Simulationism: The process of Bricolage -> Myth


Which I think would mean that, in fact, Sim enjoys Bricolage and Myth is the byproduct the same way that Story is the byproduct of Nar, not the point of play. I think that's part of his formulation.

-Marco


… who very effectively represented my intentions.

As to the rest of your post, it is beyond the scope of this particular thread.  Feel free to start a new one if you wish, there are those would appreciate such a discussion, Marco certainly being one.

Hey Caldis,

Quote from: Caldis
First as Clerich pointed out in his post on myth sim does not create myth it may attempt it but it fails.


I can’t answer for Chris with any authority, but I will hazard that your summation of his point is a little of target.  Chris claimed Sim must ultimately fail at myth not because what Sim is making and myth do not match, but rather because myth must grow to consume everything (be unlimited in scope – explain everything!) while Sim is inherently limited in scope.

Quote from: Caldis
Second myth is an attempt to retell actual events in an artistic (if not dramatic) manner using objects that bring pre-existing meanings to the tale told.  It has a story as it's basis.


Actually this is incorrect. Myth is not an attempt to retell actual events aesthetically, myth is a process who purpose is so out and provide solutions to problems.  Look at the example of Bororo myth.  Its not a recounting of anything that happened at all, but is the working out of a problem.  Here is a link to that particular post which also has the added virtue of containing a brief explanation of what myth is and does.  One of the most telling points about myth is that it is typically utterly non-moral or ethical in character.  IOW myths don’t ruminate on social morals issues but provide practical solutions to problems.  Also note the complete lack of narrative structure in the provided example.  Also here is a link where Chris lists the various kinds of myth.

Quote from: Caldis
My conclusion would be that while sim may follow the form of myth, wandering seemingly meaningless storys that do have meaning for the participants, it fails to fulfill the function of myth.


“Wandering seemingly meaningless stories” is inherently incorrect in that myth is not story in either form or function.  As far as fulfilling the function of myth I think too that is in error, what Chris seems to be saying, at least to me, is that Sim must ultimately fails to reach the scope and pervasiveness that myth must attain.

Ulitmately, though, it will be up to Chris to defend his positions.
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Jay
Marco
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« Reply #9 on: January 13, 2005, 11:44:09 AM »

I think my problem with this still remains: I don't see a distinguishing case between your scenario and Narrativist play.

Quote
An example from the previous Myth Thread
To demonstrate how social structures can overlap and collide, suppose the mugger was the police officer’s friend. Let us also say that the victim was some punk kid who was the son of powerful and corrupt nobleman who was making life very hard for his brother. So here we have this police officer who is a member of that structure know as the police, who’s relationship to that structure known as victim is both profession and antagonistic (which also means that police officer has a relationship to that structure known as lord of his brother), and who has a relationship to that structure known as criminal element that is called friend. All those relationships define the police officer’s character.


If the player is engaged by this as though he were the police officer making a tortous choice based on factors like loyalty, kinship, and a sense of justice (even if the player didn't articulate all of them) I can't see this being anything but Narrativist.

The fact that the 'heat' of the Premise comes from social structures doesn't, to me, make any discernable difference.

I can see it being 'sim play' if the player is not connecting with these issues in any strong sense (since that's part of the Nar definition) but that's it.

I don't see an element to distinguish this from Narrativist play.

We might want to take this issue to another thread since I suspect it could get lengthy.

-Marco
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Silmenume
Member

Posts: 467


« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2005, 01:57:22 AM »

Hey Marco,

Quote from: Marco
I think my problem with this still remains: I don't see a distinguishing case between your scenario and Narrativist play.

Quote
An example from the previous Myth Thread
To demonstrate how social structures can overlap and collide, suppose the mugger was the police officer’s friend. Let us also say that the victim was some punk kid who was the son of powerful and corrupt nobleman who was making life very hard for his brother. So here we have this police officer who is a member of that structure know as the police, who’s relationship to that structure known as victim is both profession and antagonistic (which also means that police officer has a relationship to that structure known as lord of his brother), and who has a relationship to that structure known as criminal element that is called friend. All those relationships define the police officer’s character.


If the player is engaged by this as though he were the police officer making a tortous choice based on factors like loyalty, kinship, and a sense of justice (even if the player didn't articulate all of them) I can't see this being anything but Narrativist.


I am rather confused about how you can determine what CA is in operation here.  Just as Ron had indicated in his Narrativism essay, just looking at a situation indicates NOTHING about what the players are doing.  It is ONLY by virtue of what the players are doing about those conflicts that conflicts can be sorted into CA categories.  Since all that I have given you is fabula, it is impossible to determine what CA is in operation.

Remember – Narrativism is not defined by Premise rather it is defined by the addressing of Premise.  It is categorically impossible to identify the CA of a conflict without the syuzhet – the player actions which demonstrate how they feel about or react to the conflict.

CA can only be found in the syuzhet.  I have only given you the fabula.  That you see Premise in there is because that is how YOU are perceiving the situation IOW Mapping your preferences upon the situation, not because there is something that is inherent to the situation.

Look at the following from the Narrativism essay –

Quote
Let's say that the following transcript, which also happens to be a story, arose from one or more sessions of role-playing.
    Lord Gyrax rules over a realm in which a big dragon has begun to ravage the countryside. The lord prepares himself to deal with it, perhaps trying to settle some internal strife among his followers or allies. He also meets this beautiful, mysterious woman named Javenne who aids him at times, and they develop a romance. Then he learns that she and the dragon are one and the same, as she's been cursed to become a dragon periodically in a kind of Ladyhawke situation, and he must decide whether to kill her. Meanwhile, she struggles to control the curse, using her dragon-powers to quell an uprising in the realm led by a traitorous ally. Eventually he goes to the Underworld instead and confronts the god who cursed her, and trades his youth to the god to lift the curse. He returns, and the curse is detached from her, but still rampaging around as a dragon. So they slay the dragon together, and return as a couple, still united although he's now all old, to his home.[/list:u]The real question: after reading the transcript and recognizing it as a story, what can be said about the Creative Agenda that was involved during the role-playing? The answer is,
absolutely nothing. We don't know whether people played it Gamist, Simulationist, or Narrativist, or any combination of the three…


There were conflicts and the conflicts were addressed.  However, because we don’t know how the players responded to the conflicts we can’t say whether the players played it Gamist, Simulationist, or Narrativist.  Since we don’t know what CA’s the player’s were engaging, we cannot say how they were engaging the conflicts.  Thus we can’t say from what CA perspective those conflicts were attended to.  Only players have CA’s, not conflicts!

IOW without player feedback we cannot say what CA any conflict belongs to.  Actually, my phrasing here is misleading and I think this is the very trap everyone keeps falling into.  Conflicts don’t have CA’s nor can they be categorized by CA by some inherent trait, rather players approach conflicts and exhibit an observable/categorizable CA as they engage them.

Thus I can only offer the explanation that you see Premise because you want to see a Premise; especially because it cannot be inherently present.

Quote from: Marco
I can see it being 'sim play' if the player is not connecting with these issues in any strong sense (since that's part of the Nar definition) but that's it.


Will a Gamist defending player please step up and indicate (in another thread please) that they too connect with their CA process – that being the Challenge.  A Narrativist must connect with Premise or play will not function well.  A gamist must connect with Challenge or play will not function well.  I defy any player who has a favorite mode of CA expression to say they do not connect with their CA’s conflict of preference.  Ron, I believe (I cannot say that I can assert this with any authority) is not saying that connection is definitional or identifiable of Narrativist play, but rather that enjoyable Narrativist games must have Premises that the player can connect with.  A Simulationist connects with the setting and the cultures within that setting and how they interact.

Quote from: Marco
The fact that the 'heat' of the Premise comes from social structures doesn't, to me, make any discernable difference.


There is no premise here.  Two social structures are NOT problematic human issues.  Is a government a problematic human issue?  Is a marriage a problematic human issue?  Are courtship rituals a problematic human issue?  Is a family a problematic human issue?  No.  Social structures can become the source of a problematic human issue, but in and of themselves social structures are not problematic human issues.

Simulationism is concerned with the sorting of these social structures, it is not concerned with the human issues that may arise or surround them.
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Jay
Marco
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« Reply #11 on: January 14, 2005, 04:51:08 AM »

Quote from: Silmenume

I am rather confused about how you can determine what CA is in operation here.  Just as Ron had indicated in his Narrativism essay, just looking at a situation indicates NOTHING about what the players are doing.  It is ONLY by virtue of what the players are doing about those conflicts that conflicts can be sorted into CA categories.  Since all that I have given you is fabula, it is impossible to determine what CA is in operation.

Remember – Narrativism is not defined by Premise rather it is defined by the addressing of Premise.  It is categorically impossible to identify the CA of a conflict without the syuzhet – the player actions which demonstrate how they feel about or react to the conflict.

(Emphasis added)
Right, and I did specify this:
Quote

If the player is engaged by this as though he were the police officer making a tortous choice based on factors like loyalty, kinship, and a sense of justice (even if the player didn't articulate all of them) I can't see this being anything but Narrativist.


and
Quote

I can see it being 'sim play' if the player is not connecting with these issues in any strong sense (since that's part of the Nar definition) but that's it.


If the player, himself, is affected as though he were the police officer in the situation, I can't see how that isn't Premise. If the player is affected as a sociologist examining a report, that might be Sim--but I thought you'd told me differently in PM's. If the player is affected as a sportsman, trying to pick which choice will get him more cred, that's more Gamist.

I was basing this problem on the idea that you told me that the 'player suffers right along with the [police officer]' (a paraphrase from a PM discussion) in Sim play. I think if the player is suffering as the police officer and taking actions because of it, then the suffering is caused by a rich, primise-based problem.

If the player really is examining social structures, like a sociologist (the player maybe rates 'strength of loyalty' numerically and compares it to 'sense of justice' and then makes a decison), then, yes, I could see that being Sim.

-Marco
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lumpley
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« Reply #12 on: January 14, 2005, 08:01:54 AM »

Jay:
Quote
Two social structures are NOT problematic human issues. Is a government a problematic human issue? Is a marriage a problematic human issue? Are courtship rituals a problematic human issue? Is a family a problematic human issue? No. Social structures can become the source of a problematic human issue, but in and of themselves social structures are not problematic human issues.

Simulationism is concerned with the sorting of these social structures, it is not concerned with the human issues that may arise or surround them.

Sorting social structures - "how do family and government overlap and collide?" for instance - is absolutely a problematic human issue.

Have you read Sex and Sorcery?

-Vincent
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Silmenume
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« Reply #13 on: January 14, 2005, 12:04:34 PM »

Quote from: lumpley
Sorting social structures - "how do family and government overlap and collide?" for instance - is absolutely a problematic human issue.


When they collide continually and for many people, yes.  But the point I am making is the Sim player is not interested in "how do family and government overlap" as a representation or a generalizable human issue.  There is no intrinsic punch to that idea as a human issue.  Just like in myths the deal with such problems as procreation rules, i.e. incest, they are not taking a stand on the ethics of such a problem, but rather they are creating a system of behavior so that incest doesn't become a future problem.

Your phrasing "how do family and government overlap and collide" is a structure that you created that put all the elements into a Premise question.  You placed your structure on the elements of the situation which made it into a generalizable human (kind) issue, but I did not.

Doesn't anyone see that happening?  Every time someone sees the situation that I had presented, that everyone who claimed it was Premise had to add something (including the structure of a question) that isn't there?  Sim doesn't add that extra layer to conceptualize or organize the situation into Challenge or Premise.

I think before any one else claims that there is Premise present, they should look long and hard and see how they are adding a layer of perception to the situation to conform it to Premise or Challenge.  All I've given is naked situation. Not one bit more.  All I have listed was the elements of the Situation, it is up to the posters to organize it into a form that suits your CA approach to conflict.
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Marco
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« Reply #14 on: January 14, 2005, 12:24:48 PM »

Quote from: Silmenume

Doesn't anyone see that happening?  Every time someone sees the situation that I had presented, that everyone who claimed it was Premise had to add something (including the structure of a question) that isn't there?  Sim doesn't add that extra layer to conceptualize or organize the situation into Challenge or Premise.

I think before any one else claims that there is Premise present, they should look long and hard and see how they are adding a layer of perception to the situation to conform it to Premise or Challenge.  All I've given is naked situation. Not one bit more.  All I have listed was the elements of the Situation, it is up to the posters to organize it into a form that suits your CA approach to conflict.


What I'm not sure of is how to picture the Sim-player playing. Is he kind of pondering going:
"Hmm, I think the cop values the social connection of friends and a societal sense of justice in way that the victim isn't really all that innocent, and I rate that against how one measures the societal value of duty to his job ..."

Then, yes, I would call that an analysis of social structures outside of viewing the situation as a human issue.

As I said, I could buy that--I had thought the immersed Sim player was said to "suffer right along with" the character. That's what confused me. Do I have that right?

-Marco
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