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Author Topic: 1/3rd baked idea about Situation and Sim  (Read 11969 times)
Silmenume
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Posts: 467


« on: February 04, 2005, 01:29:35 AM »

[blort]

If Sim is “about” the creation of meaningful interrelationships of its constituent parts (Character and Setting – Man vs himself in the former and Man vs mankind and Man vs nature in the latter) then Situation is the only place where that process can happen.  For it is only in Situation (The relationship between Character and Setting) that the Character’s relationship to Setting can be worked out.  IOW Situation is the cauldron in which the meaningful interrelationships are created and shaped - it is in Situation that Bricolage takes place.

Why this partial thought?  Because the role of Situation in Sim has not been adequately addressed.  Now we know – eh?

[/blort]

See contracycle?  This is why Setting is so critically important to Sim.
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Aure Entuluva - Day shall come again.

Jay
Ron Edwards
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« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2005, 06:59:36 AM »

Hiya,

Seems to me, Jay, that this point about Situation applies to all of role-playing. I've diagrammed it and explained it a few times, most especially in the Gamism essay, where I describe Situation as the 800-lb gorilla.

So at the most basic level, yes, I agree with you.

However, as far as this idea's specific relationship to Simulationist play is concerned, though ... I'm thinking that you might be missing some of the variety within this CA. One of the key "tells" of a particular sort of Sim play is to be willing to drop investment in the current imagined situation for a while and really nail down a few details.

My observations of these events during play leave me with no doubt that the tactical consequences of the details (i.e. player tactics expressed in "knowing the rules") are not the point at all. The point is straightforwardly to ensure that the character's gun has exactly the right number of bullets and exactly the right penalties applied for recoil on subsequent shots.

All other play-activity gets suspended. The imagined characters hang in the air, their grimaces frozen, until the details get nailed down. The participants who are invested in this aspect of the game are enjoying themselves.

This is one of the reasons why Simulationist play is often confounded with an obsession over "picky rules." They're "picky" to Gamists because the rules/principles are being employed without reference to personal tactics and guts. They're "rules" to Narrativists (or would-be ones; most N-oriented gamers are pretty halting) who can't see why the action must be suspended. But that judgment is unfair, because everyone is obsessive about the rules which do support his or her CA (more accurately, that particular spin of his or her CA).

Side point: what I'm describing is a major feature of TROS play unless the group decides to ignore the relevant rules section. But that belongs in the other thread.

This sort of Sim play may not be the one which concerns you and your experiences, and your in-play accounts seem oriented very differently - in the games you've described, the Situation in motion is the priority, with maximal emotional investment in it (being in it) being reinforced by everyone at once. To stop everything for purposes of detailed clarity would be, I think, somewhat at odds for the overall Big-Model construction of what you and the rest of the group are doing.

But what I'm describing is definitely a major feature of other ways to play Simulationist.

Best,
Ron
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clehrich
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« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2005, 11:16:20 AM »

Quote from: Ron Edwards
Seems to me, Jay, that this point about Situation applies to all of role-playing. I've diagrammed it and explained it a few times, most especially in the Gamism essay, where I describe Situation as the 800-lb gorilla.

So at the most basic level, yes, I agree with you.
Apart from noting that this gorilla needs to go on a diet, as it used to be a svelte 400-pounder, I think Ron's hit the nail on the head.  I thought the point of Situation was that it is the skillet in which all the gameplay cookery really happens, where all the ingredients go in and from which food emerges.  So I'm not quite sure what you (Jay) are saying about Sim in particular.

I will note, in reference to Ron's remarks on Sim fascination with what some gamers would consider trivia, that this does indeed strike me as an important tell of Sim, albeit as he says not so much the style you yourself play.  My off-the-cuff suspicion is that this fascination is about defining Situation precisely.  For some reason, and I have my guesses about those, Sim very often demands a kind of precision and exactness about Situation that is less common in other modes of play.  And this is so crucial in many Sim circles that everything else must at times take a back seat.

Ron, is that utterly missing the point?  I mean, whatever you think of my guesses, are we talking about the same thing?

Jay, can I ask for a little expansion on where you see something distinctively Sim in this?
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Chris Lehrich
Valamir
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« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2005, 11:24:50 AM »

Quote
Sim very often demands a kind of precision and exactness about Situation that is less common in other modes of play. And this is so crucial in many Sim circles that everything else must at times take a back seat.


And to emphasize something Ron alluded to, that precision is precision for its own sake.  Certain forms of Gamism will demand equal amounts of precision, but its precision in support of Gamist goals (like maximizing tactical effectiveness) where the precision provides the options and the level playing field.
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apparition13
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Posts: 51


« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2005, 11:28:28 PM »

Howdy, I'm going to address some separate issues.  If you feel it's warranted feel free to split.  

Firstly, Ron said:

Quote
I'm thinking that you might be missing some of the variety within this CA. One of the key "tells" of a particular sort of Sim play is to be willing to drop investment in the current imagined situation for a while and really nail down a few details.


(Italics mine.)  I'd say this is inverted.  The few details need to be nailed down because the fact that they were not nailed down ejected one to all of the participants from the imagined situation.  At this point it is impossible for play to continue until the details are fixed.  (By the way, would the number of bullets in a gun be an aspect of situation or setting?  If this is an unclear question please ask.)

Clerich added:

Quote

I will note, in reference to Ron's remarks on Sim fascination with what some gamers would consider trivia, that this does indeed strike me as an important tell of Sim, albeit as he says not so much the style you yourself play. My off-the-cuff suspicion is that this fascination is about defining Situation precisely. For some reason, and I have my guesses about those, Sim very often demands a kind of precision and exactness about Situation that is less common in other modes of play. And this is so crucial in many Sim circles that everything else must at times take a back seat.

(Italics also mine.)  I'd say "fascination"  is the wrong word;  I'd use something like irritation instead.  I've experienced less googly-eyed wonder while engaging in this than a sense of "aaargh!  That just doesn't make any sense!".
re:  bold.  Would you care to go into detail about your guesses?

Valamir further added:

Quote
And to emphasize something Ron alluded to, that precision is precision for its own sake. Certain forms of Gamism will demand equal amounts of precision, but its precision in support of Gamist goals (like maximizing tactical effectiveness) where the precision provides the options and the level playing field.


To bring it all together, it isn't precision for precisions sake.  Like gamism it's precision in service to a central ideal, which in sim of this flavour is logic/reason/rationality as an aesthetic.  The rationality of any of the elements of exploration is aesthetically pleasing in exactly the same way the logic of a mathematical equation or a tense computer program can be.  (Personal note;  I'm not a computer person, I just like the word.)  As long as everything meets the logical standards present at the gaming table things can hum along all hunky dory.  As soon as anything fails to meet those standards, someone gets kicked out of the SIS, play grinds to a halt and the offending detail is analysed to resolution, at which point everyone can re-assimilate into the SIS.  For clarity, "hum along all hunky dory" should be read as a synonym for "aesthetically pleasing".  In other words, the fact that everything is logically consistent in context is one of the sources of enjoyment in this variety of sim play, and is also the foundation upon which play is constructed and without which play cannot proceed.

Hi Silmenume;

On a side note I gather from some of the comments I have seen that your gameplay in the wide, wide (I'd say overly wide) world of sim is in the character-intensive/immersionist continent. I'd call this poetic, rather than rational, sim.  Would this be a fair characterisation of your gameplay style?
 
Which brings us to secondly. Silmenue wrote:

Quote

If Sim is “about” the creation of meaningful interrelationships of – Man vs himself in the former and Man vs mankind and Man vs nature in the latter) then Situation is the only place where that process can happen. For it is only in Situation (The relationship between Character and Setting) that the Character’s relationship to Setting can be worked out. IOW Situation is the cauldron in which the meaningful interrelationships are created and shaped - it is in Situation that Bricolage takes place.


 (Italics mine.)  I think this is a structuraly sound argument, but it only holds if the bit in italics is accurate.  I see neither "Sim is “about” the creation of meaningful interrelationships of its constituent parts" or "its constituent parts (Character and Setting)" (as opposed to any other combination of components of exploration) as self evident.  If I have missed the relevent analysis, please direct me to it; if not, please analyze.

Finally, I find this post timely because it is related to something I'm curious about.  Silmenume's argument seems somewhat founded on the less-svelt-than-he-used-to-be gorilla.  My initial hypothesis would be that while situation is the nucleus around which the other component of exploration orbit in nar, mechanics is the tool that is the nucleus of gamism, character to what I called poetic (what Silmenume does) sim, and setting to what I called rational sim.  What about colour?  Well, how about comedy?  As before, if the gorilla has been analysed please direct me, if not and/or there is interest I can take this to a new thread.
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apparition13
Silmenume
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Posts: 467


« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2005, 04:09:05 AM »

Thanks everyone for your input, as I initially indicated my original post was but a fraction of an idea!  After more contemplation and the posting of the others I have been able to realize more about my idea.

Hey Ron,

I absolutely, fully and completely agree with you that Situation is the 800-lb gorilla of roleplay.  It is the act of wrestling with this gorilla that defines or at least distinguishes roleplay.  Many times have you argued that he who does not wrestle with the gorilla is not roleplaying!  (Roughly speaking)

OK – maybe we’re talking past each other.  I am not saying that Bricolage is the only thing that happens in a Sim game, any more than I would say addressing Premise is the only thing that transpires in a Nar game.  However, what I am trying to get at is that Bricolage is that action which distinguishes (defines) Sim play.  Sure there can be many variant activities in addition to the distinguishing core process, but that core process needs to be present or its not Sim (or any CA for that matter.)  Just like there may be players doing things within the SIS during a Nar game that aren’t directly related to addressing Premise, so it is with Sim.  Thus my saying that Bricolage is the Sim process is not meant to imply that players cannot or are not doing other things not directly related to Bricolage; yet Bricolage must be present as the core process for the game to be described as Sim.  What I do wish to make clear is that I do not believe these “non-Bricolage related” activities to be mistaken as definitional of the Sim process in and of themselves.  IOW just as the creation of Bangs is not definitional of the Narrativist game process (they just happen to be examples of player activity in support of addressing Premise) neither is the nailing down or haggling over minutia/details definitional of the Sim game process.  This “nailing down or haggling over minutia/details” is an activity in support of Bricolage, but not the Bricolage process itself and hence not definitional of Sim.  I am with Chris in that I believe such activities are an effort to aide in “defining Situation precisely.”  Ultimately it is not enough to just define Situation, a player must act on that Situation.  This last sentence should not be controversial since Situation is the 800-lb gorilla of roleplay.  If I recall properly, both you and Chris agree that play where the players don’t/can’t effect Situation is non-functional – whatever it is, it is not roleplay.  Provisionally its been labeled Zilchplay (or the P-word). I hope that I have in some way clarified my position on this aspect of the discussion.

Quote from: Ron Edwards
One of the key "tells" of a particular sort of Sim play is to be willing to drop investment in the current imagined situation for a while and really nail down a few details.


If the players are “dropping investment” in the current imagined Situation to pursue these details that to me is the equivalent of Nar players “dropping investment” in the current imagined Situation to “fiddle” with a non-relevant Premise question (non-relevant meaning a Premise question that is not related to play in any significant way – IOW one that is “off topic”).  I would have to wonder what such players were really up.  Premise must be addressed via Situation for play to have transpired.  Same with Sim.  Fiddling with the pieces of Setting is not the Sim game process of Bricolage.  Haggling over mechanics misses the “point” of play as dealing with Situation is the “point” of play.  Isn’t haggling over mechanics really a Social Contract level issue?  I agree with apparition 13 and his take –

Quote from: apparition13
The few details need to be nailed down because the fact that they were not nailed down ejected one to all of the participants from the imagined situation.  At this point it is impossible for play to continue until the details are fixed.


I wish to return to mechanics a bit more before I move on.  I agree with your assessment that most if not all mechanics in so-called “Sim” facilitating games are laden with “picky rules.”  I think problem lies in misunderstanding the role of mechanics.  Let’s look at the Model.  In G/N games mechanics are employed to “facilitate” the address of Challenge and Premise.  IOW mechanics are not an end unto themselves, but a means to an end.  No controversy there.  But here we have Sim, and if I am interpreting you correctly, you are stating that employing mechanics can be an end unto itself.  But this violates the 800-lb gorilla principle – in order for that activity to be considered roleplay Situation must be acted upon.  “Employing mechanics” is not selfsame with “acting upon Situation.”  In order for the employment of mechanics to be indicative of CA, then they must be employed in the service of the meta-game goal – that which I called “affect” and Chris referred to as “result” in another thread.  Again this statement should not be controversial.  The Model and several essays thoroughly support this construct.

If mechanics are supposed to be employed to facilitate CA expression how is done with regards to Sim?  If the Sim game process is Bricolage, then mechanics cannot directly aide that process.  The very nature of Bricolage, using the elements of Exploration as it source of objects (Explorage?), is the making and altering of social rules while being absolutely beholden to the physical rules.  This means that player input is “filtered” through “physics based mechanics” (and are essentially un-negotiable) during Situation for the purpose of negotiating the social “rules” thus “creating” the Dream.  Given the above, it follows then that if “social rules” are being created, then a fix mechanics system should not interfere with this process for two reasons.  First, being fixed negates the act of “creating new or altering existing” social rules.  Second, mechanical social rules denies the players the ability to make those very choices which are expressive of the CA.  IOW it would be the equivalent of forcing a Nar player to role a die to see how he should act on the Premise question.  If roleplay is defined by players dealing with Situation then employing mechanics as an end unto itself does not qualify as roleplay.  Employing or haggling over mechanics is not “dealing with Situation” and thus cannot be considered definitional of a CA and thus not definitional of Sim.

Many months ago I went digging into G and N to find what was at the heart both CA’s and found that it was conflict within Situation.  IOW the Character in the SIS was facing something in the SIS which was in direct conflict to one or more of the Character’s goals.  It is easy to see how conflict is central to G and N and why Situation was central to those two CA’s.  Players in these modes of play purposefully sought out and/or created conflicts for the express purpose of expressing their CA inclinations.  In a certain way, the seeking of conflict is essential and thus somewhat bound up in the definition both CA’s, but apparently not so for Sim.  

For many months now I have been mulling over how Sim fit into this taxonomy with the 800-lb gorilla.  Sim is not defined by its relationship with conflict.  So I was stymied.  Then I had an epiphany when I realized that Situation was not coequal with conflict.  Situation is the nature of the relationship between Character and Setting.  Conflict is a quality of that relationship, but is not Situation itself.  Having revised my understanding of Situation to that of “relationship between Character and Setting,” and having realized that dealing with Situation is really dealing with said relationship I found positively, not by default, how the Sim game process (Bricolage) fits in the Model.  Mythic Bricolage, if I understand properly and if my phrasing isn’t too far a field, is a dialectic between culture (personified in Character) and the world at large (Setting).  

The Model says Exploration (roleplay) places a huge premium (800-lbs worth!) on Situation.  Situation is the relationship between Character and Setting.  I have been squawking (with the help of Chris) about Sim employing Bricolage and creating myth (and I know Chris has reservations about this last part – and rightly so) and here I wanted to show the parallels between mythic Bricolage and Sim Bricolage.  But more importantly I needed to figure out how Sim Bricolage fit with the Model.  I have not been able to marry the process to the Model until now.  Situation can be used to create and resolve conflict (address Premise or Challenge) or it can be used for Bricolage - straight up; such that the employment of the Elements of Exploration as the objects for Bricolage allows.

Quote from: Ron Edwards
This sort of Sim play may not be the one which concerns you and your experiences, and your in-play accounts seem oriented very differently - in the games you've described, the Situation in motion is the priority, with maximal emotional investment in it (being in it) being reinforced by everyone at once. To stop everything for purposes of detailed clarity would be, I think, somewhat at odds for the overall Big-Model construction of what you and the rest of the group are doing.

But what I'm describing is definitely a major feature of other ways to play Simulationist.


I am not claiming that Sim play mandates emotional investment (being in it) any more than Gam and Nar, but the very nature of the process of Sim Bricolage (Explorage?) does have an exceptionally strong tendency to pull one in.  It’s the nature of the beast/process.  Not mandatory, but certainly facilitates that shift from here to there (the Dream).

I also agree there are lots of “nailing down of details” type of play, but I think that is a form of play that is, for lack of a better term, broken.  Addressing conflict is common to our daily lives we understand it almost intuitively.  Sim is not “about” addressing conflict.  If Sim is a form or a variant of mythic Bricolage then, given what Chris has told us about it being a “lost” cultural form, then it would make sense that while many new players are “attracted” to it initially, they don’t understand the process.  IOW Sim play, to be functional, typically needs to be taught or “shown” to other players before they get “it.”  And that has certainly been my experience.  Bringing in new players is a long involved nurturing process.  (Admittedly that process may be more drawn out than it needs to be because we ourselves were not overtly aware of the elements of said Sim game process itself.)

I read this fishing around for details, this almost manic hunger for “rules” as manifestation of a process of groping towards what I’m calling Sim Bricolage (Explorage?).  The problem is that the process is not intuitive and a lot of people get lost along the way.  There is no current cultural reference point here that players can draw upon.

Perhaps, now, I have left a ½ baked idea in my wake!
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Jay
Ron Edwards
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« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2005, 08:55:27 PM »

Hi Jay,

I get what you're saying. I don't think any more clarification is necessary, although I appreciate the latest post as a state-of-the-art summary.

What I'd like is some acknowledgment from you of my point. My point is that some folks would insist, in what appears to be direct and absolute defiance of your preferences and experiences, that play which focuses on the details that I'm talking about is what it's about. That not to do so is bad role-playing. That not to do so is simply and plainly lazy, in imaginative terms. Sloppy thinking, inferior imagination.

You don't have to agree with them, or even agree with me that such folks exist. What I'm looking for is acknowledgment that this is what I've said, and that you understand it. That's really different from arguing your own point, which you've done, and which I have read.

Best,
Ron
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Silmenume
Member

Posts: 467


« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2005, 05:24:36 PM »

Hey Ron,

Quote from: Ron Edwards
What I'd like is some acknowledgment from you of my point…

…What I'm looking for is acknowledgment that this is what I've said, and that you understand it. That's really different from arguing your own point, which you've done, and which I have read.


I thought that I had acknowledged you post when I said that I agreed or used your verbiage -  

Quote from: Silmenume
I absolutely, fully and completely agree with you

Sure there can be many variant activities in addition to the distinguishing core process…

This “nailing down or haggling over minutia/details” is an activity…

If the players are “dropping investment” in the current imagined Situation to pursue these details…

I agree with your assessment that most if not all mechanics in so-called “Sim” facilitating games are laden with “picky rules.”

I also agree there are lots of “nailing down of details” type of play…


I did acknowledge you on several occasions and directly employed the concepts you had provided, so I am a little confused.  If you are looking for me to agree that such type of play exists I thought I had implicitly agreed with you about that.  I didn’t argue against such play nor did I ignore your ideas.  However, in the spirit of directly responding to your request I fully and without reservation agree that –

Quote from: Ron Edwards
My point is that some folks would insist, in what appears to be direct and absolute defiance of your preferences and experiences, that play which focuses on the details that I'm talking about is what it's about. That not to do so is bad role-playing. That not to do so is simply and plainly lazy, in imaginative terms. Sloppy thinking, inferior imagination.


I also understand the above and had structured much of my post specifically with regards to that “form” of play.  I also agree that such play is or can be fun for those who do play it.  I’m not arguing against the existence of such play – I just assumed that it was understood that it does indeed occur.

If I have not addressed what you are looking for from me, let me know.

My point is that such play, because it does not focus on the players making decisions regarding does not qualify as CA as the Model currently stands.  IOW in order for play to be categorized as a Creative Agenda the player must be making decisions about Situation.

I’m going to borrow a quote from lumpley (Vincent Baker) from the thread The Role of Dice

Quote from: lumpley
Dice are to ease negotiation. They're to take the decision out of one person's hands.


If CA is manifest by players making decisions and the use of dice/mechanics is to take the decision out one person’s hands, in this case the player in question, then we have a case of play where the players are actively surrendering their decisions making authority or not caring about making decision at all.  I agree such play exists, but the question is how does it fit with the model?  There is no decision making process regarding Situation to analyze/diagnose, so how do we categorize it with regards to Creative Agenda?  I am struck by the notion that such play that focuses on the employment of mechanics for its own sake does echo some ideas brought up in the threads Toy Quality (A Fresh Start) and Toy Quality.

I hope that I haven’t over answered you question.

Hey apparition13,

Quote from: apparition13
I see neither "Sim is “about” the creation of meaningful interrelationships of its constituent parts" or "its constituent parts (Character and Setting)" (as opposed to any other combination of components of exploration) as self evident. If I have missed the relevent analysis, please direct me to it; if not, please analyze.


First of all what I am describing is still in the formative stages and is just now being discussed.  IOW what you are seeing is essentially the cutting edge and is by no means universally or even partially accepted.  A lot of this stuff is me “proposing ideas.”  This thread is an example of that very process.  As far as a reading list goes it gets rather heavy and involved, but here goes -

    Ritual Discourse in Role-Playing Games
    Not Lectures on Theory [LONG!]
    Ramblings on the role of Mechanics in CA's (fishing)
    The Impossible Thing Before Breakfast
    Sim has not be discussed as process yet it needs to be so -
    Sim is Bricolage and makes myth - comments?
    Celebrating Theme is Nar Equiv of the Gamist Crunch.
    Participationism with an Agendum
    An effort to un-gum the Discussion.[/list:u]The first two links are very heavy theory, the rest are recent threads about Sim or issues directly related to Sim.  I hope that I have provided you a decent starting point and have not buried you.

    Regarding your question about the analysis on the “gorilla” (conflict/Situation) several months ago there was a spate of threads on conflict.  There are many more threads about Situation/conflict, but here are two that I remembered and could quickly find.
      The Model as seen by Valamir [Long. Very, very long]
      Player action/reaction to Situation key to CA[/list:u]I hope this helps.
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      Jay
      clehrich
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      « Reply #8 on: February 07, 2005, 08:44:44 PM »

      Just to add to the pain, I might note that the first extensive discussion of bricolage in regular forums, to my knowledge, is in
        On RPGs and Text [Long][/list:u]

        (edited for typo)
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        Chris Lehrich
        Caldis
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        « Reply #9 on: February 10, 2005, 05:57:43 AM »

        I have little time at the moment but I have to add that I'm with Artanis, I dont think sim is about "creating meaningful interrelationships" I see it more as creating interrelationships between meaningful elements.    Those elements can be as, Ron mentioned, things that stop situation to nail down the specifics properly.
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        Ron Edwards
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        « Reply #10 on: February 10, 2005, 06:13:52 AM »

        Wow. Caldis nailed it for me.

        Best,
        Ron
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        Silmenume
        Member

        Posts: 467


        « Reply #11 on: February 10, 2005, 08:44:18 AM »

        Hey Caldis,

        I know that you said that you only have a few moments, so I will have to wait to reply in depth because there is nothing to really reply against.  Once again you have only argued a conclusion.  If you wish to counter my arguments then please do so, with arguments.  As this thread deals with how Situation works in Simulationism, please include how your formulation demonstrates the functioning of Situation (the working of the relationship between Character and Setting) within Sim.  Remember, as Ron has said, play that does not engage Situation is not roleplay.

        As this was non-argumentation, I am confused why it was supported.
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        Aure Entuluva - Day shall come again.

        Jay
        Mike Holmes
        Acts of Evil Playtesters
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        « Reply #12 on: February 10, 2005, 11:16:26 AM »

        It's a conclusion that they're hoping you see the inherent argument from, simply from the conclusion itself. It appears you don't see it, however.

        In any case, I think we're merely talking about perspectives here. This is why I have my alternate versions of Ron's theories that don't really contradict them. It's precisely that one sees this sort of detail exploration as "halting" exploration of the SIS, and another sees it precisely as exploring the SIS (or the whole creation of interrelations of interesting things, or the interrelations being interesting themselves), that I think is the problem in everbody understanding the way that everyone else sees the play of the others.

        To one perspective, the number of bullets in the gun is, in fact, situation. To another it's color. I think that's key.

        Mike
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        clehrich
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        « Reply #13 on: February 10, 2005, 08:17:43 PM »

        Quote from: Caldis
        I have little time at the moment but I have to add that I'm with Artanis, I dont think sim is about "creating meaningful interrelationships" I see it more as creating interrelationships between meaningful elements.    Those elements can be as, Ron mentioned, things that stop situation to nail down the specifics properly.
        Okay, now I'm lost.  I was mostly following Jay's points, I thought, but this post and Ron's agreement suggests to me that I'm quite missing what's at stake here.

        Surely it's got to be both?

        That is, surely it's "creating meaningful interrelationships between meaningful elements"?

        It seems to me that if the elements are meaningless, the constructed relationships are empty constructs.  If the relationships constructed out of meaningful elements are nevertheless meaningless, then we have accomplished nothing by our process.

        Could somebody explain to me what's going on here?
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        Chris Lehrich
        contracycle
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        « Reply #14 on: February 10, 2005, 11:38:04 PM »

        IMO the terms "meaningful" and "relationship" trigger all sorts of associations with "thats deep, man".  But this can in fact be pretty trivial "meanings" - such as don't eat the yellow snow where the huskies go.

        Hence I think we can see exactly why play halts to handle the classification of an item or element - it is because the fault in the representation implies things for other aspects of the setting, or distorts or changes the meaning of the object in question, and impinges on any other objects with which it has a relationship.  Thats exactly why it has to be solved NOW, before play proceeds any further - the error threatens to turn what has been meaningful into gibberish, and prevents any continuation of meaningful play.
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