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Author Topic: Meaning at the beginning, middle and end  (Read 22654 times)

Posts: 802

« Reply #30 on: April 21, 2005, 01:48:17 PM »


So the question becomes, "What effect will this fact have", "Does this fact have an effect" and "Why did this fact have an effect"

-Now I get it.  I can definately see how this can help in both evaluating and designing games.  Nice work, Simon/Tony.



Sydney Freedberg

Posts: 1293

« Reply #31 on: April 22, 2005, 11:35:51 AM »

Quote from: TonyLB
In Task Resolution, the relevance of a single roll to a player's goal (absent "hit-point" effects) is judged MitM, whereas in Conflict Resolution that relevance is judged MatB.  I'm honestly not sure that there's any other difference between Task and Conflict resolution.

Quote from: Simon Marks
So the question becomes, "What effect will this fact have", "Does this fact have an effect" and "Why did this fact have an effect"

[fanboy raving]The crunch-rip-tear sound you hear is my mind expanding.[/fanboy raving]

And I begin to think this could usefully be hybridized with Vincent Baker's SIS-players-cues trifecta, though I'm not sure how.


Posts: 467

« Reply #32 on: April 23, 2005, 03:38:26 AM »

Hey Tony,

I apologize ahead of time, but I’ve been reading this thread and I am all turned inside out!  Since I’m having such a hard time making cohesive sense of it all I’m just going to lay out the various difficulties I’m having and hopefully in the process someone can make sense of my post.  (I just quickly scanned though this and I am almost too embarrassed to post it, but I am tired of working on it and it is very late – I beg your indulgence.)

First of all this whole taxonomy scheme seems to entangle two distinct spheres.  Let me start by providing some terms and background.  

Going back to Victor Gijsberg’s Shared Imagined Space, Shared Text thread, it was discussed that the SIS could possibly be broken into three “separate” spaces.
    [*]The Proposal Space[*]The “Gijsbers” Space, so labeled by JMendes, which I believe might be more easily understood as “The Fact Space”[*]The “Individual Fictional World” which I also believe might better thought of as the “Affect Space.”[/list:u]The Proposal Space is basically the realm of the functioning of the Lumpley Principle.

    The Fact Space is the repository of the consensuses wrought by the action of the Lumpley Principle.  The Fact Space is utterly without judgment - it is a space of Facts, not aesthetic opinions.  This is the one touch place where all the players must all be on the same page.  This is upheld in the very definition of the LP.  What is important in this post is the understanding that the Facts within the Fact Space are just objects typically destined for interpretation.

    This brings us to the Affect Space.  The Affect Space is that space within each player that assigns meanings to the Facts including such concepts as events, value judgments, the assigning “meanings”.  This assignment process is guided by that aesthetic called the Creative Agenda.  The Affect Space is where we “make sense” of the Facts, inform our creative decisions (prepare our Proposals) and where we enjoy or not enjoy the game.  In short this is the realm of “meanings” and where the actual CA resides.

    Given the above I am confused as to what is meant, functionally, by “meaning” as “meaning” can only operate in the Affect Space.  At first blush MitB and MitM seem to be focused with the Fact space of the SIS while MitE seems to be focused on the Affect/Aesthetic space.  (Further down I find that matters get more involved, but I wanted to leave this in as record of my progressively addled thought process.)  I’m also uncertain if this taxonomy is geared toward task resolution or conflict resolution.  Unless I am mistaken I understand that the “Effects” of conflict resolution are geared more towards the “Affect Space” while the “Effects” of task resolution are geared more towards the “Fact Space.”

    I am going to guess what is assumed in this taxonomy proposition that this process is only observed after the player has succeeded in negotiating the “cause” into play.  IOW this process only comes into play after the player has accomplished his task.  What remains to be “negotiated” is the Effect of said cause (resolution) within the Fact Space.  I am going to shamelessly borrow from Simon Marks (I am not trying to mischaracterize you!  This is my response of what I think you tried to convey.)

    Quote from: Simon Marks
    In MatB, we have an Cause and Stated Effect link that has more credibility due to past precident including the rules. (Natural 20 + Vorpal weapon = Chopped off head).

    In MitM we have a cause and an stated effect, which needs to be negotiated as there is no precident (I am trying to Pick a lock with this dagger).

    In MatE, we have a cause and no stated effect - and so there is no precedent either. (I am throwing water over the lighting elemental)

    In each case there is a cause - but what it means is in flux.

    It this example we have something a bit different.  First of all there are two important assumptions.  First the player is attempting a Task and second that he has already succeeded.  As is stated what remains is “meaning.”  In the MatB example the player has authority to declare the Effect without negotiation.  In MitM the player has input on Effect but it is open to negotiation.  In MatE the player has no input on the Effect – that is to be decided by someone else.  So in this particular iteration what appears to be happening is that cause and Effect are being overtly/consciously/mindfully separated into two distinct concepts so that we can chose whether to overtly/mindfully negotiate the Effect and if so what that Effect will be.

    In this case “meaning” isn’t really effectively dealt with at all.  The above take is effectively focused on the Effect Space (action resolution) rather than on concept/meaning/significance (Affect Space).

    Now Tony responded with a different take –

    Quote from: TonyLB
    Anyway, Lightning-Man and EAAE.  I'll take one possibility:

    "Lightning man was defeated by water":  Established when said defeat happens.  Appealed to when somebody hits him with a fire-hose and says "Remember how water defeated him last time?"  The authority is Applied to the SIS, and water once again short-circuits him.  This Establishes his second defeat as a Fact.

    Somewhere in there, people (or a person) decide whether the first defeat is relevant to the second conflict.  When they decide that is what the Meaning structures are all about.

    MatB:  The negotiation about when it can apply happens right after the fact is established.  "So Lightning Man is vulnerable to water!  Cool!"  "Yeah, unless he gets some sort of special grounding footgear."  "But he has to work to get that... until then this fact will always be applicable."  (EjAAE)

    MitM:  The negotiation about when it can apply happens after the fact is appealed to.  "Hey, Lightning Man was defeated by water last time... that should still work!"  "I don't know... wouldn't he have tried to overcome that weakness in the intervening time?"  "Nah... he's electricity.  It's just part of his schtick."  (EAjAE)

    MatE:  Feedback is given after the authority has been applied to the SIS.  "Lightning Man is vulnerable to water, and we just soaked him.  He's toast!  KzzzaP!"  "Sure, I guess.  So he's toast.  Sort of a lame fight though.  The news outlets start going on about theories that you set up these fights to look good... after all, they never see you really being challenged." (EAAjE)

    In this particular case authority is not an issue – the player in all three cases exerts authority over Effect.  In the MatB example the causal player asserts that Lightning Man “will” be Effected in a certain desirable fashion by his proposition when he asserts authority over the objection.  IOW the player claims authority to assert outcome.  In this case the MitM example is nearly identical to the MatB case as the player asserts authority over Effect in both cases.  This example confused me.  The MatE is a little different in scope than the first two.  While the first two were focused on Effect and narrations rights (the Fact Space), MatE seems to indicate more of a focus on the aesthetics of the Effect (e.g. the Affect Space/CA concepts).  Why do I say that?  The “Sort of a lame fight…” comment is a value judgment, not a consensually agreed upon Fact. The “value” in the “value judgment” is a reflection of or determined by the Creative Agenda in operation.  So, to me, this particular iteration is especially confusing.  In all three cases the Player has authority to assert the Effect of his action, but the last case has the challenge to the authority does so from the point of view of the Affect Space while in the first two the objection stems from precedent previously established within the Fact Space.  Sorry – not trying to be a butthead.  I’m just trying to clarify where and why I am having so many problems trying to wrap my brainpan around this whole concept.

    Upon further reflection it seems to me as if Tony was looking more towards the Affect Space in this particular example.  However the disjuncture within the example remains.  The MatB example sits squarely in the Fact Space without any hint of aesthetic/meaning being discussed.  The MitM example hints or suggests something more than straight Fact with the inclusion of the “It’s just part of his schtick” comment.  Such a statement to me could possibly suggest a value judgment (an action that falls in the Affect Space), but it is difficult to determine.  The MatE example very clearly contains a value judgment (by the GM) which places it directly in the sphere of the Affect Space (meaning Space).  Unlike Simon’s take, the individual who has the authority to determine outcome is clearly not at issue here, but rather it seems to me that the aesthetic value (CA value judgment) of the player’s choice of Effect is the issue.  In this slant I can kind of see where “meaning” can be seen to be relevant to the conversation, but the formulation of the examples is still confusing to me.

    Now this a particularly interesting twist!

    Quote from: TonyLB
    I don't think, by the terminology I'm using, that every event which is established as having happened in the SIS has meaning.  They are given meaning when someone appeals to that event for authority i some later instance, and the legitimacy of that appeal is judged.

    And the things being referred to for authority can be both events in the SIS and rules.  But that doesn't give either of them any "inherent" authority.  It's the players who have the authority.  The rules and events of the game are just tools that they try to use to support their own authority.

    There are two ideas here that I want to draw attention to.  The first is that is that what Tony here called “meaning” I think might be less confusingly and thus better called “weight” or “value.”  Near as I can tell the only meaning that can be imputed to something that is called upon to lend authority is that that Fact has been called upon to lend authority.  Now that may be important or satisfying to the player who originally negotiated the referred to Fact in the Fact Space, but I’m not sure I’m seeing anything else.

    The other idea is that using either an established Fact or Mechanics is the same process.  I’m not certain that is the case, but I could be wrong.  In the case of using established Fact as an authority – that process is definitely Bricolage.  The latter may or may not be Bricolage.  In Bricolage both objects are altered by each other in the course of their mutual employment.  Thus the process of using previously established Facts to aid in the establishment of a Fact of Effect alters/colors the meaning of both Facts.  I’m not so sure that a Mechanic colors/alters the proposed new Fact of Effect.  I don’t think players would tend to link Fact of Effect and Mechanic in the same way they would tend to link two Facts that are used to support one another.  IOW the linking of two Facts can signify each other by virtue of the linking process (this is the Sim process), but that signification process really doesn’t happen with appeals are made Mechanics as an authority for the purpose of establishing a Fact.  The Mechanic may pick up something from the Fact of Effect but I am uncertain as to whether the Mechanic lends anything to the new Fact of Effect beyond its perceived authority.  So once again I am confused by the lumping together of these two processes.

    Finally we come back to Simon’s summary!

    Quote from: Simon Marks
    So, Kell hates his father (a fact)
    In this hypothetical system, we can look at what this translates into.

    It will lead to certain 'predefined' effects - So, it will grant +2 to any attempt to harm his Father. This is MatB, as it is Judged once the fact is created.

    If I then say "Kell's hatred of his father helps me jump the river" then thats an attempt to add to the SIS that this is true. It is judged when I try to use it.

    If I then say ""Okay, so Kell's hatred of his father helped him shoot this man dead. My God... all of his fighting is a sublimation of his desire to kill the man he hates and loves. Which I didn't know until we insisted that the trait was relevant here."  is where you rationalise why you got +2 to killing this man.

    In the MatB example the area affected by the Fact is the Mechanics which lie outside the Fact Space.  This could be used to signify the “hatred” (which is an Affect Space operation), be used in the service of Premise (TROS frex) or Challenge which are concepts that exist in the Affect Space.  In Whatever light this +2 for hatred is seen it is not something that resides in the Fact Space of the SIS.

    In the second example, which I’ll assume is MitM, is bit more difficult to parse.  One the one hand we basically have a straight forward statement of Execution while appealing to the hatred as a justification for his success – essentially retconning  IOW he made a statement and used hatred to help justify or lend additional authority to the player in his attempt to have his statement of successful action gain credibility.  On the other hand the player may be trying to establish a Fact that his hatred for his father ought to affect his jumping ability.  IOW he’s trying to forge a link between the two Facts (that he hates his father and that he is jumping across rivers) to create yet another Fact (his hatred for his father helps him jump across rivers that he could not normally succeed at).  The former is really an argument while the later is an attempt to create meaning/significance.

    The final example, which I’ll assume is meant to be an example of MatE, is pretty much straight retconning.  The question I’m wrestling with is why is it necessary or even valuable to rationalize the employment of a mechanic after it has been employed to successfully establish credibility?  Can a player just self-authorize the use of a bonus to gain credibility for his statement and have it enter the Fact Space without having to justify or explain the employment of said bonus beforehand?  It just seems a little wonky to me to have to justify the use of a mechanic after credibility had already been granted to its employment.  If a player wished to explain off a series of really good rolls in conjunction with his jumping over rivers by saying that it was related to his Character’s hatred of his father – that would be Bricolage.  IOW the player is attempting to account for some unusual in world events (due to unusual out world events – excellent die rolling) by linking them to an in world source.  But I don’t think that is what the author intended.

    So once again I’m not seeing a through line connecting the three above examples.  Even the questions "What effect will this fact have", "Does this fact have an effect" and "Why did this fact have an effect" begs the question “Upon what exactly did the Fact Effect?”  The Fact Space, the Affect Space, the Mechanics, the Social Contract?  The processes of appealing to Mechanics or previously established Facts to lend authority, though they may function similarly on the Fact Space, do have profoundly different Effects on the Affect Space (that which is concerned with CA’s).

    I’m seriously not trying to nitpick or be a jerk on any level.  I’m seriously trying to make sense of the ideas that have been thoughtfully presented.  I hope what I have done is to demonstrate the source of my confusion.  I know that I’ve been all over the map here and I apologize – it’s a manifestation of my current reasoning processes.

    Aure Entuluva - Day shall come again.

    Callan S.

    Posts: 3588

    « Reply #33 on: April 23, 2005, 03:30:50 PM »

    Quote from: TonyLB
    Callan:  Appealing to a fact for authority is, actually, using that fact to appeal to other players for authority.  Therefore the attitude of the other players toward that fact is key to how successful the appeal is.  Does that sound (to you) like what you're saying too?  I think we're on the same page, but I'm not sure.

    Sadly no, mines a sort of 'glass half empty' version, which is why it looks so similar. I'll save it for a whole new thread some time, rather than derail this cool thread.

    Philosopher Gamer

    Posts: 3702

    « Reply #34 on: April 23, 2005, 07:05:59 PM »

    Jay:  Whew... okay, let me give a try at this.  First, let me say that I like recent examples in this thread much more than earlier examples (especially my own earlier examples, which you found confusing because they're muddy and (in places) just plain wrong).  So there's that... the thread shows work in progress, at least for me.

    "Meaning" as I'm using it here is completely distinct from the Affect Space (as you term it).  The "meaning" I'm talking about is as objectively there as the things you are talking about as Fact Space.  What I am using the term to mean is the process of judging whether and why a past fact lends authority to present or future contributions to the SIS.  It is created in the choices people make in using the Lumpley-principle System.

    So, say you have a fact "Kell hates his father."  The following thoughts have nothing to do with "meaning" as I'm using it here:
      [*]"This addresses our thematic question of 'What keeps families together, what tears them apart?' "
      [*]"This means that Kell is a bad person."
      [*]"This means that our campaign will be much darker, because so many of us are motivated by hatred."[/list:u]Those are all perfectly legitimate considerations, and I can totally see how they deserve the term "meaning."  But that's not how I'm using it here.  The following thoughts are all "meaning" as I'm using it here:
        [*]"This will justify Kell getting into arguments easily, particularly with father figures."
        [*]"This justifies Kell's surge of strength, because he refuses to prove his father's low opinion of him right."
        [*]"Why did Kell's hatred of his father justify his breaking off his relationship with Emma?"[/list:u]Are we understanding each other here?  I'm having a bit of trouble, because you have so very much summary and just the one question ("Upon what exactly did the Fact Effect?")  I feel like there must be something more that I should be replying to, but I don't know quite what it would be.  So, with apologies for the brevity of my response, I think I'll end here and await your further questions.

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