*
*
Home
Help
Login
Register
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
November 27, 2014, 09:14:18 AM

Login with username, password and session length
Forum changes: Editing of posts has been turned off until further notice.
Search:     Advanced search
275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 75 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
Pages: [1]
Print
Author Topic: Group vs. Individual CA  (Read 4281 times)
Paganini
Member

Posts: 1049


WWW
« on: July 29, 2005, 07:59:11 PM »

Over in Teaching Creative Agenda Ron wrote:

Quote from: Ron
Quote from: Me
Now then, individual vs. group. If this group concept of CA means, like, making a big list of the differences and similarities that each player's um... personal CA has when compared the CA of each other player, and trying to maximize the similarities while minimizing the differences, then I am cool. We're moving from generalizations (how people think) to practical applications (how to get better play). Is this a fair characterization of the sports analogy

Good enough. Although I would like to reinforce the idea that your personal CA is not a "thing" in the same way that the ultimately-produced, "actualized" group CA is. No more than your personal desire to win prior to starting a sports event is anything to get noted in the history book, until after we see how it got "actualized" during the interactions with others on the field.

(I hate that word "actualized." But unfortunately the perfect and classically accurate use of the word "realized" for what I want to say is not commonly employed in English anymore.)

So, is there a term in the model for this individual driving force that merges with similar driving forces from the other group members to form the real during-play Creative Agenda?
Logged

Marco
Member

Posts: 1741


WWW
« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2005, 03:56:38 AM »

I had a post on that here: http://www.indie-rpgs.com/forum/index.php?topic=12657.0

-Marco
Logged

---------------------------------------------
JAGS (Just Another Gaming System)
a free, high-quality, universal system at:
http://www.jagsrpg.org
Just Released: JAGS Wonderland
Jason Lee
Member

Posts: 729


« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2005, 05:10:18 AM »

That's a nice thread Marco.

I've had this rant brewing about how this is all being worded leading to the total collapse of the big model. (Social only CA leads to CA only reflecting functional play, individual CAs can no longer conflict, CAs can no longer be identified, and the CA layer becomes obsolete... and some stuff about blaming the Beeg Horseshoe for this idea and the difference between micro and macroevolution.)  I've been holding off to see what rises out of these Creative Agenda threads in case I'm missing something key.  If Walt's post is an accurate representation of the definitional shift, then I don't see a logical spiral of DOOM.  Just a change from "what I want to do" to "what I want you to do".  I don't think I like it... but that's quite irrelevant.  (No, I'm not being bitter.  I mean it in a nice way.)

Anyway, just something to watch out for when describing CA.  Wording that implies the only CAs are functional group CAs seems terribly... dangerous to the model as a whole.
Logged

- Cruciel
Jason Lee
Member

Posts: 729


« Reply #3 on: July 30, 2005, 05:19:21 AM »

Gah!  I apologize.  I posted in response to Marco and after reading back through the initial post I realized I'd drifted way off topic.

Curse you inability to edit posts.
Logged

- Cruciel
Ron Edwards
Global Moderator
Member
*
Posts: 16490


WWW
« Reply #4 on: July 30, 2005, 07:33:54 AM »

Rolled-up newspaper, *smat*

Back on topic - here's the deal. I'm gonna stick with the sports analogy because it seems to be working.

OK, it's fair to say "the teams compete," I think. Not a problematic phrase.

However, teams don't really exist through individual agreements. And the rules don't apply or exist unless everyone, on both teams, buys into them and abides by them (with an unspoken proviso that certain breaches are "real" and others are "whatever").

So can't we say, "Hey, shouldn't we really be talking about individuals competing?" And yes, you can ... but in so doing, you're losing the particular social features of the level we're speaking at when we say "the teams compete." Just as when we say "the teams compete," we lose the distinctions among individuals and their particular approaches to the whole endeavor.

In normal, jargon-free, everyday, and (important) clear conversation, no one really has any difficulty with the distinction. If you want to talk about the individual's drive for competing, winning, and so forth, you let the social/group context exist as a given (perhaps specifying whether the guy was on board with it or defied it to show off, for instance). But if you want to talk about the teams and the game as a whole, then you let the individuals' details "ride," or again, bringing them in only as they affect the bigger picture.

That's how it should be with Creative Agenda. And that's how it is, in my mind. We can talk about an individual's CA if we're really talking about what they're doing, and not forget that the big context exists. We can also (and should also) talk about the group level, and not forget that the individuals exist.

But here's the problem: unlike sports and unlike most human hobby activities, "role-playing" (so-called) is totally fucked in terms of these two levels. I mean, totally fucked. When games like The Great Ork Gods and The Mountain Witch are seen as revolutionary, whereas in fact they merely accord with the bare minimum of social functionality seen in any card game or board game with any legs, that means that the baseline for comparison is literally appalling.*

Yes, even games I've played and loved. And even, especially, games which refine the basic model of role-playing into more usable forms, but don't change the model. Let's say off the cuff that "five character races" is bad news, for some reason, whatever. And so someone comes along and fixes it to "eleven character races," and for some reason, that turns out to make all the other features of that game really hum right along. The basic call? Yay, improvement.

But in the larger context, looking at other human activities in which there is no problem at all talking about the two levels, with full and comfortable understanding that there is sometimes some friction there ... in comparison, gaming is appallingly fucked, and the refinement is not really an improvement at all. We as hobby members have utterly, culturally failed to develop it into a reliably fun activity, and I am convinced that many of the basic assumptions we bring to game design are responsible.

It seems like I'm going off on a tangent, but I'm not. What I'm saying is, yes, the dialogue about Creative Agenda is marred by misunderstandings or difficulties between these two levels. But that is not a flaw in the Model; it reveals a flaw in our actual practices. It reveals (as expressed in people's confusions and objections) that gamers are socially broken, and unable to understand the basic relationship between "playing" as you, the person, and "playing" meaning participating in the social scene of the game.

As I see it, to make a new term for the individual level would cause problems. I want to have dialogue about functional, working CAs, and one of the first major steps is to get over this confusion about these levels or to consider that they must be somehow fundamentally in opposition (a primary gamer fear/assumption).

Now remember what this forum is for. It is not for others to tell me, "Hey Ron, fix the Model by writing it this way." It's for you to understand what I am trying to get at. So double-check me on this - has this post helped in that goal?

Best,
Ron

* Note that I have chosen extreme examples of Gamist and Narrativist focus, respectively. This is on purpose. Also, TMW is special in this argument because you have to replace all the analogy-stuff about winning and competition with Premise-addressing and the craft of rising tension, climax, and so on.
« Last Edit: July 30, 2005, 07:36:54 AM by Ron Edwards » Logged
Vaxalon
Member

Posts: 1619


« Reply #5 on: July 30, 2005, 03:22:12 PM »

I'm going to wait until Nate has had a chance to respond to this before I have a go.
Logged

"In our game the other night, Joshua's character came in as an improvised thing, but he was crap so he only contributed a d4!"
                                     --Vincent Baker
Paganini
Member

Posts: 1049


WWW
« Reply #6 on: July 30, 2005, 05:37:42 PM »

Ron,

Quote from: Ron
As I see it, to make a new term for the individual level would cause problems. I want to have dialogue about functional, working CAs, and one of the first major steps is to get over this confusion about these levels or to consider that they must be somehow fundamentally in opposition (a primary gamer fear/assumption).

The alternative (to creating a new label) is to discern from the context of the discussion whether the issue at hand is personal or social in nature - which is what we're supposed to do now, I expect?

This is a very complicated thing. On the one hand, I'm thinking "yeah, the Big Model isn't supposed to be a teaching tool." On the other hand, I'm thinking "wow, this is not something that people are just going to understand intuitively from reading the articles." I didn't. The guys who introduced me to GNS didn't. I didn't even realize there was something there I needed to go looking for, until this week. All that being said, I like this explanation a lot:

Quote
That's how it should be with Creative Agenda. And that's how it is, in my mind. We can  talk about an individual's CA if we're really talking about what they're doing, and not forget that the big context exists. We can also  (and should also) talk about the group level, and not forget that the individuals exist.
Logged

Ron Edwards
Global Moderator
Member
*
Posts: 16490


WWW
« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2005, 10:49:24 AM »

Hiya,

What matters to me in this discussion is not how "beginners" or "veterans" or anybody else at all deals with this explanation, but rather, just your current understanding. This isn't about how I write or present the Big Model, it's about how, given what's there, whether you and I are communicating about it. Everyone else in the conversation (or reading it later) is a bystander.

So if we got that far, that's good, and we can close this one up too.

Best,
Ron
Logged
Pages: [1]
Print
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC
Oxygen design by Bloc
Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!