*
*
Home
Help
Login
Register
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
September 23, 2017, 06:31:38 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 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 169 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
Pages: [1] 2 3 4
Print
Author Topic: Gamism is not competition.  (Read 24589 times)
Mads Jakobsen
Member

Posts: 9


« on: November 27, 2001, 03:51:00 PM »

Logged
Gordon C. Landis
Member

Posts: 1024

I am Custom-Built Games


WWW
« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2001, 06:08:00 PM »

MJ -

It's tricky to respond to this, especially when what we're talking about are (mostly) linguistic issues, and it would seem English is not your native language.  But let me try:

First of all, here's the Webster's definition for compete - "to strive consciously or unconsciously for an objective".  So your use of "striving" in "striving not competing" is very relevant - but by the (first appearing) definition in Webster's (and - it seems to me - the definition in use in Ron's essay), striving IS competing.  The objective is NOT specified.

You say some games (like Solitaire) are not "competitions".  But again, under my understanding of the way the term is used in Ron's essay, Solitaire most certainly IS a competition.  The player is competing "with" the cards, in an attempt to gain (one objective, that IMO corresponds well to Ron's Gamism) the satisfaction of a "good game".  Or (another possible objective) to make money.  Or to "win".  But not NECESSARILY to win - they aren't forced to play AGAINST the cards.  Winning/losing is NOT a fundamental component of competing, only a possible objective.

There are, in fact, games (Gamist games) about creating a "greater story" (the Once Upon a Time card game is the most often cited example).  They involve narrative, but they are NOT Narrativist (as defined in Ron's essay) games.

You're right, if people think compete means "beat the others" (players and/or GM), many of 'em are unlikely to label what they do in RPGs that way.  To be fair, there is another definition of compete ("to be in a state of rivalry") that's kinda consistent with this.  And I'd have no problem with someone (Ron or whoever) coming up with different language.  But the fact is, the current language is perfectly "correct", as it does NOT mean "beat the others".  It means "compete with [something]" - perhaps "the others", perhaps yourself, perhaps the system.  The CONCEPT of Gamism, as explained in the essay and in discussion here, is very clear to me and entirely consistent with this understanding of "competition".  A good Gamist game is about good competition.  That may include winning/losing, or it may not.  It WILL include striving for an objective.

Wow, that's really more than I thought I'd say.  Hope it helps,

Gordon

PS - BTW, here's the etymology on compete: "Late Latin competere to seek together, from Latin, to come together, agree, be suitable, from com- + petere to go to, seek."  Wow,  "To seek together" - now there's a GREAT principle/definition for RPGs!  Make it "to seek [BLANK] together", fill in the [BLANK] with your GNS (or other) choice . . . pretty cool!

PPS - "consciously OR UNCONCIOUSLY"?  What should we make of unconscious Gamism?  Nah, I don't think I'll go there.
Logged

www.snap-game.com (under construction)
contracycle
Member

Posts: 2807


« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2001, 02:13:00 AM »

Yeah - thats what it means, dammit, and no fricken gamist is gonna tell us otherwise, no matter how frequently or consistently they try.  Right?  Right.
Logged

Impeach the bomber boys:
www.impeachblair.org
www.impeachbush.org

"He who loves practice without theory is like the sailor who boards ship without a rudder and compass and never knows where he may cast."
- Leonardo da Vinci
Ron Edwards
Global Moderator
Member
*
Posts: 16490


WWW
« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2001, 07:00:00 AM »

Hello,

Gordon has read and paraphrased my existing material on Gamism correctly. I have little to add at this point beyond the following.

1) Any number of people apparently conflate "competition" with "vicious," or "screw the other guy," or a generally negative deal of some kind. I agree that competition may become such things, but I disagree that it is one of them by default. [Please note that we are still discussing role-playing, nothing else.]

2) I have decided to let the fur fly about this issue without participating much. Lest I be accused of elitism, bear in mind that this is exactly what I did with the whole "what is Simulationist" argument - and given a lot of input, a lot of thought, and TIME, I was able to come up with the contents of the current essay, which oddly enough proved satisfactory to many.

In other words, I am interested in everyone's input and am paying attention. Eventually, results will appear. If I don't post to it, that does not mean I am (a) conceding a point or (b) ignoring or avoiding the issue.

Gareth, in particular, please do not assume you are being ignored. To all, please maintain clarity in your points, without snippy references or sarcasm.

Best,
Ron
Logged
Marco
Member

Posts: 1741


WWW
« Reply #4 on: November 28, 2001, 10:19:00 AM »

Several of my group are *avid* nethack players (okay, Zangband but that's not so well known). You know Nethack, don't you? Random dungeons, random treasures, random monsters. Lots of cool interactions (if stuck with cursed boots of levitation, walk over a sink in order to drop--hmm ... I think that one's out of Nethack).

Anyway: for them (at least one of them) it's about the 'pure joy of character advancement.' Take a 1st level guy up to whatever. It's *definitely* a test of skill. It's the same vibe you get from Diablo ... and real similar to what they get from 'straight' D&D (or AD&D or 3e or whatever). Is it competition?

Words have connotations. I submit that competition implies competitors. Struggle (contra's suggestion, IIRC) doesn't (there may be other strugglers but they're not necessairly against you--they might be *for* you).

Achievement seems like a better word to me ("Achievist"?) since you might be attempting to attain victory over the others, the world, or even the GM.

-Marco
Logged

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

Posts: 9


« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2001, 01:50:00 PM »

Logged
Gordon C. Landis
Member

Posts: 1024

I am Custom-Built Games


WWW
« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2001, 02:18:00 PM »

Let me start by saying I think I understand Gamism, both the "term of art" used by Ron and the feel, mood and approach to RPGs that he/it attempts (partially unsuccsesfully, according to some) to describe.  I have played in many, MANY RPG sessions that are entirely compatible with both my understanding of Ron's definition and the feel described by others (like Brian).  I say this not in attempt to give "definitive authority" to my statements, but just to make it clear I'm not talking about a theoretical opinion here, I'm speaking from my personal, emotional experience in the area.  I enjoy and seek out the "Gamist feel" to this day.  I'm not so interested in it in my RPGs at the moment, but I need my Gamist fix from time to time, and if there aren't people willing to play a game of Titan or Settlers of Catan or the like, I can enjoy a Gamist DD3e dungeon crawl just fine, if not as a steady diet.

So . . . first point:  ARE we really just talking about language here, or is there something folks disagree about in the CONCEPT of Gamism that Ron puts forth?  If we simply replace all references to "competition" with references to "struggle" or "strive" or the like, is the issue resolved? If so . . .

Second point: Personally, I'm fine with competition for all the reasons covered in my first post.  I spent a lot of time rock-climbing in my mid-late 20's, and I was clear I was competing - with the rock, with my mental/physical limitations, and etc.  I most certainly was NOT competing AGAINST my climbing partner, who in fact was particpating in the activity WITH me, and whom I might rely upon to protect my LIFE as we "competed".  Competition implies (for me) only one competitor of neccessity, and when there are additional competitors they aren't necessarily against you.  That said . . .

Third point:  Rightly or wrongly (guess where my vote is :wink:), a fair number of people have negative connotations for "compete".  I have the same issue with "struggle" - I would NEVER describe the overall feel of Gamist activity as a struggle.  It might occassionally have the feel of a struggle, but not overall.  I like the "strive for an objective" language - true, you could say "Narrativists strive for the objective of a good story", but it is not the striving itself that is the reward for them, it is the story (or the participation in the creation of a story, to be precise).  Since I find the concept described by Ron's Gamist description entirely satisfactory, I'm fine with using different language to accomplish the same (to me) description.  But . . .

Final point:  If what is really happening here is that some folks disagree with the very concept of the definition Ron provides, not just the language used to reach that definition . . . let's talk about that, and not disagree about what the language "really" means.  While I've typed a lot of words expaining why *I* think the language is fine, it's the concept I care about, not the detailed language of the definition.  You can even use "struggle" if you want - while I can't promise not to shudder a bit when I hear it, I'll know what you "really" mean by it and that's where most of the value is anyway.

Again, hoping this is helpful,

Gordon
Logged

www.snap-game.com (under construction)
Gordon C. Landis
Member

Posts: 1024

I am Custom-Built Games


WWW
« Reply #7 on: November 28, 2001, 02:50:00 PM »

MJ snuck in a post while I was composing mine.  My opinion regarding "he will not recognize himself in the above descriptions of gamism" is "didn't he read 'GM as referee over the players competing with a scenario'"?

That's *exactly* (IMO) what he's participating in - "There is no winner" and "The DM is not playing AGAINST" the players" does not prevent the gaming from being about "competition".  Again, using a different word is fine by me - it's that thrilling challege to ones' skill/luck/etc. as you struggle and strive towards some objective or accomplishment.  That's what I understand "compete" to be.  Tell me that that's what "challenge" (my selection for the best "compete" alternative) means, and I'm fine.  Gamism is all about challenge, as in "rising to the challenge", acheiving a goal - or at least experiencing the thrill of striving towards a goal.  The payoff's right there, in that experience, and you need no hokey "well rounded narrative" or "accurately represented simulation" to acheive it.

I agree that the essay would be well served if this (most common and widespread, in my experience) form of Gamism were more strongly emphasized, and the ways in which it differs from more conflict-oriented competitive games were stressed.

Conflict - there's another good word.  But I'm tired of linguistic musings and disagreements - is the CONCEPT right?

Gordon
Logged

www.snap-game.com (under construction)
Matt Machell
Member

Posts: 477


WWW
« Reply #8 on: November 29, 2001, 01:54:00 AM »

You know, I think a good deal of the arguments in the forge result from Linguistic misunderstandings.

When you say Competition to somebody many people automatically assume it implies a winning/losing/against the others aspect, even if to you that is not implied.

This is both the beauty and tragedy of words, they mean different things to different people. They're caught up in connotations and personal experiences, whatever the dictionary definition might be.

Which is why nailing down Gamism will always be objected to by somebody, because unless you described exactly how you were using your terms, they'll make an assumtion. The best you can get is what the majority will agree with.

See, struggle also implies a win/lose situation to some people. So does Conflict. Strive might be better, but I'm sure somebody would object.

Just my thoughts.


Matt
Logged

contracycle
Member

Posts: 2807


« Reply #9 on: November 29, 2001, 02:15:00 AM »

Logged

Impeach the bomber boys:
www.impeachblair.org
www.impeachbush.org

"He who loves practice without theory is like the sailor who boards ship without a rudder and compass and never knows where he may cast."
- Leonardo da Vinci
contracycle
Member

Posts: 2807


« Reply #10 on: November 29, 2001, 02:23:00 AM »

Quote

On 2001-11-28 17:50, Gordon C. Landis wrote:
MJ snuck in a post while I was composing mine.  My opinion regarding "he will not recognize himself in the above descriptions of gamism" is "didn't he read 'GM as referee over the players competing with a scenario'"?


But the PLAYER is not competing with the scenario, the CHARACTER is.  The player is getting their jollies from the process and the vicarious experince of the challenge, but is NOT motivated by "competition".  Once again, competition with inanimate objects is meaningless; objects cannot experience rivalry, have no goals, have no motivations.  

Hmm, actually one can compete against objects in the sense of computer games, but in reality the object is maquerading as a human with motives and intent.
Logged

Impeach the bomber boys:
www.impeachblair.org
www.impeachbush.org

"He who loves practice without theory is like the sailor who boards ship without a rudder and compass and never knows where he may cast."
- Leonardo da Vinci
contracycle
Member

Posts: 2807


« Reply #11 on: November 29, 2001, 02:32:00 AM »

Not only can I not see how competition implies anything other than win/lose, but I believe it was selected BECUASE it implied win/lose.
Logged

Impeach the bomber boys:
www.impeachblair.org
www.impeachbush.org

"He who loves practice without theory is like the sailor who boards ship without a rudder and compass and never knows where he may cast."
- Leonardo da Vinci
greyorm
Member

Posts: 2233

My name is Raven.


WWW
« Reply #12 on: November 29, 2001, 07:34:00 AM »

Quote

...not see how competition implies anything other than win/lose...

I have to agree with that.  Competition, to me, also implies some sort of win/lose relationship.  To compete, in my mind, is to strive to attain victory.  One can only attain victory by causing failure; and that failure, in the context of RPGs, must be failure by another individual -- other players or the GM-as-NPC-goons.

In this context, it makes sense, but I don't think it is really saying what it should be, and should thus be retired.  Gamism is more about utilizing and caring more about the mechanical and statistical issues of play -- using them to advantage in attainment of goals -- than it is about "competing" and, hence, winning.
After all, there is already competition in both narrative and simulation, not necessarily among players, or even between player-and-GM, but among the characters invovled in the scenarios (and that includes both PCs, NPCs, and the world at large).

Logged

Rev. Ravenscrye Grey Daegmorgan
Wild Hunt Studio
Paul Czege
Acts of Evil Playtesters
Member

Posts: 2341


WWW
« Reply #13 on: November 29, 2001, 08:16:00 AM »

Gamism is more about utilizing and caring more about the mechanical and statistical issues of play -- using them to advantage in attainment of goals...

There's something about this conversation that's fluttering around in my peripheral vision, and I can't quite figure out what it is. I had the same feel back when Brian Gleichman was arguing his definition of Gamism. There's something about the dispute over whether Gamism is "competition" that gives me this feeling. It's as if there's some important relationship that isn't being considered.

There's this notion of campaign play that we're all familiar with, where the purpose of play is to keep playing. In the context of campaign play, Raven's comments about Gamism being not so much competitive as it is a focus on using and exploiting the mechanics of the game system make a lot of sense. But translate that attention to the mechanical and statistical issues of play into a closed-ended, four or five session scenario, and isn't it then apparent that competition is really a part of Gamism?

Is the thing fluttering for attention in my peripheral vision the notion that differences in defining the nature of Gamism are arising from campaign vs. closed-ended scenario play preferences?

Paul
Logged

My Life with Master knows codependence.
And if you're doing anything with your Acts of Evil ashcan license, of course I'm curious and would love to hear about your plans
Mads Jakobsen
Member

Posts: 9


« Reply #14 on: November 29, 2001, 08:21:00 AM »

Logged
Pages: [1] 2 3 4
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!