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Author Topic: Looking at the idea called 'system' again  (Read 9723 times)
JoyWriter
Member

Posts: 500

also known as Josh W


« Reply #15 on: October 27, 2009, 08:44:22 PM »

Josh, I think your just pitching that a wrench can be used like a hammer, thus it's both. Do we have any common ground on what it's original intent was? Cause if we don't, then we don't.

I'm trying to say a lot more than that, but that should be enough for now. I think original intent is a bit of red herring, maybe it's just more important how closely the object fits your definition of a hammer or wrench, including how it can be used. That kind of pragmatic domain is what I'm focusing on here, because these definitions, this "rpg theory" is supposed to be focused on helping practice along. By the way I'm glad you took the last post well, I was a little concerned that combining philosophy with humour might sound a bit snarky, which I hope you know wasn't my intention.

People could define a glass of cyanide differently from me - doesn't mean their defining it differently will mean it'll have different properties once drunk. On this principle, no, I don't respect 'oh, this is our special definition'. Or I respect it about as much as the cyanide would, anyway. (a dark humour part of me wants to say that upon finding this to be true, a gamer would then redefine the word 'drink' and thus declare the problem solved, because they weren't drinking the cyanide anymore)

Ok, suppose someone out there has a resistance to cyanide poisoning, and in fact has quite a liking for it's taste, in the right circumstances. (Maybe they're an alien) They might define it as an acquired taste, and you would define it as a poison. But because of the differences between you and them, you are both right!

You suggest correctly that the world and it's practical issues will indeed overrule our pictures, and so sometimes a difference in definition means a difference in circumstance.

So here's what I'm suggesting; we go hell for leather after your idea of "putting up with shit", grounded as it is in your own experience, and then compare it to "system" as a component of "exploration", and all that stuff. In other words start with assuming system doesn't exist, and is not a real thing at all(as opposed to a real but absent thing). That may sound a pretty dull way to analyse it, but you often find that starting with your own words and your own view and stating them clearly allows people to come in and say "that bit there, that's what I mean by system".

So how about we just talk about tolerance vs agreement?

In the example of the paintball, as contracycle suggests, the effects on what people say in the game are not mentioned. We know very little beyond the fact that they stayed, or at least I know very little. So perhaps it's to vague and second hand an example to use? As a tangent it does occur to me that a lot of rpg theory is inward looking, focused on the games effect on itself, and doesn't consider that the process of play might chuck out all kinds of interesting artefacts. I'll be having a think about that.

Hang on, it's just occurred to me that you might be cross that people confused you by using the word system in a way you were not prepared for, and seek to use example or precedent to justify banning the word system from being used in that way. If this is true I think you will find that a fruitless struggle, given that the very foundations of system theory are built on the plurality of acceptable models and the ability to draw system boundaries any way you want. This broader idea of systems is a much bigger than your one of "darwinian systems" and the system defined by the "lumpley principle", native to the forge. My advice is not to bother policing people's words in this way, if that is what your doing, but rather seeking to insure those definitions don't encourage people to drink poison!
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Callan S.
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« Reply #16 on: October 29, 2009, 03:16:48 PM »

I'm just not seeing much coherance to the original authors of the idea (or willfully ignoring the intent, yet still amazingly using it as a reference for arguement). In other cases I've pitched the idea that perhaps there was no system and said this is not a thread for zealous conviction there must be a system, you must humour doubt there was a system (even if you don't really believe that, but are just humouring the idea) to participate, and in those cases participation stopped. And with Gareths/contracycles post, it's mostly establishing what I'm trying to establish, so that's already complete. So I'm summing up.

You can't make system through play. You can ask someone if they want to follow a system you've thought up. No, there is no principle of "Oh, you don't always have to ask permission for something". Why? Because ask the damn people your going to play with if you don't have to ask permission always. If they say no, then clearly no, there is no such principle! They just said no to it! But because I, here on a chat forum, can't prove you don't always have to ask (oddly enough I can't in advance prove what someones going to consent to), that must make it a true principle you don't always have to ask? No! Ask the damn people your playing with. It's just wank to sit on a forum and tell each other that yeah, a group of players can do something, for example, the GM didn't agree to, and thats a rule of how things work in life, like gravity is a rule of how things work in life. No, ask a GM in that position if he wants to do that. If he says no, then clearly there is no "Oh, you don't always have to ask permission for something" principle that exists in real life, otherwise he'd be compelled by that real life 'fact' to say yes. Thinking otherwise is as bullshit as all the ideas that if you buy a woman X, Y and Z she'll sleep with you, as if it's a principle that 'woman brain' just follows. That's just a display of lame theory of mind, that's blind to consent and only sees a new rule of physics on 'how things work'.

Or it's worse than wank. I'll draw your attention of how domestic violence becomes ingrained into the 'system' of the 'relationship', with bullshit justifications "He only does it when he's angry". Oh, and you know these people genuinely believe it's a relationship - clearly showing that people, human beings, like you or me, can make a 'system' out of really...murky elements. Before you start 'spoofing' the GM or anybody, you might want to ask if that's how you want to live and tell others enmasse by forum it's okay to live that way. Because I can't honestly prove that the domestic violence couple aren't a 'system' or a 'relationship'. But just because something can't be disproved as a system, doesn't mean it's something you want to do in your life. I'm wondering if standards in the community are degrading, or atleast measured against my own set of standards (which I'm not saying are the be all and end all), they always were degraded.
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Marshall Burns
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Posts: 573

American Wizard


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« Reply #17 on: October 29, 2009, 03:43:42 PM »

All right. This is probably gonna get me into arguments, but what the hell.

There is no such thing as "shit just happening." If something happens, it happens because something caused it to happen. Gravity, momentum, Newton's second law of mechanics, and conservation of energy caused the beach balls to behave as they did (what causes gravity, et al? Fuck if I know, but before we get into anything like that, such theoretical physics are a bit beyond our scope here, yes?).

Likewise, if some people are sitting around a table, anything that happens at that table happens because one or more of them caused it to happen.

Such a collection of causes and their effects, and the events that prompt causes into action, among a specific group of players for a specific unit of play comprises a specific System (as defined by the LP). Therefore there is no way for System to not exist. There is no way for things to happen at the table without someone causing them to happen.

A System can be disordered; it's still a System. You can cause things on accident; you still caused them, and it still contributes to the System. You can be displeased with the System's results; it's still a System.

So what exactly are we talking about here?
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contracycle
Member

Posts: 2984


« Reply #18 on: October 29, 2009, 05:28:13 PM »

Such a collection of causes and their effects, and the events that prompt causes into action, among a specific group of players for a specific unit of play comprises a specific System (as defined by the LP). Therefore there is no way for System to not exist. There is no way for things to happen at the table without someone causing them to happen.

I don't think that makes any sense.  A "collection of causes and effects" can only be considered to be a system when they are systematically organised.  And if they are not organised, then they are indeed just stuff happening, regardless of whether they had to be initiated and agreed.

Otherwise, there is only one system that any game needs, and I shall show it to you.  Here it is:  "People sit around and agree what happens in the game.  The End."  That is the perfect system; all other systems are subsets of this magnum opus.  RPG design is now officially a Solved problem, and we can all pack up and go home.  I shall be signing autographs at 4pm on Tuesday.

As I have already mentioned, it may well be true that components of a given system at use at a given table may be implicit rather than explicit, and not contained in the textual rules.  But even that view must implicitly accept that they are agreements about the game and the play of the game, for the purposes of determining how the in-game content is to be created or altered.  Even non-explicit, non-textual rules are implicitly systematic.

A system cannot be so disordered that it loses the quality of controlling game content without losing the quality of being a kind "system" at all.  Ad hoc decisions are just ad hoc decisions; they are, specifically, not systematic decisions.  A series  of ad hoc deicsions does not constitute a system, they merely constitute a series of ad hoc decisions.  Can that be a fun kind of game?  Sure!  But it's no longer a game governed by a system.  And if the claim is advanced that any series of decisions, not matter how ad hoc or disorganised, is indistinguishable from system, then in fact system doesn't matter after all.
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"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
Caldis
Member

Posts: 392


« Reply #19 on: October 29, 2009, 08:37:39 PM »

A few things need to be straightened out.  The System does matter article predates the Lumpley principle so what that article is talking about and what system has come to mean may not be exactly the same thing.   Look to the provisional glossary or better yet check out http://www.lumpley.com/opine.html

I think you guys are getting messed up because you are thinking of system as something you use to help you play out a session.  That's not the case, when we talk system we're talking everything you actually did when you played out the game to determine what happened.  So if in game a combat situation comes up and you try and play by the rules of the game to resolve the conflict that's not the entirety of system.  The system includes things that most games dont really resolve such as where all the combatants were in relation to each other when combat broke out, what the conditions were in terms that may cause penalties like lighting cover and obstacles, are there any objects that can be used as improvised weapons. The system includes determining all these things and how and by who they are decided.  It may be by negotiation between players and gm, it could be up to the gm to decide or it may be determinable by expending resources.  All of it makes up system.  If you are using ad hoc decisions to determine what happened in the game then that is part of the system the game is using.  And yes Contra there is only one system and your definition nails it "People sit around and agree what happens in the game." That is exactly the definition of system the question is how do they get to the point of agreement.  If they dont agree about what happens in the game it's impossible to have a game.

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contracycle
Member

Posts: 2984


« Reply #20 on: October 29, 2009, 09:32:50 PM »

A few things need to be straightened out.  The System does matter article predates the Lumpley principle so what that article is talking about and what system has come to mean may not be exactly the same thing.   Look to the provisional glossary or better yet check out http://www.lumpley.com/opine.html

Well of course that begs the question, "has come to mean to whom, exactly?".

Quote
 It may be by negotiation between players and gm, it could be up to the gm to decide or it may be determinable by expending resources.  All of it makes up system.

Yes.  And each of those will be (or should be)  textually specified, and thus constitute system in the formal and organised sense.

Quote
   If you are using ad hoc decisions to determine what happened in the game then that is part of the system the game is using.   And yes Contra there is only one system and your definition nails it "People sit around and agree what happens in the game." That is exactly the definition of system the question is how do they get to the point of agreement.  If they dont agree about what happens in the game it's impossible to have a game.

I don't buy it.  If that is true, then the corollaries I have pointed out necessarily follow, and game design as such is a waste of everyones time and effort.  If all of RPG can be reduced to childhood make believe of the "there's a boogeyman in the closet!  And he has sharp dripping fangs!" variety then it has regressed to the point of nothingness.

If system is not organised, and cannot (or need not) be written, and cannot be reproduced by other people reading that text, then the very idea that systems can and do have different outcomes, and be built to produce particular kinds of experience, to address a potent premise or present a challenge, in short matter, is also invalidated.

I think you have a serious case of category confusion going on.  The rules of the road do not, of course, tell you how to drive in every specific situation, but they do provide a rule based method for figuring out what to do, or what to expect others will do, when you encounter real situations.  Of course in driving from point A to point B you will be required to make many ad hoc and specifically situational decisions, but those things do not supplant or invalidate the general rules of road conduct you have learned.   The ad hoc decisions you make are executed within the framework of, and with reference to, the general systematic rules.  "You steer the car to get where you're going" is not a useful method by which to determine who should give way at a roundabout.

I think you have drawn completely the wrong conclusion from the valid observation that not all operational rules are explicit.  You seem to have concluded that therefore any decision carries the same weight as a rule, whereas what should have been concluded is that the non-explicit rules should be identified and made explicit.
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- Leonardo da Vinci
Caldis
Member

Posts: 392


« Reply #21 on: October 30, 2009, 07:54:47 AM »

I think you have a serious case of category confusion going on.  The rules of the road do not, of course, tell you how to drive in every specific situation, but they do provide a rule based method for figuring out what to do, or what to expect others will do, when you encounter real situations.  Of course in driving from point A to point B you will be required to make many ad hoc and specifically situational decisions, but those things do not supplant or invalidate the general rules of road conduct you have learned.   The ad hoc decisions you make are executed within the framework of, and with reference to, the general systematic rules.  "You steer the car to get where you're going" is not a useful method by which to determine who should give way at a roundabout.

That's the thing though.  There are rules of road conduct and they govern how you should act on the road however does anyone follow all of them all the time?  If we want to look at how someone is driving do we look at the laws of the road and then determine that obviously this is the way the person is driving?  If the person drives for years, speeds, parks illegal, doesnt shoulder check but has always gotten to work and back how safe without causing any accidents cant we say that he has a system where sometimes he follows the rules and sometimes he ignores them?  It's repeatable, he's done it multiple times and it always works out despite no written rules that show exactly how he was driving.

In a more role play fashion.  I've played several games basically free form.  We get together come up with ideas and run with them.  When characters come into conflict we've sometimes negotiated the outcome or sometimes we'd roll dice and compare to help us decide what happened.  There are no written rules anywhere but we are able to resolve what's happening in the game, we have some kind of system going on since we're able to do it repeatedly.

Maybe system is the wrong word maybe it should be thought of as process because essentially that's what we are talking about.  What steps happen that take us from point a to point b and this is why design is important, why system matters, and where creative agenda comes in.  You cant just look at the mechanics of a game and think you have everything figured out.  You can try and make mechanics that tell you exactly how to play but if you dont also tell the person what the goal of the game is they're quite likely to abuse them or misuse them.   If you only consider the mechanics of a game system then you are missing out on what's going on simply because no one has created a mechanic for it before such as setting and situation creation which are absent in the vast majority of games.

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contracycle
Member

Posts: 2984


« Reply #22 on: October 30, 2009, 12:10:34 PM »

That's the thing though.  There are rules of road conduct and they govern how you should act on the road however does anyone follow all of them all the time?  If we want to look at how someone is driving do we look at the laws of the road and then determine that obviously this is the way the person is driving?  If the person drives for years, speeds, parks illegal, doesnt shoulder check but has always gotten to work and back how safe without causing any accidents cant we say that he has a system where sometimes he follows the rules and sometimes he ignores them?  It's repeatable, he's done it multiple times and it always works out despite no written rules that show exactly how he was driving.

No.  even someone doing all those things benefits from the prevailing system, because they make other driovers predictable.  Even if he, individually, doesn't always drive on the correct side of the road, the fact that everyone else does means the roads as a whole are not one huge traffic jam of random drivers.

Quote
In a more role play fashion.  I've played several games basically free form.  We get together come up with ideas and run with them.  When characters come into conflict we've sometimes negotiated the outcome or sometimes we'd roll dice and compare to help us decide what happened.  There are no written rules anywhere but we are able to resolve what's happening in the game, we have some kind of system going on since we're able to do it repeatedly.

Sure; but I bet you could write them down if pushed, just as you have attempted to describe them here.  I've played games myself not too dissimilar, in which the only really functional rule was that thr GM had all authority.  But that was the rule, and we all knew it and were all signed up to it.

Quote
Maybe system is the wrong word maybe it should be thought of as process because essentially that's what we are talking about.  What steps happen that take us from point a to point b and this is why design is important, why system matters, and where creative agenda comes in.  You cant just look at the mechanics of a game and think you have everything figured out.  You can try and make mechanics that tell you exactly how to play but if you dont also tell the person what the goal of the game is they're quite likely to abuse them or misuse them.   If you only consider the mechanics of a game system then you are missing out on what's going on simply because no one has created a mechanic for it before such as setting and situation creation which are absent in the vast majority of games.

That is not the problem.  The problem is that you are failing to distinguish between the process, whatever it may be, and the decisions made according to that process.  Thus "how you do things" and "what you actually do" have become an inchoate mass.  In your schema, the "steps... that take us from point a to point b" can't be separated out from the fact that a happened and b happened.  Instead of a and b being indicators or results of system at work, they have become manifestations of system itself.
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"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."
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Callan S.
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« Reply #23 on: October 30, 2009, 02:41:55 PM »

All right. This is probably gonna get me into arguments, but what the hell.

There is no such thing as "shit just happening." If something happens, it happens because something caused it to happen. Gravity, momentum, Newton's second law of mechanics, and conservation of energy caused the beach balls to behave as they did (what causes gravity, et al? Fuck if I know, but before we get into anything like that, such theoretical physics are a bit beyond our scope here, yes?).

Likewise, if some people are sitting around a table, anything that happens at that table happens because one or more of them caused it to happen.

Such a collection of causes and their effects, and the events that prompt causes into action, among a specific group of players for a specific unit of play comprises a specific System (as defined by the LP). Therefore there is no way for System to not exist. There is no way for things to happen at the table without someone causing them to happen.
Bold mine.

This is probably the core dissonance here, Marshall - you've switched from 'something', to 'someone'. Treated them interchangeably, just as I was talking before about confusing and mixing up darwinistic system and man made system.

Is someone at the table causing gravity to exist? Is someone at the table causing momentum to exist? No. But none the less you say gravity exists, and you call that a system - then you go on to use that as support in saying "There is no way for things to happen at the table without someone causing them to happen". There's no way for gravity to happen at the table, without someone causing it to happen? No, the system of gravity and momentum and sound waves, etc goes on and on regardless of whatever anyone at the table causes to happen. Indeed, sound waves stimulating auditory nerves, stimulating synapses, simulating vocal cords, vocal chords making sound waves, sound waves stimulating auditory nerves...it all keeps on keeping on even if no one causes it to.

There being a darwinistic system involved at the table is in no way an indicator or evidence that there is a man made system at the table.

But your post starts off trying to prove that a system of physics exists (which I'd agree with that proof). But then you try and use that to try and prove there's always a system between men at the table.

The system of physics 'allow' me to lift a sword and hack a man down to bloody kindling, to give a OTT but clear example. There is a darwinistic system between me and the man. Is there a man made system between me and him? And by that I mean is there a moral system between me and him? The system of physics allow all sorts of amoral activities. If you don't draw a line between the system of physics and a system for men to live by, your moral code will start to erode. Because without a distinction, you start to treat all physically possible acts as moral ones. And so you get the painball gun, or the 'spoofing' of the GM, etc.

Indeed I think it's rather like the brain damage hypothesis - where peoples sense of story can be eroded and perhaps even destroyed by repeated exposure to something that says it's story, but isn't. Same with repeated exposure to something that says it's system, but is nothing more than raw, amoral physics. But that's probably a long draw of the bow - feel free to ignore this paragraph.



Hi Caldis,

Quote
I think you guys are getting messed up because you are thinking of system as something you use to help you play out a session.
How about this - I'm giving the nod and acknowledging you think this is the case. In return, will you give the nod and acknowledge that I think your confusing two types of system for the one? I'm thinking if we can establish atleast that mutual acknowledgement, that's something and A: if we stop, we stopped on something, which is good or B: if we continue, its something to continue from. But if there is no return acknowledgement, there's nothing to continue from.
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JoyWriter
Member

Posts: 500

also known as Josh W


« Reply #24 on: October 31, 2009, 07:21:46 PM »

Hoo boy, it is the word police! Well at least we're still trying to act for the benefit of other human beings, and that should give us something to work with.

Callan, you make a valuable point about the dangers of stating a system; it can encourage people to stick with crap just cos they have a name for it. Why? Because people can confuse structure for necessity; just because a group of people do create a repeating or continuous pattern of behaviour, doesn't mean that's the only way for them to do it. That sort of fatalism is what can be really dangerous about creating a picture of the world, but they can be a force for change, because even if the picture was true a moment ago, the very fact that you can see it now means that the pattern itself may change.

That's one important reason why it is valuable to spot patterns in behaviour, whether pre-arranged or otherwise, because you can change it.

Another good reason is because as you suggest, you can see an awesome series of events that happened, and try to replicate them.

But there is no need to fear "systems". So to answer your very first question, yes a verbal abusive man on a train + your lack of response to it, or a husband who physically abuses his wife, and her response to it, or a GM who damages your investment in a game + your response to it, can be considered a set of systems, with potentially quite different dynamics. Not from the (perhaps fictional) "forge consensus" perspective, but from any number of people out there who model social structure. But those structures might not be fixed, there may be ways to resolve them, and perhaps recognising their structure and their persistence will help to remove both of them. The assignment of blame wouldn't change, but maybe it wouldn't happen again.

And I wouldn't push the brain damage idea too far either, a simpler explanation of why people "already have story" is because your words are butting into each other. Perhaps in deference to their language you could say "a better kind of story, which I find so much better I don't call the other stuff story at all", or the same for system. You may find when you start comparing your's and their' versions of story and system, that you both have something to learn from each other, and their not brain damaged so much as unconvinced.

Contracycle, generality is only dangerous if we stop there; we do not complain about all books being in the same library because "I got a book from the library" is not a very informative statement. In the same way, a general definition of what happens in a game is only a problem if it stops there, and we say "stuff happens, hallelujah" or something equally uninformative. The alternative is to look at different kinds of system (subdividing like looking through the library's filing system), and ask which are better, and if the better ones can be shared etc. For example, supposedly David Donachie GMs his game Solipsist very well, but other people can't get the same goodness out of it. If the definition of system is broad enough, we have a big net to catch facts about how he GMs, and develop explicit systems from them.

Now when you compare explicit systems to inexplicit ones, a funny thing occurs; sometimes following rules that specify your entire behaviour doesn't result in the same experience for those doing it. In the beach balls example, replaying a series of events is basically just setting up the original starting situation again and letting it run to it's conclusion, or it is constraining a different pattern of change to the previous one, perhaps with lots of guiding wires attached to the balls.

This is a challenge I have experienced in game design, sometimes it's not about getting someone to replicate what someone else did, as that will only lead to external correctness, but about getting them to the same place or a similar one to that of the original you are modelling, more like method acting or something. I expect that such additional structures are irrelevant for those who can already do the core thing they are supposed to encourage, so I also hope to build them so that they fold away as neatly as possible when not in use. Tricky!


I wouldn't be surprised if almost no-one takes issue with the rather simple idea that we can do things unconsciously or consciously, and we don't pick out and choose every event that happens by perfect scanning of the future. The full consequences of events are almost always more than we plan, than the human activity systems we agree to between each other. I don't think labouring this point will solve the disagreement, because I'm not sure if anyone was making this error to any substantial extent.

I think we could however pick out some interesting stuff about the difference between tolerance and agreement, and predictive capacity in decision-making.
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Callan S.
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« Reply #25 on: October 31, 2009, 10:24:32 PM »

Josh, if I wasn't, for example, word police, but you went on to post as if I absolutely were... well, in that example atleast, you'd be being disruptive. And willfully so, since it'd be ignoring any possiblity of being wrong on that and so deliberately acting in a way that doesn't match the situation.

Summing up in short form, if you treat both
A: Going into a store, handing someone money and taking from them some milk and bread
B: Going into a store with a knife, opening the till, taking money and leaving
as being 'system' in the same tone, equally, without caveat, then you are speaking about them as being equal and the same. As you treat them, so they become - either in other people that hear you or in your own eyes. If you treat them equally, so they, over time, will become equal.

Also it's possible this is occuring only because of some oversight/theory of mind issue. I think it's possible to ask for consent through body language alone. And I think if you miss the fact that asking and giving happened, you might start to think you don't have to ask for consent all the time, as if you can just do X sans that body language ask. I think we also often have loose, overall understandings of behaviour between people in our various cultures, that they were raised with and essentially consent to (well, I'll say 'essentially' to keep this simple). I think if you miss the fact these exist and are in action at the gaming table (as well as everywhere else), you might start thinking the smelly chamberlain example shows you don't always need constantly reinforced consensus and is an example of that, even though because of those prior understandings existance, your essentially bathing in constantly reinforced consensus.

Take this quote from Ron
Quote
We mean something more like "get" in the informal sense of the word, or "run with from now on," or even "stay consistent with from now on, at least close enough for government work."
If you want to really look at system, you'll see that this isn't describing how something works to me, it's asking me to 'get' it. And in asking, it's asking me to consent to 'getting' it. That's the actual system that's happening.

Yet if everyone thinks they are describing something that exists, rather than in describing something and in doing so, asking consent to it - if they don't recognise they are asking consent...well, I think maybe you get the smelly chamberlain thread. Whole bunches of people thinking they are talking about system when really the system is that they are asking each others consent to a certain procedure.
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JoyWriter
Member

Posts: 500

also known as Josh W


« Reply #26 on: November 01, 2009, 07:34:26 AM »

And willfully so, since it'd be ignoring any possiblity of being wrong on that and so deliberately acting in a way that doesn't match the situation.

Like this d'you mean:

That's one important reason why it is valuable to spot patterns in behaviour, whether pre-arranged or otherwise, because you can change it.

Another good reason is because as you suggest, you can see an awesome series of events that happened, and try to replicate them.

....
 can be considered a set of systems, with potentially quite different dynamics.

as being 'system' in the same tone, equally, without caveat, then you are speaking about them as being equal and the same.

I've not only distinguished between those patterns we want to preserve and those we want to change, I've suggested that the abusive ones might themselves be distinguishable from each other!

If you want to really look at system, you'll see that this isn't describing how something works to me, it's asking me to 'get' it. And in asking, it's asking me to consent to 'getting' it. That's the actual system that's happening.

I've invited you to do loads of things in this thread, all focused on bridging between what other people think and what you think, no dodgy power-knowledge stuff.

And in case you haven't got my point from above:

... That's the actual system that's happening.

Yet if everyone thinks they are describing something that exists, rather than in describing something and in doing so, asking consent to it - if they don't recognise they are asking consent...well, I think maybe you get the smelly chamberlain thread. Whole bunches of people thinking they are talking about system when really the system is that they are asking each others consent to a certain procedure.

Are they? Could you be wrong on that?

If they weren't for example, requiring consent, but you went on to post as if they absolutely were, would you be being disruptive?

Your logic applies to yourself!
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JoyWriter
Member

Posts: 500

also known as Josh W


« Reply #27 on: November 01, 2009, 07:36:54 AM »

Oh and by the way that last post is the consequence of hitting post instead of preview, I'll have a more substantial post up within the next few days!
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Callan S.
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Posts: 4268


WWW
« Reply #28 on: November 01, 2009, 02:05:27 PM »

Quote
I've not only distinguished between those patterns we want to preserve and those we want to change, I've suggested that the abusive ones might themselves be distinguishable from each other!
I honestly can't see you distinguishing between what you want to preserve and what you want to change (and by change I assume you mean remove). Even when you say you want to preserve awesome series of events, I can't honestly see you saying you would also remove things you thought morally iffy (and I mean even atleast by your own moral code, rather than by mine or some general one). You just talk about different dynamics, not right and wrong.

So maybe I'm not reading very well, or you just don't bring a moral compass to bear on this. Perhaps you think things are awesome as in fun, but you don't think along the lines of 'Well, that was awesome...but that little thing we did where we consipired to ignore the rules, that's a bit iffy/murky. I wonder if there is some way, different to how we did it, that we can have that awesome without the iffy?'.

Given the tone I percieve (percieve, as in perception, which is capable of failure) in your last post, you'd be betting on me not reading well. But if that's so, I'd not read any further responces very well either.

Quote
I've invited you to do loads of things in this thread, all focused on bridging between what other people think and what you think, no dodgy power-knowledge stuff.
I described what might be a genuine mistake and failure to perceive oneself asking consent. I accused no one of manipulation at all. Indeed it was supposed to be an olive branch, or atleast a probable olive branch, that perhaps this hinges on an innocent error? Ideally it would have gone "Oh hey, Callan, I hadn't thought in describing something in particular I might actually be asking for consent to it...I'm not taking it as true right now, but I'll chew it over!" and I'd go "Cheers!"

Quote
Are they? Could you be wrong on that?
That's why I used "it's possible" and you can even see the 'maybe' in your quote of me.

But with Ron, that's the interesting part and what prompted me to post probably too quickly...
When I say 'that's the actual system that's happening' then I'm describing the system, at it's current point, between me and Ron.

The interesting thing is that if I am wrong on what he was doing, then there is no system between us. Or no single system - he'd be running off some pattern of doing things, I'd be running off another pattern of doing things. Given the wide use of system here, you could call that clash of patterns 'system', but then again you could call two cars smashing into each other, as it's happening, system, with that broad a notion of system.

In terms of being disruptive, if myself and Ron were actually two patterns crashing against each other at that point, I don't think I could get more disruptive than has already happened. And yet everyone wants to call that crashing 'system', with no moral distinguishment. So if you want to call me disruptive, as in something morally iffy, go ahead, but then equally you'd have to name the smelly chamberlain thread examples that too, rather than just calling them 'system' without caveat and without tone.
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contracycle
Member

Posts: 2984


« Reply #29 on: November 03, 2009, 10:14:57 AM »

Contracycle, generality is only dangerous if we stop there; we do not complain about all books being in the same library because "I got a book from the library" is not a very informative statement. In the same way, a general definition of what happens in a game is only a problem if it stops there, and we say "stuff happens, hallelujah" or something equally uninformative. The alternative is to look at different kinds of system (subdividing like looking through the library's filing system), and ask which are better, and if the better ones can be shared etc. For example, supposedly David Donachie GMs his game Solipsist very well, but other people can't get the same goodness out of it. If the definition of system is broad enough, we have a big net to catch facts about how he GMs, and develop explicit systems from them.

My problem with this approach is that you end up in a situation in which you can't distinguish between the fact of Alice being seated next to Bob, and a game using FATE as opposed FITM.  It is indeed possible that Alice being seated next to Bob in some way contributed to the overall happiness of the group and the ability for the game to play succesfully, but this is totally beyond the scope of system.  "Everything you do if you had fun" is far, far too broad a net.  The defintion needs to be restricted to things that actually did influence play and impacted the IS.  If it didn't do that, it's almost certainly something far too local to draw a principle from.  There is indeed stuff that "just happens" in a game and in which there is no deeper secret to be teased out.  There may be any number of personal or social influences to a game that are frankly beyond the remit of system.

Yes indeed, as I have agreed, it is worthwhile looking at what people did implicitly, and which they may not have recognised to be decisions constituting real system.  But I repeat, it's worth looking; it's not worth assuming that everything they did is system simply because it happened.
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