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46709 Posts in 5588 Topics by 13297 Members Latest Member: - Shane786 Most online today: 33 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: [Beloved] [Solo RPG] In a dream ...  (Read 10640 times)
lumpley
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« Reply #15 on: March 04, 2011, 07:22:20 AM »

The sleep and dream thing is interesting and tricky. I'm going to treat my first monster as a practice monster, I think, because (a) I hadn't drawn anything so I was already cheating, although I was planning drawings in my head, and (b) I defeated it as I was falling asleep, and after I defeated it there was no rescuing and no beloved, just regular jumbled dream stuff. Consequently it's all evaporating from my mind, I can't remember it even though it was very vivid at the time.

I have theories and opinions about marriage and committed relationships! They're in favor of this game. Sharing them on the internet will probably just be irritating, though.

-Vincent
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jrs
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« Reply #16 on: March 04, 2011, 07:33:35 AM »

It is difficult for me to express my reaction to Beloved. I am surprised at how familiar it seems to my own imaginings over the years. In some ways it feels like I have already played it, but not quite. Like Vincent, I suspect that in time I will play it simply because it is in my head now. The components of unique monster traits in contrast with the in common traits of the ersatz beloved ring particularly true to me. I suspect that my play would focus more on establishing my self-worth rather than the other’s good enough.

Julie
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lumpley
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« Reply #17 on: March 04, 2011, 03:34:32 PM »

I played for reals, mostly while I was driving. It was really fun. No new insights, except that creating an unbeatable monster and then fighting it different ways until you discover how you CAN beat it is surprisingly satisfying.

-Vincent
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Ben Lehman
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« Reply #18 on: March 04, 2011, 07:38:23 PM »

Just FYI, I have a nice, slightly revised version with art by me and Emily if anyone is interested.

The slight revision is that it now specifies that you should "take time to know" the other girls, as well.
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lumpley
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« Reply #19 on: March 05, 2011, 05:58:00 AM »

Hooray! I was going to ask you about that.

-Vincent

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David Berg
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« Reply #20 on: March 06, 2011, 08:37:50 PM »

My reactions to reading the game:
Imagine your beloved. She is, to you, perfect in every way. Think on it. Know her.

Okay, so now I'm imagining play as a sort of daydream, combining vague impressions, sensory details, feelings, and abstract criteria.  I might imagine pale skin, feel enthused, and think the word "honor" or something.

Quote
draw a small picture of your beloved.

Seems more of a thinky game than an art project, so a non-literal symbol should suffice.  Stick figure, smiley face, whatever.

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But it isn't really her. It's some other girl that the monsters kidnapped. She is like your beloved in one way, and that confused you.  Is she good enough? Do you give up and live and love with her?  If so, you live ever after together.

Oh.  Wait.  My beloved was this vague confluence of things.  Now I need to pick an attribute of her.  Okay, maybe "sense of humor".  So now I've got a girl with a sense of humor. 

Is that the only thing she has in common with my ideal woman?  Is she necessarily, like, an ugly, cheating, neurotic sadist?  Of course I won't settle for that, and I'm not playing this game 50 million times to weed out all the negative qualities I can imagine.

So I'll assume the girl with a sense of humor is undefined on the other fronts.  Which means, I guess I'm supposed to not think about them before deciding if I stick with her.  So it's an exercise in uncertainty; the longer I play this game, the more certainty I get to have.

you should "take time to know" the other girls, as well.

Oh.  Okay, nix "undefined" as well.  Um.  What's the limit on getting to know her as my Beloved?  What's to stop me from making her equally perfect but with, like, different color hair or something?  Having no limits, or having to make up limits and enforce them on myself, would seem to make it not a game anymore.

So, uh, there's one data point for ya, Ben.  I hope there's something useful in there.

Ps,
-Dave
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lumpley
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« Reply #21 on: March 07, 2011, 10:07:13 AM »

Shall I keep posting mini-AP here?

I'm completely stalled out on my current threesome of monsters. I've gotten one of them to kill another, in a head-slap moment of "of course," but that leaves the two, and they're just owning me.

No help, please! That's why I'm not saying what the monsters are.

I've learned a couple of interesting personal things from this game. It's potent and good.

-Vincent
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Gregor Hutton
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« Reply #22 on: March 07, 2011, 10:16:13 AM »

I'm still stuck on my first monster. I wrote down that it was fearsome and I've drawn a big serpent thing with a huge dragon's head. The wall's of the prison look pretty thick too and I forgot to draw a window or door. My little dude with his shield and sword is having big trouble with it.
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Roger
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« Reply #23 on: March 07, 2011, 11:30:48 AM »

Hmmm.  Well, I can give you my reaction to the text.

I think this might be the most Buddhist game I've seen to date.  By that I mean it seems specifically crafted to teach the player the first and greatest noble truth of Buddha: all desire leads to suffering.

I hate to drag religion and philosophy and everything else into this, but I don't think there's any way around it.  That's the real beauty and elegance of this game, I think -- it seductively invites the player to follow a path to an inevitable conclusion, without getting all hamfisted and preachy about it.  Not many games have been able to pull that off.

What's the deal with dreaming?  My sense is that dreams and the dreaming mind here provide a counterpoint to the player's conscious ego.  It is the ego alone, of course, which produces all obstacles to one's desire, as well as producing the object of desire itself.  The resolution of those obstacles must come from somewhere outside the ego, and dreams are a convenient, if not strictly necessary, resource.

All post-rescued not-quite-Beloveds share at least one quality which differentiates them from the true unattained Beloved:  They are all free.  Unlike the Beloved who, by definition, is imprisoned.  It is a necessary quality of the Beloved that she is unattained, and hence there is a requisite fall from grace when she is attained.  This may invite the reflective player to ponder why a nice sane person would consistently define his Beloved as being imprisoned.

Does the game change significantly if the player is the one inside the prison, waiting for his Beloved to finally overcome the monsters and rescue him?  I'm not sure.  It feels slightly different, but perhaps it's purely superficial.  Such distinctions may be purely illusory.

I apologize again if this was all far too rambling and too removed from play.  The line between thinking about playing this game and 'actually' playing this game is a little narrower than usual.


Cheers,
Roger
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Ben Lehman
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« Reply #24 on: March 07, 2011, 01:19:42 PM »

Shall I keep posting mini-AP here?

I'm completely stalled out on my current threesome of monsters. I've gotten one of them to kill another, in a head-slap moment of "of course," but that leaves the two, and they're just owning me.

No help, please! That's why I'm not saying what the monsters are.

I've learned a couple of interesting personal things from this game. It's potent and good.

-Vincent

Please do.
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Ben Lehman
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« Reply #25 on: March 07, 2011, 01:29:13 PM »

Hey, Dave: You're the third person (at least) who, looking at the original game, comes up with a list of traits for the beloved. Clearly something is going off the rails here. Can you elucidate how you got that idea, and what maybe I could have said to stop you from doing it that way?

As for the rest: uh, you can interpret things that way. You can also not. I, for one, can imagine people who are pretty different than my Beloved but still not, say, neurotic sadists with bad teeth. Likewise, you can declare that any given rescued girl is almost exactly like your beloved (although that feels more than a bit like cheating to me, but, I mean, it's a one-player game. Cheating is a victimless crime.) But it isn't her.

Roger: Good insights. I think that the primary change in the game from the inside of the prison is that defeating the monsters doesn't require personal expansion beyond what you thought was possible.

Gregor: Good luck!

Julie: Are you going to play?

yrs--
--Ben
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Baxil
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« Reply #26 on: March 07, 2011, 02:05:40 PM »

Ben,

Count me as a fourth in the "list of traits for the beloved" department.  Here's my first stab at articulating what's leading me to do it.

The thing is, your actual beloved never makes an appearance in the game.  Ever.  The only engagement you have with your actual beloved is in pre-play brainstorming, and via reflection when you rescue your toads.*

So who is your beloved? 

Quote
She is, to you, perfect in every way.

You're not chasing after an actual person.  You're chasing after an unattainable ideal (whose unattainableness is compulsory in the rules). 

The fact that there is no engagement with your beloved, ever, and that she is 100% perfect, makes it very hard for me to think about her as an actual individual.  So how do I relate with an ideal?  I don't think I can.  I think that all I can do is to figure out what it is I'm looking for in her.  Hence, the list of traits, which play itself generates.

Quote
But it isn't really her. It's some other girl that the monsters kidnapped. She is like your beloved in one way, and that confused you.
...
But it isn't really her. It's some other girl that the monsters kidnapped. She is like your beloved in two ways, and that confused you.
...
But it isn't her! She is just alike to your beloved in three ways.

I'm honestly wondering how what the "right" way to think about the game is, because based on what you're saying there's some way of thinking through this that doesn't lead into my dead-end, but I'll be damned if I can see it.

--
* "Thank you, Mario!  But our princess is in another castle!"**
** Very relevant.
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Baxil
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« Reply #27 on: March 07, 2011, 02:18:38 PM »

Rereading the previous page:

I had a conversation with Joe Mcdaldno about this recently that ran along very similar lines ("I'm not sure I can play this, as I'm in a long term relationship.") ... Clearly this seems to push a button with particular married guys.

Now I'm wondering whether there's a link between "married guys wincing back from the game" and "players seeing the beloved as a list of traits."
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David Berg
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« Reply #28 on: March 07, 2011, 03:31:36 PM »

Hi Ben,

The traits came from the combo of: (1) Think on it. Know her. and (2) She is like your beloved in one way. 

My "thinking on it" process generated some vaguely-defined traits.  The "one way" instruction led me to define one trait concretely.  I had thought this was obvious, but perhaps it's just a byproduct of my particular thinking style.  Instructions to prevent me from doing this could go something like this:

"She is, to you, perfect in every way. Don't count the ways!  Don't chop her up into a list of perfect parts.  Think on her just long enough to form a wordless impression, then move on to the next step."  (That'd work for me, but cutting my imagination off before I'm generating details would also hamstring my investment.)

"It's some other girl that the monsters kidnapped. She is like your beloved, but only slightly."  (And then the 2nd rescuee would be "Like your beloved, ever so slightly more than the first girl".)

Not sure if that's helpful.  I tried to come up with a less drastic suggestion, but wasn't sure exactly which part of the trait-using process was the problem.

I, for one, can imagine people who are pretty different than my Beloved but still not, say, neurotic sadists with bad teeth.
I can too!  I just didn't know if that's what I was supposed to do.  Is it?

Honestly, what comes most naturally for me is to declare that any given rescued girl is pretty swell just the way she is and declare that my ever after is in fact happily.  (I could be assuming too much for not having played it, but I'm pretty sure that's how I'd react.)  It might be something about imagining beloveds and rescues and monster-defeats that puts me in that frame of mind, or it could just be my general attitude (I don't believe in monopolies on perfection, e.g.).

Ps,
-Dave
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Ben Lehman
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« Reply #29 on: March 07, 2011, 04:19:35 PM »

Honestly, what comes most naturally for me is to declare that any given rescued girl is pretty swell just the way she is and declare that my ever after is in fact happily.  (I could be assuming too much for not having played it, but I'm pretty sure that's how I'd react.)  It might be something about imagining beloveds and rescues and monster-defeats that puts me in that frame of mind, or it could just be my general attitude (I don't believe in monopolies on perfection, e.g.).

That's not an unreasonable expectation, and I imagine you'd be far from alone. I think the "settling down after one go" is pretty great, as a game. But I'm also not sure that, when actually playing, you'll have the same result.

yrs--
--Ben
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