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CA's at Exploration and Social levels.

Started by Simon Marks, July 27, 2005, 10:37:08 PM

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Simon Marks

Ron, I'll ask a direct and explicit question about this then.

Creative Agenda covers the "How we get what we want out of this game", how we take the Ephemera, the Game and satisfy what we (as players) want from the session.
Right?
Social Contract - CA - Ephemera, skewered by exploration.

So, the question is this.

Can you disentangle the CA from the End Result?

That is, for example, if what I want is social re-enforcement (praise and affermation) from the people I am playing with (an apparently Gamist CA) but I gain this by creating the best validation of a source material (the Dream) - am I being incoherent?

To sum up, what I understand as confusing in the current theory is that CA seems to cover both what you want from roleplay.

So, from your Gamism essay
QuoteStep On Up requires strategizing, guts, and performance from the real people in the real world. This is the inherent "meaning" or agenda of Gamist play (analogous to the Dream in Simulationist play).
So, I take this to mean that if "strategizing, guts, and performance from the real people in the real world" is of primary asthetic interest, then that is indicitive of gamist play.
You then go on to say that this requires risk and that...
QuoteWhat's actually at risk can vary - for this level, though, it must be a social, real-people thing, usually a minor amount of recognition or esteem
So far, so good.

But then you go on to say that
QuoteThe in-game characters, armed with their skills, priorities, and so on, have to face a Challenge, which is to say, a specific Situation in the imaginary game-world. Challenge is about the strategizing, guts, and performance of the characters in this imaginary game-world.

And I think "For it to be a Gamist CA, you must both Step on Up in the Social level and In-Game?"
So, again I ask.

Can you seperate out CA's on both the Exploration Level and on the Social Level, or is that the defenition of inoherence?

Thanks
"It is a small mind that sees all life has to offer"

I have a Blog now.

Ron Edwards

Hi Simon,

Oh yoicks. I think there's a typo, gotta fix it first:

QuoteSocial Contract - CA - Ephemera, skewered by exploration.

Nope, Social Contract - Exploration - Techniques - Ephemera, skewered by CA. That really ought to make a lot more sense.

Now for the actual question, which now that I look it over carefully, totally originates from the same thing I just corrected. So maybe it isn't a typo after all.

The way I have it, Exploration is an expression of Social Contract. It's inside it. "We're all imagining our characters looking warily around the courtyard of a ruined castle" is Exploration, and it's an expression (the actual 'doing it') of the Social Contract statement of, "Let's listen to one another talk and modify our imaginings accordingly, based on what we say."

So for your Gamism example, it's easy - imagining the fictional stuff is the arena, the expression, of how we're Stepping On Up today. The answer is "both," because if our Stepping On Up is occurring in terms of Exploration, it's willy-nilly going to be occurrring in terms of Social Contract. Because Exploration is a kind of, or a part of, the Social Contract we're in.

How's that? Questions, clarifications, examples - all are welcome.

Best,
Ron

Simon Marks

Quote from: Ron Edwards on July 28, 2005, 03:15:27 AM
Oh yoicks. I think there's a typo, gotta fix it first:

QuoteSocial Contract - CA - Ephemera, skewered by exploration.

Nope, Social Contract - Exploration - Techniques - Ephemera, skewered by CA. That really ought to make a lot more sense.

Gah!

That's a misread on my part.

Yep, makes more sense.
"It is a small mind that sees all life has to offer"

I have a Blog now.

Simon Marks

Ok, but I still think I could do with my question answered.

If the CA is apparently different at all the different levels is this the defenition of an Incoherent CA.

So, I am interested at a social level with stepping on up - that is I am willing to risk embarresment to gain social affermation. I want to be respected.

However, my exploration is by celebrating the source material

("Dude, you totally nailed the way that an X would act!")

Is this an incoherent CA?
Or does the CA not reach the Social Level?
Or can the CA at the social level be different to it at the exploration level and still be coherent?
"It is a small mind that sees all life has to offer"

I have a Blog now.

Ron Edwards

Hi Simon,

I did think I'd answered the question. Let me try again, or work with your clarification.

QuoteIf the CA is apparently different at all the different levels is this the defenition of an Incoherent CA.

So, I am interested at a social level with stepping on up - that is I am willing to risk embarresment to gain social affermation. I want to be respected.

However, my exploration is by celebrating the source material

("Dude, you totally nailed the way that an X would act!")

Is this an incoherent CA?

Basic answer: no. I want to call attention to something important. You say you (this hypothetical person) is "interested in Stepping On Up." But he or she is not doing it in practice. At all.

You know, when a person says, "I am all about X," and I see the rubber hitting the road and the person is all about Y, then I say that they are all about Y (at least for this instance). So really, your presentation is not even anything about incoherence in terms of play. The play itself looks coherent as hell. In other words, you aren't really presenting me with an example of contradiction regarding play, but rather regarding talking about play.

When that happens, I shrug. I'm interested in what they're doing in play, not what they say they want.

QuoteOr does the CA not reach the Social Level?
Or can the CA at the social level be different to it at the exploration level and still be coherent?

The CA definitely reaches from the social level all the way down into the Ephemera. However, I tend to draw it from System (in Exploration) to a family of Techniques being employed, for a number of reasons which are not the topic here. But the answer is "yes, CA is social," or rather, by definition, a CA cannot happen unless it's an expression of whatever Social Contract is in action.

At this point, you might be thinking that I dodged your question. "Come on Ron, what if Social Contract says this and Techniques say that?"

This is one of those issues which really, really needs to be addressed through discussing actual play. We can come up with all kinds of "model-weird" constructs, like, "what if three Ephemera are most consistent with Technique X, but three others are more consistent with Technique Y, and X and Y don't fit together with the CA?" Or something like that. I say, Take it to Actual Play. Talk to me about Suzy and Bob and The Whispering Vault, and we can see what's going on there, and clarify it.

Best,
Ron

Simon Marks

'k - 'cos what I am talking about I *think* is replicated in 'actual play' - so I'll prepare a transcript.

And this is gonna be tricky, 'cos it LARP related which makes a transcript really hard.

Y'see I think that they are showing Step On Up at the social level - but I suppose until I post to Actual Play, it's no good me saying that...

Ok, I'll post later.
"It is a small mind that sees all life has to offer"

I have a Blog now.

Ron Edwards

Quick clarifier: there's nothing about Stepping On Up which means that Exploration can't be a unit of competition. I tried to state that over and over in my Gamism essay.

Remember, anything can become meat for Step On Up. And the presence of intense Exploration does not mean any kind of Simulationism is going on; Exploration is fundamental to role-playing.

So you might consider, in your play-post, that you're might be talking about plain old Gamism with a hell of a lot of dress-up and accent-heavy dialogue as part of the status-relevant meat. That is ... to put it mildly ... common in LARPing.

Especially when the reward is so concrete as getting laid. But I'm getting ahead of myself. Looking forward to your post.

Best,
Ron

Simon Marks

Quote from: Ron Edwards on July 28, 2005, 02:12:34 PM
So you might consider, in your play-post, that you're might be talking about plain old Gamism with a hell of a lot of dress-up and accent-heavy dialogue as part of the status-relevant meat. That is ... to put it mildly ... common in LARPing.

That's what is becoming apparent to me as I work out how to post this Play Post.

I think is the fundamental point of my confusion.

CA cannot be identified at any individual level, can it?
It can only be identified as a unified whole.

It's not an action, or even series of actions. It's the agenda behind a whole Instance of play (Reward Cycle).

But more importantly its not even how you explore, but the results of that exploration. It's about what you hope to achieve.

In classic LARP Gamist play, the cycle starts the opening of an event and ends with close of the event (or death of the character), the reward is social affirmation and respect from your peers - prrof that you are a better roleplayer than they are.

The arena is the characterisation, and (for want of a better word) acting.

Why, it's so simple.. but it's just bigger.

I'll post my Actual Play post anyway, and then I can use it to clarify why I think I understand now. And then we'll se if I do understand.
"It is a small mind that sees all life has to offer"

I have a Blog now.

Ron Edwards

Right! I think you do!

Posting about Actual Play is always a good idea, so let's work it out further there.

But for purposes of this thread and forum, I want to clarify that your phrasing,

QuoteCA cannot be identified at any individual level, can it?
It can only be identified as a unified whole.

It's not an action, or even series of actions. It's the agenda behind a whole Instance of play (Reward Cycle).

But more importantly its not even how you explore, but the results of that exploration. It's about what you hope to achieve.

... is exactly what I mean by "skewering" the layers/spheres of the Model with CA.

And one teeny minor correction/mod, maybe - "hope to achieve" has that non-concrete, verbal quality which always make me suspicious. I tend to think that "hopes" are best revealed by what actually occurs, especially when we're talking about patterns of behavior. But that's the only quibble, the rest is all gold.

Best,
Ron