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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 56 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: A Stupid Hypothetical  (Read 4263 times)
Sean
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« on: August 15, 2005, 05:10:48 PM »

Hi Ron -

So OK, we've got this 'reward cycle' thing. I get that. I also get e.g. your analysis of MLwM in terms of two separate reward-structures (love-accumulation and the endgame).

So anyway, sometimes reward cycles will overlap. They do in the above example, for example.

So then: why can't you have a G cycle nested within a bigger S one, or N within G, or whatever? Where both rewards are in some sense fully appreciated?

If it existed, this would be a lot closer to 'hybrid' play than the kind of modal drift that I think you agree with me happens from time to time. It still wouldn't exactly be the same play doing different things at the same time, but the same moments of play could be contributing to different and independent payoffs at the same time.

The post is called 'a stupid hypothetical' because I don't have an example. But inquiring minds want to know. Well, I want to know.
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2005, 05:19:18 PM »

Gravity, huh? What if you held up a rock and it didn't fall? Huh? Huh? Where's your gravity then?

Dude, I dunno what to tell you, except maybe this. I just played an awesome game, that one with the roach in academia, and it was full of competition and stealing each other's and winning (with a clear and important win condition as part of the rules). But it was one of the finest Narrativist experiences I've ever had, and our group was practically collectively prostrate with classic catharsis afterwards.

Because none of us Stepped On Up. We competed a lot. We wanted to win a lot. We literally fucked one another over for tokens. We didn't have anything riding on those things, though ... it didn't matter as much, when the really hot points of play came, as the thematic statements, often in anti-heroic ways (reminding me greatly of Wuthering Heights). And all the competitive effort made those statements happen; they wouldn't have been made at all except in the competitive context. And it was more fun that way.

Little rewards in the big one? Gamism inside the Narrativism? I don't think so. I think it was a matter of powerful subordinate technique, with never a moment straying from the actual CA in action when you step back and really look at the instance of play.

If you want more discussion of this sort of thing, then actual play is the way to go. Otherwise we're in "can you" and "what if it didn't" land, and word salad.

Best,
Ron
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Kesher
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« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2005, 08:21:20 PM »

Quote from: Ron Edwards
If you want more discussion of this sort of thing, then actual play is the way to go. Otherwise we're in "can you" and "what if it didn't" land, and word salad.

I think you can go straight to AP; our massively documented playest of Polaris (http://www.indie-rpgs.com/forum/index.php?topic=15517.0 had a lot of discussion of times where, in a N-oriented game, there was massive G competion going on, very much in the order of:

Quote from: Ron
And all the competitive effort made those statements happen; they wouldn't have been made at all except in the competitive context. And it was more fun that way.

Now, to address Sean's question, in Polaris there isn't really a dual "reward" system (at least I didn't see it that way), but those playing the Mistaken to another's Heart really "Stepped On Up", in the classic sense of the Social Dynamic of the group, to fuck with each other.  My examples of the way Duck (playing my Heart's Mistaken) consistently screwed me, and the props he got for it are, retroactively, very telling.  And this had no mechanical, "resource" type of effect in the game (I assume, Sean, that that's what you mean by "reward".)  Yet, it was very important, and even I would say part of the catharsis that we felt at the end of each of the three sessions.

Not to put words in his mouth, but I think Ben designed the game that way, too.  It's a Narr-facilitating game with a Gamist kick at the core.

Aaron
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2005, 09:07:20 AM »

Hello,

Aaron, not a single word of what you just described is Gamist. It's all Narrativist. Remember that Step On Up concerns putting self-esteem at risk regarding your personal strategic competence and guts. When you say "Step Up," I see nothing of the kind.

People are forever mistaking pressuring one another (in a good or bad way) as Gamist. It's not.

Best,
Ron
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Callan S.
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« Reply #4 on: August 22, 2005, 08:21:11 PM »

Hi Ron,

Because none of us Stepped On Up. We competed a lot. We wanted to win a lot. We literally fucked one another over for tokens. We didn't have anything riding on those things, though ... it didn't matter as much, when the really hot points of play came, as the thematic statements, often in anti-heroic ways (reminding me greatly of Wuthering Heights). And all the competitive effort made those statements happen; they wouldn't have been made at all except in the competitive context. And it was more fun that way.
So basically you didn't admire your fellow players tactics. And you didn't even admire your own tactics (I'm sure you were gunning for the win, but weren't thinking anything like "Damn, that was a good move! That moves a highlight of play for me!").

I wonder though, if all that stuff simply improves ones tactics. It's all feedback so you push yourself to be even better with rules. So okay, you take this feedback out (ie, your not playing gamist). What your left with are the game playing skills you developed. Ie, you still think getting resource A and resource B, to get resource C is a great thing. Even if no one else will cheer you for that, even if you wont be cheering yourself, your brain will tell you getting A then B is a great thing, if you want C. If your brain is telling you that, it still represents a murmur of possitive feedback. It still feels good to get A and B.

So what is that feeling? Keeping in mind the plessure of narrativism here is like a 400 watt globe. A 50 watt could be right next to it, but appear not to exist or just be assumed to be part of the 400 watt globes light.
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Philosopher Gamer
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #5 on: August 23, 2005, 07:03:25 AM »

Hi Callan,

You really are making this harder than it is. Your entire post answers its own question without any need for further development or placement into the model. "That feeling" is itself, the feeling you've described.

Must I quote the passage from "GNS and other matters" again, about how competition, imaginative intensity, and thematic "huh" moments are all potentially observable as Ephemera regardless of Creative Agenda? And that these moments are not and never will be, themselves, Creative Agenda as a whole? (I didn't use those terms in the essay, but that's what I was talking about.)

In fact, this entire discussion is way too focused on Ephemera. I'm calling it closed. Go to Actual Play, all of you.

Best,
Ron
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