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Author Topic: SIS: Beyond the Glossary (Help!)  (Read 27004 times)
Josh Roby
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« Reply #30 on: October 04, 2005, 01:02:29 PM »

Well, communication may be part of the space, but it can't be the whole space -- past acts of communication have to be included in the space, as well, so there would have to be a sort of transcript of communicative acts.  Secondly, some acts of communication are accepted into the SIS while some are not (Lumpley Principle), so you need a determining factor (the System) either 'inside' the SIS or external to but still interacting with the SIS.  Either way, not all acts of communication at the gaming table will be included in the SIS.

At best, the SIS is 'the set of all acts of communication which have been ratified by the System/players'.  Which, as Pekkok points out, is not imagination by any means.

But here's the thing that gets me: as an expressly virtual space with no substantial existence, it's impossible to address the SIS with any procedures of play.  There's nothing to latch on to that can be reliably assumed to exist as shared understanding.  There is no way to reliably confirm that something is 'in' or 'out' of the shared understanding.  We can mark off hit points on our character sheets -- that's concrete and can be referenced -- but we have no reliable method to determine and share what that means in the SIS -- is my guy scraped, bruised, bloody, dying, perfectly fine?  I can decide that and you can decide that but we cannot decide the same thing together.  In really technical terms, our signifiers and referents have only tenuous connections -- because the referents don't exist except in this virtual state in a virtual space.

Perhaps you find the reliability of reference 'close enough' or within acceptable tolerances; I'd just cast a lot of doubt that the parity of internal conceptions of six players around a table is anywhere near what we often assume it is.  In any case, this argument, basically "Who cares if it's ugly, it works!" only dodges the question about what is really happening, and until we have a better idea of what we are doing, any attempts to hit the SIS with precision are based on a flawed understanding.  This isn't what's happening, so why should we write our procedures of play as if it was?
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C. Edwards
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Posts: 558

savage / sublime


« Reply #31 on: October 04, 2005, 01:45:46 PM »

Hey Pekko,

Good questions, thank you. Answering them will help me work through some of my relatively unformed ideas on the subject.

1) Noise can be created by anything that promotes a disparity in the mental images provoked by a sign. Two people hear the word 'yellow' in the description of an automobile and each forms a mental image, one using a different shade of yellow than the other. Noise can come from having a different set of experiences and differences in individual communication techniques, but at base it stems from the fundamental differences in our personal meanings of a sign, of 'yellow'.

The noise potential in the signal is there before we've even attempted to communicate. It's built in and ever present. The quality of our dialogue, who we are involved in the dialogue with, and the ideas that we are attempting to communicate will all have an effect on the actual message that the other person receives. So the more skilled we are at communicating with each other, and if we are in agreement on who has the credibility to override another individual's personal meaning of a sign with their own personal meaning, and if we have clear protocols to rely on should difficulties in communication arise, the more likely we are to be able to come to a similar and acceptable shared meaning of a sign (even if only temporarily).

2) Sloppy language on my part. When I refered to sharing of imagination I was referring to the process by where, through exchange of words, body language, and other signals, we attempt to create in another person's mind mental images and emotional content similar to our own.

I want to stress that for the purposes of a role playing game that similarity is all that is needed most of the time. The details, when they are called upon in play, can usually be agreed upon quickly and easily. Shared imagined space refers not so much to some sort of group mind as to the constant dialogue we are in involved in during play that helps our individual mental images conform to one another.

Did any of that actually answer your questions?

-Chris
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C. Edwards
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Posts: 558

savage / sublime


« Reply #32 on: October 04, 2005, 02:22:55 PM »

Hey Joshua,

I think my response to Pekko may address some of your concerns. I'm just not sure that most of what you're saying need to be concerns, and I don't mean that to be me dismissive. I'll elaborate.

Play procedures are ( currently, mostly?) based upon external observable player behavior. I'm not knocking it. We have some great tools with which to craft a play experience. But being based on external behavior, and not the impulses and internal interactions that lead to that behavior, they're going to seem a little crude at times. I see this as akin to treating the symptoms and not the disease.

I fully agree that there is no absolutely reliable way to determine what is and what is not a part of the SIS or to confirm the unity of vision of those contents. But this is the state of communication in general. This is what it means to be an individual. Maybe someday we'll develop telepathy, flawless empathy, or at least a better understanding of the workings of our own minds and interpersonal interactions. It sounds to me though like you're proposing we just don't do any work on role playing theory until we understand everything with splendid perfection.

I'm all for working from the inside out, I was just saying as much and about this same general subject on my blog recently, but I don't think that our efforts to work from the outside in should be put on hold. It doesn't seem to me like we're ignoring what is really going on. We're just describing it differently in the only way we currently know how. It may remain the only way we know for a long, long time.

-Chris
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Christoph Boeckle
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« Reply #33 on: October 04, 2005, 02:25:54 PM »

I'm getting extremely confused guys.

Allright, so SIS has an "I" for imagined in it's name. But Ron's definition talks about "fictional content of play". Not imaginery stuff only in peoples head. A map is a content of play established through participant interaction (the way the players explore the dungeon affects the way it is drawn out by the GM).
Even more extreme an example: LARP. How could the environnement, the characters, etc. possibly be only in people's minds? Of course, the perception of something is a purely mental thing, but I mean, you can say that for the perception of your everyday life, and I don't think it would bring us anywhere to be talking of SIS in this context.
Physical things can very much be fictional contents. Something can be fictional without being a completely mental construct.
Basically, what I'm saying is that there is no point in creating a dichotomy between physical and mental contents (actually, that's a huge philosophical question: is there any difference at all?)


Quote from: Joshua
Also consider a player that can't read maps, for instance; his mental construct of spatial relationships in the SIS will be different from the amatuer cartographer sitting next to him; the 'exact' relationships as described on the map will then not be common, and therefore won't be in the SIS.
.
Somebody who can't read maps has a communication problem, as would somebody who suffered from deafness. I don't see how taking such a problematic situation proves any point at all. Of course for this group maps can't be used as a proper means for establishing SIS, but that doesn't invalidate the idea on a global scale.
Even if one manages to communicate efficiently, each participant's perception will be different. Just compare how two people imagine scenes of a same book.
As Chris says in his last post, similarity is all we ever realistically are going to get. Exact conformity of vision is pure wishing, probably even more so when one doesn't use concrete physical help.

Chris's view stresses the communicative act as being essential. While I'm not sure if this covers what has already been established, it reinforces my opinion that there is no point in having a dichotomy between physical and mental contents of the dialogue. They're both present, in my opinion.


With Jonathan's breakdown, I'm failing to see why we consider individual imaginings as part of SIS or Negotiated Narrative. They have not been negotiated at all, that's precisely what makes them individual imaginings. As soon as someone's individual imagining is communicated, others will consider if it fits their ideals, negotiate and then let some statement enter the SIS. Before that, I fail to see how it can be interesting to consider individual imaginings for talking about play on a group-level, which is what we really are concerned about when designing RPGs (and why this whole site exists, or am I lost?). What each participant does on top of that in purely individual imaginings is, well, inaccessible.
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Regards,
Christoph
Josh Roby
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« Reply #34 on: October 04, 2005, 03:17:06 PM »

Chris --

I'm not saying let's throw our hands up in the air and give up, by any means.  I personally have come to a satisfactory conclusion that the SIS is not a useful concept for designing games because the game can't interact with the SIS.  Therefore I don't see any use in designing games with an intent to directly affect the SIS.  I find it far more useful to design games whose procedures directly affect the acts of communication that we perform around the table.  At least for my purposes, this simplifies a great deal and makes for a clearer and far more visceral experience at the table.  I get to write about what the players are actually doing, rather than the impossible ideal which we gamers have been telling ourselves we try to acheive every time we sit down to roleplay.  Discarding the SIS has made the entire design process far clearer for me.  But enough devil's advotating.

Cristoph --

Consider the following: a book is not fiction.  A book is a very real and substantial artifact on which real and substantial ink is patterened on the real and substantial pages.  The story encoded into those ink scribbles may be fictional, but the book is not.  Similarily, a physical map is not fictional, but the information that its physical structure conveys can be.  The physical map isn't what goes into the SIS, because this is an impossibility; it's the information on the map that goes into the SIS -- that information can be shared and imagined, while the physical map can just be, y'know, folded and maybe used as a hat.  The players will make in-game decisions based on the fictional information written on the map (the corridor turns west) not on the physical attributes of the map (someone spilled soda on the map, so now that forest is a big ink-smudge swamp).

Your LARP example is a good one, and it took me some thinking to get through it.  In a LARP, we're usually painting an 'overlay' of imagined content over the real world in which we roleplay.  It's a lot like the fictional information that's encoded on the physical map.  I imagine my fellow players as having fangs, or turning into bats, or that their boffer stick truly is a terribly frightening weapon.  When in a combat scene, I don't imagine "My friend Joe is by that box," I imagine "Sir Reynolds is next to the cache of explosives."  Sure, there are some things that translate into the game without being changed.  Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar!  But the real, physical cigar never enters into the SIS because the real cigar is not imagined -- we imagine a cigar very similar to the real one in front of us.

The guy who can't read maps proves that the map doesn't enter into the SIS, but the information encoded in the map -- information that they are unable to decode -- is what 'should' enter into the SIS.  Your deaf player is an even better example.  If you signed to this player, the gestures don't enter into the SIS, but the information conveyed by the gestures do.  Really, this all boils down to sign and referent.  We can use all manner of signs in the procedures of play, but none of those signs ever enter into the SIS; only their referents appear there.  The map is not the territory.

Back to Devil's Advocate:  Lastly, individual imaginings are essential to roleplaying because that's where everything starts, and (when you get down to the nitty-gritty) that's where all the fictional details of the game reside.  Instead of creating rules that attempt to refer to and affect the elelements in the SIS, we can create rules that refer to and affect our individual understandings of the fictional content.  These imaginings are only inaccessible so long as they are uncommunicated; once they are communicated they are shared between the players' imaginations -- not in exactitude, but in ever-increasing parity through the action of the game.  And that is, by my definition, what we call roleplaying.
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pekkok
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Googletary phrases: "3-iron", "sky above hell"


« Reply #35 on: October 04, 2005, 04:13:33 PM »

But here's the thing that gets me: as an expressly virtual space with no substantial existence, it's impossible to address the SIS with any procedures of play.  There's nothing to latch on to that can be reliably assumed to exist as shared understanding.  There is no way to reliably confirm that something is 'in' or 'out' of the shared understanding.  We can mark off hit points on our character sheets -- that's concrete and can be referenced -- but we have no reliable method to determine and share what that means in the SIS -- is my guy scraped, bruised, bloody, dying, perfectly fine?  I can decide that and you can decide that but we cannot decide the same thing together.  In really technical terms, our signifiers and referents have only tenuous connections -- because the referents don't exist except in this virtual state in a virtual space.


First of all, good post: commendations for bringing the discussion closer to practice of roleplaying.

I don't think there is a reliable method to determine how a certain change (like a change in character's condition) will be understood by the players. To keep this concrete - think of a case where a character is described as "bruised" - using that very word as the reference. Now, the players may imagine this in a myriad of ways - so, if we wanted the bruise to be located, we would make certain that we express a connection in words, like "he has a bruise on the shoulder". But, the "problem" here is that each description, rather than exhausting the avenues of personal imagination, often fuel it. Once again, a bruise on the shoulder can be imagined in a myriad of ways (was there blood or not? can the bruise be seen through clothing? does it curtail movement?).

We can of course expend yet more words on the issue - but the limits of time, words, importance of issues practically always leave us with certain correlation of words (everyone recalls the expression "bruise on the shoulder" in relation to that character - at least for a while) and myriad possibilities of imagination, extending from these expressions - with determinate references entailing indeterminate imaginations, branching out for each player. And this condition will not change.

But what we can do, to raise determination, is to become more aware of our use of expressive references, and the possibilities of interpretation they entail (which are of course endless - but certain things are more likely than others) - how our expressions are likely to "behave". Also, conscious of the personal, private level as the "real world" of roleplaying (where roleplaying actualizes), we would be aware that expressing something instigates thought, first and foremost. And while this might not sound much, this type of awareness holds promising potential, especially when brought to the level of systematic thinking, or system proper.

A further example: Think of a system where players are obligated to make a short descriptive phrase of the damage their characters receive, which the GM has described in general terms. Like: GM: "The metallic bird brushes against Valois' shoulder - he gets a bruise (system-level term of the degree of damage)" Player: "Its wing slices trough my shirt and cuts three small wounds in parallel - the sliced shirt starts to redden from the trickling blood".

Now, how would a game change by this small addition? First of all, the players would probably become more conscious of their character's wounds - also of other's wounds (because they have been instigated to think about the issue more - most of this thinking would not be expressed in the game, but would affect their play style); characters around them would be more likely to comment on the wounds (and the character might remember to get a new shirt for the evening gala); they might also be inspired to make a record of their scars in their character sheets (this would become absurd in many combat-heavy games, which often rely on the de-emphasis of this issue in the player's imagination - by taking out the references to specific damage); etc.

Why does this change happen? Because a (systematic) type of referencing has been added, and the references it brings up instigate certain types of causal chains on a personal level of thought. And while most of these thoughts go undescribed, unseen in the game, they are a vital part of it, affecting the game in an essential way by changing how the players consider their characters, thus causing changes in the player's expressions.

Now, one can only analyse this type of phenomenon by differentiating between the personal and interpersonal level - and that's exactly the issue that SiS glosses over - even hides by glossing it over. And this, I think, reflects back to what you wrote in your comment, Joshua. SiS remains detached from the processes of play because it glosses over many of the important processes creating this "space of play" (for lack of a better reference) - especially those processes that arise from the interplay between personal and interpersonal layers.

Cheers,
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pekko koskinen
project: [kind of hard to pronounce, really]
Alan
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« Reply #36 on: October 04, 2005, 04:16:21 PM »

This thread seems to have taken a simple concept to some very bizarre places.

...have come to a satisfactory conclusion that the SIS is not a useful concept for designing games because the game can't interact with the SIS.

Yoicks!  This is like saying that the rules of hockey don't interact with the puck.  Good heavens.

The content of the SIS is all material mutually agreed on by the participants, whether it is in their individual heads or on paper somewhere.  They need only communicate to confirm that their expectations are the same, and the SIS exists.  There's no distinction about where the information is recorded, the only requirement is that it is shared.
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- Alan

A Writer's Blog: http://www.alanbarclay.com
C. Edwards
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Posts: 558

savage / sublime


« Reply #37 on: October 04, 2005, 05:02:31 PM »

Joshua,

I dont think that we're saying different things. My perception of the SIS is as a process dependent entirely on the communication between participants. Without that communication there is no 'shared' and the 'space' shrinks down to encompass exactly one individual's thoughts.

A game cannot interact with anything. People can interact according to the rules of a game thereby entering into play of that game. Play is nothing if not a process of communication.

The integrity of the SIS is all about the quality of communication between the participants.

-Chris
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pekkok
Member

Posts: 21

Googletary phrases: "3-iron", "sky above hell"


« Reply #38 on: October 04, 2005, 05:27:31 PM »

Hey Pekko,

Good questions, thank you. Answering them will help me work through some of my relatively unformed ideas on the subject.


And thank you, too, for your thorough answers.


1) Noise can be created by anything that promotes a disparity in the mental images provoked by a sign. Two people hear the word 'yellow' in the description of an automobile and each forms a mental image, one using a different shade of yellow than the other. Noise can come from having a different set of experiences and differences in individual communication techniques, but at base it stems from the fundamental differences in our personal meanings of a sign, of 'yellow'.

The noise potential in the signal is there before we've even attempted to communicate. It's built in and ever present. The quality of our dialogue, who we are involved in the dialogue with, and the ideas that we are attempting to communicate will all have an effect on the actual message that the other person receives. So the more skilled we are at communicating with each other, and if we are in agreement on who has the credibility to override another individual's personal meaning of a sign with their own personal meaning, and if we have clear protocols to rely on should difficulties in communication arise, the more likely we are to be able to come to a similar and acceptable shared meaning of a sign (even if only temporarily).


Ok, thanks again. The reason I asked was that I have run into this concept of noise many times (one of the reasons for its prevalence might be its presence in the old Shannon-Weaver model of communication) - but have never been able to grasp it. Sure, I understand what people mean by miscommunication, to a certain extent at least - but the dichotomy of signal-to-noise still confounds me.

For think of the following: Suppose that you were talking with a friend about an NPC present for the first time in the game you both were in earlier, and heard everything that was said about him (quite a lot - he was an important character). Now, suppose that somehow you could remove all the "noise" from this discussion - your discussion would be pure signal when you talked about that character.

So then, in the context of that character, would you still have anything to talk about? If you would, what kind of issues could you talk about, and what kind of expressions would be useless?

On the surface, this might seem easy to answer. But scrutinizing what such a thing as pure signal could entail, answering it becomes quite hard, at least for me. When one chooses to say/write something, there's a lot of thought behind it, partaking in its emergence. What parts of those thoughts would be included in the signal? All of them? If so, would that not create a mind-meld scenario, or even a sort of possession?

(Anyway, this is getting off-topic, so I stop here - just wanted to explain why I asked. You can take these questions here as rhetorical)


Cheers,
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pekko koskinen
project: [kind of hard to pronounce, really]
pekkok
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Posts: 21

Googletary phrases: "3-iron", "sky above hell"


« Reply #39 on: October 04, 2005, 05:56:12 PM »

Back to Devil's Advocate:  Lastly, individual imaginings are essential to roleplaying because that's where everything starts, and (when you get down to the nitty-gritty) that's where all the fictional details of the game reside.  Instead of creating rules that attempt to refer to and affect the elelements in the SIS, we can create rules that refer to and affect our individual understandings of the fictional content.  These imaginings are only inaccessible so long as they are uncommunicated; once they are communicated they are shared between the players' imaginations -- not in exactitude, but in ever-increasing parity through the action of the game.  And that is, by my definition, what we call roleplaying.


Hmm, interesting angle to player's personal thoughts, unlike the one I was yapping about in earlier post. As to creating "rules that refer to and affect our individual understandings of the fictional content" I think in a certain sense we do this already: For, what is a character but a way of affecting an individual understanding of the fictional content? Or the GM? (I have for a while considered things like characters as "methods of interpretation" since we rely on the fact that they create different viewpoints to play.)

But I think you are right in underlining this viewpoint. I don't think design possibilities are generally surveyed from angle. Emphasizing it might bring up some refreshing designs.

Cheers,
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pekko koskinen
project: [kind of hard to pronounce, really]
Josh Roby
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« Reply #40 on: October 04, 2005, 08:39:29 PM »

Yoicks!  This is like saying that the rules of hockey don't interact with the puck.

It's more like saying that the dimension of depth doesn't interact with the genre of cell animation.  I'm not saying that the SIS doesn't exist; I'm saying that if I can't use it, touch it, or interact with it, I'm going to stop trying and let it develop on its own.  I can write rules for what people do; I can't write rules for what people imagine.

Pekkok, just about everything you said?  Yes.

Chris -- if you equate the SIS with the acts of communication that occur during roleplaying, I'd say you're a lot closer to something that's functionally useful for game design than referencing this 'space' that exists without any substance and no reliable way to reference or affect it.  It sounds a lot like what I wrote up as the Interaction Model -- if you've got the time and inclination, it's an article not too far back in my blog, linked in my sig.
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Silmenume
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Posts: 467


« Reply #41 on: October 04, 2005, 10:55:57 PM »

Hey there Joshua and Pekko!

Without trying to sound like a weenie, but have either of your read Ritual Discourse in Role-Playing Games, Not Lectures on Theory [LONG!], On RPGs and Text [LONG], Bricolage APPLIED (finally!)?  Many, many, many of the ideas you are wrestling with are covered in great depth in those links.

The SIS is not an ontological entity.  The phrase, “Shared Imagined Space” is a conceit that a theorist created to describe a phenomenon so that said phenomenon may be discussed.  That phenomenon occurs whether we have given it a sign or not.  Chris’ article on Ritual Discourse goes a long way to describing why there “feels” to be a difference between what we are doing while “role-playing” and when we are not “role-playing.”  He described it as ritualization and I think it is a great place to go to begin to unravel some of these knots which have arisen in this thread.  I mean stuff like the nature of signifiers, referents (and the fact we can never, ever get to a referent by using signs), structures, ritual space (which has bearing on the issue of the existence of the SIS), etc. and how they work in role-play. 

All four of the above links above go into great detail about linguistics, ritual, myth, bricolage, the Big Model and Exploration.  They are all worth a read as they are all germane to what has been wrestled with in the latter portion of this thread.

(Pekko – my feet aren’t uncomfortably hot yet!)

(Christoph – I will address your post to me!)
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Aure Entuluva - Day shall come again.

Jay
Christoph Boeckle
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« Reply #42 on: October 05, 2005, 04:12:23 AM »

I probably agree with Joshua now that I see where he's getting at!

I will go read those discussions, Jay, thanks. I only read the last and got a look a the first up to now. So maybe if you're short on time as you suggested in an earlier post, leave the answer to my post be for the while being, I might understand your point better after those reads (and will get back to it).
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Regards,
Christoph
pekkok
Member

Posts: 21

Googletary phrases: "3-iron", "sky above hell"


« Reply #43 on: October 05, 2005, 04:43:23 PM »

Hey there Joshua and Pekko!

Without trying to sound like a weenie, but have either of your read Ritual Discourse in Role-Playing Games, Not Lectures on Theory [LONG!], On RPGs and Text [LONG], Bricolage APPLIED (finally!)?  Many, many, many of the ideas you are wrestling with are covered in great depth in those links.


I had read the article on Ritual Discourse and the Application of Bricolage (ran into a link somewhere else on the forum) earlier, but the others were new to me, thanks - great links, all in all.

I find Lehrich's approach thoughtful and fair-minded - I agree with many of his characterizations, such as the breakage of assumed meaning-language link coming into bloom with Nietzsche which he outlines in "On RPGs and Text". There are other culmination points, but if you pick one to summarize the issue, Nietzsche fits the bill. Incidentally one of Nietzsche's crucial texts on this issue, from his youth, is online: On Truth and Lie in an Extra-Moral Sense (the title varies a bit depending on the translation - the text is about 7 book pages in length). One can pick many "faults" with this text's style of argument, but personally I cannot but love its "burning lucidity" and its courage to face up to language.

I also agree with him that the concept of bricolage holds potential in relation to roleplaying (well, at least as I know it from The Savage Mind - I am under the assumption that the concept has had quite a lot of use in sociology, but I am not familiar with the specifics - concepts tend to "drift" when heavily used). But I do hope it does not become a sort of catch-all concept (bricolage here, bricolage there - its b-b-b-b-b-b-b-bricolage everywhere!) - these just wear out to banality, eventually. Its a typically "modernish heidegger-frenchish semantish" concept - more an engine, a "generator" of meaning, rather than a stabilizing monument to "withold" meaning - and there other good ones where that came from (sources like other recent frenchies, and Big Daddy Heidegger, of course).

I disagree, though, with his characterisation of Derrida's concept of supplement (warning: pedantic nitpicking follows): I would approach the concept by outlining how processing a word is rooted on recalling, bringing forth earlier understanding - hence rooted on something "not present" or, in other words, relying on something "absent". In sum, meaning "here" is a guise and cover for understanding with a "not here" (and actually not anywhere, for there is no locatable place for the meaning of any word - in fact, a presence that relies on itself, that is "simply there", is inconceivable).

To that approach one should add that each application and deciphering of a word alters the further understanding of its meaning (Think of the meaning of the word "Hamlet" before you read the play, and after - where does the change in the word's understanding come from but its decipherment in changing contexts?). Hence a meaning once deciphered will never happen again, as is: meaning "taking place" is simultaneously a supplement of meaning, its alteration. (Derrida's other favorite, the concept of "iteration" is in the same neigborhood as "supplement").

But like I said, this is really more of a nitpick, and not all that important unless you have an unhealthy interest for theory of meaning.

More of importance, I think he overstretches the terms syuzhet (or sjuzhet) and fabula. The terms are already wildly overused (especially in narrative film theory); one should not stretch these poor terms even more! Especially when the modern theory of narrative offers so many alternatives: Tzvetan Todorov's different models of narrative in "Poetics of Prose" and later, Gerard Genette's alternative take on Todorov, Thomas Pavel's interesting later models, David Herman's "Story Logic" and its causal, syntactic take on narrative, concepts like spatial narrative (I personally recommend Wendy Faris' "Labyrinths of Language: Symbolic Landscape and Narrative Design in Modern Fiction" - even if you don't like the literature analysis, her dissectation of the concept of labyrinth in the beginning is wonderful), etc. All this richness - and that is barely a scratch of the surface - yet its once again those ever-green, near-centenary brothers: sjuzhet and fabula.

I actually like his idea of analysing roleplaying through the concept of myth (not through sjuzhet and fabula, though - but I guess I made that clear). But I don't you can put myth and literature on contrary terms (as in: myth rather than literature) as he seems to do - I think literature is actually fueled by mythic structures.

This is getting lengthy, so I'll summarize the rest: Great posts a lot of them, and I appreciate that you point them out. But I don't think any of those posts directly addresses the issue of SiS overlooking the differences between the personal and interpersonal in roleplaying, and how this difference affects our acts of communication, "sharing" (this is not to fault the posts, certainly - that's not their aim, after all). True, the concept of bricolage can be used to analyse certain issues of personal thought as a process of roleplaying - but its more a viewpoint on certain operations of personal thought, rather than a general model of them. Ritual, while once again an apt choice of concept for the analysis of roleplaying, addresses a yet different issue: It gives an alternative analytic angle on roleplaying as activity, a social phenomenon.

But I made my point, or points, in the previous posts. I think the way forward is to cook up a sketch explicating personal-interpersonal dichotomy in roleplaying, and see what it can offer. I did already sketch something on the issue, like I mentioned earlier - but as of this saturday, I'm going to be devoured by the Big Bear (i.e. heading to Russia) for a week, and I doubt I'll get it finished before that. But I'll get back to it later, promise.


Dasvidaniya (And that, folks, is about 30% of my "expertise in Russian": means "goodbye", spelling probably questionable - and I'm not even leaving until saturday. How low will a man stoop - just to insert a tinge of exotic color),
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pekko koskinen
project: [kind of hard to pronounce, really]
Silmenume
Member

Posts: 467


« Reply #44 on: October 06, 2005, 12:02:17 AM »

Hey Jonathan,

Hopefully this isn’t too late to be useful, but I finally have a few moments to respond to you.

1) Am I just completely off my rocker, here?  Should I go with Ron's definition and assume that everyone else pretty much though SIS pretty much was Exploration?

I’m not going to comment on your sanity, but I will say that I do not buy that the SIS and Exploration are equivalents or near equivalents.  To me, the most basic and profound distinction between Exploration and SIS is that Exploration is a process and the SIS is a virtual construct that is created and acted upon via the Exploration process.

2)Have there been other attempts to define SIS that were more like what I'm describing or at least significantly different than Ron's definition?  I poked around The Forge a little bit, but couldn't come up with anything that really caught the eye.

You might try Shared Imagined Space, Shared Text started by Victor Gijsbers.  I don’t know if you want to wade through the following, but below are some specific posts that I contributed that touch on this topic - at least tangentially.


I hope the linked posts above add some helpful elements to your ruminations.  As I said before, this is a topic that is of great interest to me.
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Aure Entuluva - Day shall come again.

Jay
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