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Author Topic: Simulationism Aside  (Read 19254 times)
Wormwood
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« Reply #30 on: October 19, 2005, 04:46:29 AM »

Well in the interests of Mike's original call for other styles roughly within Sim:

Fire and Forget Play - Players construct characters (or potentially other explorable elements) with a particular goal (usually a series of situations or a particular long term goal) in mind and attempt to play them wholly consistently, and yet achieve that goal. Sometimes this is successful, and often it is not. This is essentially exploration of the character construction mechanics of the RPG.

Game-Focused Play - Players seek to use certain subsystems frequently, slowly refining their tactics. Their fundamental goal is to better understand and use those subsystems. This is simple exploration of the play mechanics of the RPG.

(While both of these styles refer to mechanics, these need not be explicit mechanics. They are perfectly valid approaches to "rules-light" and "freeform" types of RPGs, if anything they become more distinctive when applied to those types of games.)

What is interesting about these two styles is that if they were subordinate to "step on up", they would find themselves as Gamist styles, but inherently they possess no requirement for the social structure of "step on up". Instead, they focus on procedural exploration, rather than objective world, genre emulation, and character channelling which focus primarily on declarative knowledge exploration.

I do not think it is an accident that Sim seems to contain nearly every category of play that focuses primarily on the declarative or procedural learning via play. That may be a less trivializing way to say that these styles are in essence playing pretend, or it may imply something deeper, take your pick.

  - Mendel S.


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Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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« Reply #31 on: October 20, 2005, 08:05:02 AM »

Whoa, lots to respond to. Meaning we're looking very much like we need other threads at this point.

Bob (and those responding to Bob's line of reasoning), you're making an interesting point. But it's about the sort of stuff that I really wanted to avoid in this thread. So start a new thread linking back to this one, and we can go on with that discussion with what might become a very long thread on it's own.

Sydney, same reply as to Bob above. I'd love to talk sub-modes of sim, or whether these represent something more like their own modes, but not here. Start a new thread. Very important.

Any discussions of the term Genre Emulation should go to a new thread. For purposes of continuing with that here, people can use the term, and should just realize that it has whatever local meaning assigned to it in this thread. So if four people define it as a different tecnique or goal or whatever in four different ways, that's OK here. Just so long as they define their use or refer to somebody else's definition. I think there are possibly several things that could be called genre emulation that are germain to this discussion.

Andrew, is that non-genre emulation "sim related" or just discussion related to Genre Emulation. If the former, explain how, and it should stay. If the latter, then it should go in either the Genre Emulation thread, or it's own thread.

Ivan, the whole "ignoring the subjective" is pretty pertinent here in terms of it saying a lot about this stuff, but I think it's such a complex topic that it should have a thread of it's own as well.

Jukka, my fault on this one, I've allowed myself to get sucked into the whole "what's Nordic Sim?" discussion, which has become one about potential dysfunction. Let's move that to another thread, and hopefully we'll get some other people from the scene to post some rebuttals. Don't want that to become one sided.

For all of these new threads, feel free to post links in this thread saying "The subject X has been continued here {URL}." If you don't do that, or don't inform me (or anyone else involved in said disucssion) that you've started a new thread, don't be surprised if we miss them.


OK, on to some specifics that should stay here.

Henry, I think that part of the problem with identifying "channeling character" is precisely that I think that it's not simply exploration of character. That is, what you describe is exploration of character, and channeling is also exploration of character, I just think that the channeling goes beyond what you describe. Basically at the point you start any negotiations about potential options that the player has to play the character more interestingly, plausible selections, this shows player motive. Even if done internally, you're no longer channeling, but more overtly controling the character actions.

For instance, one of the things that seems interesting to me about people who really channel is that when if you ask them if they could have had the character to any other thing than what they had the character do, the answer is no. That is, for a channeller they percieve one and only one decision as the only decision the character could have made.

Now this is why it's so easy for people to call this "My Guy" play. Because, if you're not also channelling the character (and it's probably not possible to share a character this way), then as an observer you're likely to note all sorts of plausible routs that the character could have taken. So if you say, "Why didn't you fight the bad guy?" and the other person says, "Because the character just wouldn't do it" that sounds like the player is "hiding behind the character."

If, in fact, channeling is an honest activity, then what the player is really saying is, "If I made any other decision for the character, it wouldn't have seemed to me like it was coming from the character." In fact, I think that possibly the feeling that players have that there is only one possible thing that a character could have done in a particular situation is a strong part of what makes the character seem independently real to the channeller. If the player takes any time to weigh options in terms of what the player likes, then the player feels that they are creating the character, and the illusion of independence is broken.

Ivan, the one thing you're talking about that's still really on topic is the "I am the character" idea. This is, I think closely related to, if not the same thing as, channelling the character. The channelling player knows that he's creating an internal illusion - the player is not crazy thinking that the character is other than a fictional construct. But it's precisely the understanding of this illusion that makes the player feel that they have "become" the character. That is, the decisions made by the character might be quite uncharacteristic for the player. But rather than this creating a sense of separation from the character, the fact that the player can't discern his own motives in the process of creating the decision for the character, that instead it seems as if the character's decisions were coming from a thought process all of it's own inside the player's head, makes the player feel that he has "become" that other person. Yes, I am making the decisions, but I'm making them as my character would, not as I would. So I have become the character in some senses.

Again, I think this relates to the concept of Immersion (but, again, take it to another thread if you want to investigate this further).


Jukka, on the subject of plausibility. No, doing something plausible never itself makes for dysfunctional play, and I'm not sure how you get that idea. I've said over and over, that plausibility is a requirement for most styles of play, not just sim ones. In fact, I'd posit that plausibility is only not a complete requirement for Pawn Stance Gamism play. Or for the theoretical Post Modern Narrativism.

Where play becomes potentially dysfunctional is when a player decides from amongst several plausible actions to take ones that are only interesting to him. And further, this is only dysfunctional to the extent that the other players have agreed to try to be entertaining to each other. That is, if we've agreed to be entertaining in thematic ways to each other, then hiding in a closet to avoid a fear when the character could equally plausibly decide that today is the day that they face their fears, might be a dysfunctional choice.

Again, I don't want to get into how this relates to the Nordic scene any more here, all I'm saying is that I think that there are places where players seem to demand both the right to channel, and want drama, and that the combination seems pretty impossible. Standard sim/nar incoherence.


Gareth, the "set nature" of a CRPG as some pre-existing world, indeed the feeling that any fictional world has some objective reality is a fiction. This is a point that I keep trying to make, but somehow people keep missing. Yes, the "hand of the designer" is everpresent in a CRPG in a very limiting way. But since the designer is not present, and the world does not change to any human whim, it's a very good way of maintaining the illusion of an objectively real world. For some people. As Sydney points out, for some people it'll have completely the opposite effect.

But as annectodal evidence, it works very well for me. I can completely drop out of reality and into the world of a first person shooter, if I turn out the lights in the room. The sense that I'm in the game and discovering a real world becomes very, very intense. And that's in part because there's no human relating it to me, but just a direct sensory input. Again, it's the human doing the relating, and the visibility of them showing their motives in creation that damages this illusion. For some.


Mendel, haven't heard from you in a while, welcome back. :-)
I'm not particularly seeing the distinction you're making between Fire and Forget, and channeling, other than perhaps the agreement to only work the character through one pre-set motive. Not too different than the idea in LARP of agreeing to the fictional situation (or, indeed, in any RPG play of agreeing to situation). So what's unique about his that I'm not getting?

I agree that exploration of mechanics is a very sim related activity, but I've heard others say that it's Zilchplay, or even anti-sim play. I'd like to hear what people think about that. I think the argument is something like "since the mechanics can only be a metagame description of the world, examining the mechanics can't be exploration of the world itself." But I probably have that wrong in some way.

As to the closeness of these to gamism, this is a very interesting subject. One is tempted to say that a rejection of exploration of mechanics and system as sim is protecting against sim-gamism dysfunction. That is, I'd agree with Ron's assessment that when the opportunity for gamism is present, it's hard to resist, and may "take over." But I think that presumes mechanics that are predisposed to gamism, which has always historically been the case. The opposing argument is that it's not fear of gamism at all, here, but that you can't do anything at all but play a game with mechanics, so they're automatically gamism or at least distracting from sim. Or, again, something like that, which somebody else will have to explain in more correct detail.

Thanks, everyone, good discussion.
Mike
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Lance D. Allen
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« Reply #32 on: October 20, 2005, 08:47:28 AM »

I'm going to try to respond coherently to a few points in Mike's last post...

First, an example of "Channeling Character" from my own experiences. I think maybe I've cited this one in past discussions, so bear with me if you've seen this before.

The character is Tiberius Darklaw, an ex-bounty hunter, utter fanatic about law and order who has crossed a line and become himself a vigilante. He's at least a little crazy at this point because he knows what he does is unlawful, even as he's enforcing law on others. He's vicious, brutal, and had been referred to at least once as "The dark knight of Dreven" by other players in the FFRP community. The only thing that keeps him from going over the edge is the woman who, despite his mysogyny and suspicions, wormed her way into his heart. After a night when he hurt her trying to be playful (something he's not good at) he went into a dark rage and disappeared for days, hunting the streets for criminals. Next she saw him, he was gaunt and seemed barely human. He did not want to be with her because he feared that he'd only harm her again. At one point, her frustration got the best of her, and she stabbed him twice in the back. The way I saw it, the only response he had available was to assume that his one reason for clinging to life and sanity wanted no more part of him, so he went, wounded, into the darkest, most crime-infested part of the city, and waged war on what he found there.. And died of it.

The whole experience really angered me, because I felt I had no choice, if I was to play the character. He would push himself until he died, because he saw the world in absolutes, and there was no middle ground.

And now, responding to another point Mike made:

Quote
Basically at the point you start any negotiations about potential options that the player has to play the character more interestingly, plausible selections, this shows player motive. Even if done internally, you're no longer channeling, but more overtly controling the character actions.

I'm not entirely sure I agree with this. From my years in my old FFRP community, channeling the character was a big goal of live play, but there was a lot of negotiation. Part of this stems from the rule that each player has absolute authority over what can happen to their character; Another character cannot just come and kill their character without permission from the player. So to be able to allow the characters to interact and fight in a plausible manner without breaking from the "what my character would do" ideal, the players would frequently talk behind the scenes to set up the scenarios in such a way that their characters could do what they'd do naturally and all players involved would get what they wanted. What I'm trying to get at is that during any such negotiations, going against the character's decisions is never an option. I don't feel that purposeful drama and character channeling are exclusive, just difficult. While it does require you to get some distance, immediacy is not, I think, a requirement for character channeling. It is a requirement for immersion, but as you've stated, this is not that, and that isn't what's being discussed here.
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Merten
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« Reply #33 on: October 20, 2005, 09:35:43 AM »

Basically at the point you start any negotiations about potential options that the player has to play the character more interestingly, plausible selections, this shows player motive. Even if done internally, you're no longer channeling, but more overtly controling the character actions.

This, all the way to the My Guy play - I'm very much agreeing, both from the perspective of this is how I think channeling works and the perspective of how it could be thought as (and, potentially become) My Guy -play.

If, in fact, channeling is an honest activity, then what the player is really saying is, "If I made any other decision for the character, it wouldn't have seemed to me like it was coming from the character." In fact, I think that possibly the feeling that players have that there is only one possible thing that a character could have done in a particular situation is a strong part of what makes the character seem independently real to the channeller. If the player takes any time to weigh options in terms of what the player likes, then the player feels that they are creating the character, and the illusion of independence is broken.

When the focus is in Character Channeling, weighting options from players perspective might be considered to have negative effect on channeling; you are, so to speak, channeling the player to the character and overtaking the iniative from the character.

Furthermore, I think it might be quite common to try to stay from weighting options and try to do "rush decisions" for the fear of accidentally involving player perspective to the decision making. I'm not sure on this one; I think I've seen it happening. The harder the decision making comes, in terms of multiple choices and consequences of consequences, the harder it's not to let the player perspective to slip in and the illusion might break just for the fear of it breaking ("Is it me or my character John, now?").

Some players seem to be handling this just fine, though.

Where play becomes potentially dysfunctional is when a player decides from amongst several plausible actions to take ones that are only interesting to him. And further, this is only dysfunctional to the extent that the other players have agreed to try to be entertaining to each other. That is, if we've agreed to be entertaining in thematic ways to each other, then hiding in a closet to avoid a fear when the character could equally plausibly decide that today is the day that they face their fears, might be a dysfunctional choice.

Okay, I think I understand you now - and disagree, to some extent. That is, if the players have not agreed to be entertaining to each other, then taking the action which seems to be only intresting to the player (however he's internally reasoning this) is not dysfunctional. If they have agreed on entertaining and collaborative play then I'm pretty much in agreement that yes, taking an action intresting to the player and not intresting to other can be considered dysfunctional.

Again, I don't want to get into how this relates to the Nordic scene any more here, all I'm saying is that I think that there are places where players seem to demand both the right to channel, and want drama, and that the combination seems pretty impossible. Standard sim/nar incoherence.

Understood and agreed.
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Jukka Koskelin | merten at iki dot fi
jmac
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« Reply #34 on: October 20, 2005, 11:57:29 AM »

I agree, that It's hard to analyze the decision making of character - which are her and which - mine. But, especially in moments of low tension, why can't character hesitate?

Feelings, emotions are shared - I can't separate mine from character's - that's for sure. Maybe this is the reason for that, very familiar, "rush to be sure" habit, Jukka is talking about. Emotional decisions are more sure to be characters, because there is a little of players own emotions during such play.

And about dysfunction caused by selfish player-character decisions - isn't this issue of unmatched or incompatible scope?
(discussed in the topic here) http://www.indie-rpgs.com/forum/index.php?topic=17279.0
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Ivan.
Marco
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« Reply #35 on: October 20, 2005, 01:40:53 PM »

Simulationism is problematic. I don't think that I'm saying anything shocking there. There is little agreement on what it actually is, which I posit is due to the fact that there are some priorities out there that players have that they want to assign to simulationism in order that it seem more accesible as a mode of play. Rather that the definition of simulationism as "priority on exploration" somehow doesn't manage to cover what they see as actually occuring behind the scenes. Partly, it seems to me, because it's a behavioral observation, and doesn't get to the goals behind the activity.

I could go on and on (and in fact have before) about why I think these additions aren't really useful, but I'd rather try a new rout to understanding some of these issues. So let's set simulationism aside for a moment, and discuss related player motives and behaviors. Keep that in mind as you read. I'm not trying to define simulationism here (in fact, pretty much everything that I'm about to discuss is, to me, ancillary to the definition of simulationism), but instead to look at things that may be related to it.

(This is also probably related in some way to some people's understanding of the term Immersion, but I'm going to avoid that even more pointedly).
I think this post quoted here--and the rest of it is dead on. Highly immersive, highly world/character-is-objective play is very difficult to analyze in terms of player agenda (creative or otherwise). Its association with Sim is unfortunate since it leads to several contradictions*.

I agree, entirely, that OWD and Channeling Character (CC) has a kick to it. It always amazes me when people describe such play as schizophrenic ("but the character doesn't exist"). Even as a matter of player priorities, at the very least, OWD and CC can be equal with any other requirement for functional play (in fact, I am not happy if either the themes of my game are all screwy or I feel the world is decidely non-objective, or I am asked not to Channel Character for some reason).

-Marco
* If I want the experience of "being" Will Riker (Star Trek), I want to "be" Will Riker doing something in an objective universe. For this experience to happen, I have to feel that the world is not being made-up on the fly. I need to feel that there are good and bad choices available to me. I have to feel that I can do things that may make the experience less interesting since I want to be empowered to (also) make the game more interesting (i.e. I do not need/want a guarantee that no matter what I do the world will warp itself to present more complexity. If I come up with a boringly expedient way to resolve a problem, I expect it to work as it would in an objective world and then we'll move on to the next one). Equally importantly, I want to do the sorts of things Will Riker usually does.

What kinds of things does he usually do? Well, let's see: he tackles a lot of moral and societal issues and makes a buncha decisions about them and takes actions on them (often from a position of high empowerment).

What kind of play would you generally call that?
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Mark Woodhouse
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« Reply #36 on: October 20, 2005, 06:14:32 PM »

If I want the experience of "being" Will Riker (Star Trek), I want to "be" Will Riker doing something in an objective universe. For this experience to happen, I have to feel that the world is not being made-up on the fly. I need to feel that there are good and bad choices available to me. I have to feel that I can do things that may make the experience less interesting since I want to be empowered to (also) make the game more interesting (i.e. I do not need/want a guarantee that no matter what I do the world will warp itself to present more complexity. If I come up with a boringly expedient way to resolve a problem, I expect it to work as it would in an objective world and then we'll move on to the next one). Equally importantly, I want to do the sorts of things Will Riker usually does.

What kinds of things does he usually do? Well, let's see: he tackles a lot of moral and societal issues and makes a buncha decisions about them and takes actions on them (often from a position of high empowerment).

What kind of play would you generally call that?

Trick question. As presented, it's perfectly Sim-y. All the referents are internal. Just because the object of emulation is one that is Premise-drenched, doesn't make the Premise itself the point of play. For that, you need to go after the premise purposefully, and because of how you, the player, feel.

It's a cute hypothetical - you're playing a simulation of a narrativist WORLD.
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Troy_Costisick
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« Reply #37 on: October 20, 2005, 06:23:26 PM »

Heya,

Quote
What kinds of things does he usually do? Well, let's see: he tackles a lot of moral and societal issues and makes a buncha decisions about them and takes actions on them (often from a position of high empowerment).

What kind of play would you generally call that?

-If we're talking about a player wanting to play a character who does all those things, I'd call it Narrativist.  If we're talking about a player wanting to play Will Riker to see how he would do all those things, I'd call it Simulationist play.  The difference is, in the first case the player is putting himself in those positions to examine the Premise on his terms.  In the second case, the player is putting Will Riker in that position to examine the Situation on Will Riker's terms.  And that's what separates the two styles in my mind.  Narrativist asks: what can I learn in this situation?  Simulationist asks: What would it be like to be X (in this case Riker) in this situation?

Peace,

-Troy
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M. J. Young
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« Reply #38 on: October 20, 2005, 06:53:12 PM »

I'm afraid to comment on this thread, and I'm afraid not to comment, and for the same reasons. I have a very clear idea in my own head what simulationism is and what motivates it. I don't want to make the thread about what simulationism is, but I don't want to watch a lot of floundering discussion that could be focused by a bit of input.

In any event, Mike wants to discuss what I think are properly techniques commonly associated with some popular forms of simulationist role playing, and I'm going to offer my two cents on each of them.

Why do some simulationists want objective world design?

If I'm in a simulationist mode, I want the feeling that I'm discovering something. That impression that this is "real" means that my choices matter to what I discover.

Remember, illusionist techniques are bad when they take from the player the power to make choices relevant to his creative agendum. Thus "no myth" and other create-on-the-fly strategies are a type of illusionism in this context. It means that I'm not really discovering what's there--you're making it up. If I choose the left fork, I want the possibility to exist that this leads somewhere other than the next scheduled encounter. I want there to be a world to discover, and not merely a travel guide to the highlights. In fact, if the left fork does lead to the next scheduled encounter, I want to believe that if I turned around and took the right fork, I would wind up somewhere else which would be interesting for a different reason.

My ability to discover the world is dependent on my impression that it is a world, something there to discover. Your decision to make it up as we go along undermines that. The more certain I am that this is already on paper somewhere, the more it feels like my choices are revealing new information about the world, and the less like you're spoon-feeding me whatever you want me to know next.

Why do some simulationists "channel" their characters?

The character is supposed to be a real person, even though I have created him. In play, I play that character as closely to what he "really would do" as I can. On one level, this reveals the character to me--as he moves through the world responding to things around him, I discover who he really is by following his personality wherever it leads. At the same time, I reveal him to the other players, so that they, too, can get to know this character.

In my old AD&D games we had a character category called "special character". The concept was that you could have a character who was part of the party but was included in play when you were not there. I, the referee, would play your character. Before I would allow a player to list his character as "special", he would have to have played him enough times in enough situations that I could begin to grasp who he was. In the same way that friends sometimes do caricatures of each other, I expected to be able to think and act like a character created by one of my players, because he had communicated to me what the character was like through the way he played it.

Thus there is a level of simulationist play that is about understanding how people think and act, and it is achieved by trying to play the character as accurately as possible.

Why do some simulationist players do genre emulation?

Sometimes it's really because they're frustrated narrativists, I think, and they believe that they'll get a story if they enforce genre conventions.

However, genre emulation is definitely in the simulationist camp in the sense that it is an effort to recreate an imagined reality from the inside. This is what it would be like to be a character in a hard-core private eye story, or a romance novel, or a space opera. It is not merely a change of setting and a channeling of character; it is a world in which the rules are bit different in ways that are not easy to define, but if we can make it happen we may well have begun to understand what those worlds are really like.

Why do simulationists want their individual perceptions of the imagined reality to match?

We are trying to become familiar with an imaginary world to such a degree that it will seem real. If the details one of us is imagining are out of synch with the others, that disrupts the reality to some degree, and makes it more difficult for us to get to know it.

The example of the flaming red hair is good, because it's entirely possible that I was told that but keep forgetting it, because my notion of "paladin" includes elements with which "flaming red hair" does not easily fit. Probably if flaming red hair is important to you, it's because it conveys something about this character that I'm missing in my perception (flamboyant, or emotional, or dynamic--all possible character traits for which red hair might be a cue). If I've missed that, possibly I don't understand the character, and that means our exploration of character is hampered by my failure to perceive this important aspect of yours.

Why do some simulationists manipulate game mechanics?

Mechanics frequently are game-world physics. Efforts to understand how the mechanics work in minute detail are the equivalent of doing science experiments to determine the rate of acceleration, effect of force, and similar aspects of the world. It's part of learning how the universe works.

It doesn't seem all that difficult to me; but then, Mike doesn't accept my definition of simulationism, despite that it provides the core motivation he says is absent from the agendum.

--M. J. Young
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komradebob
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« Reply #39 on: October 20, 2005, 07:00:08 PM »

If I want the experience of "being" Will Riker (Star Trek), I want to "be" Will Riker doing something in an objective universe. For this experience to happen, I have to feel that the world is not being made-up on the fly. I need to feel that there are good and bad choices available to me. I have to feel that I can do things that may make the experience less interesting since I want to be empowered to (also) make the game more interesting (i.e. I do not need/want a guarantee that no matter what I do the world will warp itself to present more complexity. If I come up with a boringly expedient way to resolve a problem, I expect it to work as it would in an objective world and then we'll move on to the next one). Equally importantly, I want to do the sorts of things Will Riker usually does.

What kinds of things does he usually do? Well, let's see: he tackles a lot of moral and societal issues and makes a buncha decisions about them and takes actions on them (often from a position of high empowerment).

What kind of play would you generally call that?

Trick question. As presented, it's perfectly Sim-y. All the referents are internal. Just because the object of emulation is one that is Premise-drenched, doesn't make the Premise itself the point of play. For that, you need to go after the premise purposefully, and because of how you, the player, feel.

It's a cute hypothetical - you're playing a simulation of a narrativist WORLD.

While I understand the reasoning here, this is the sort of thing that inevitably gives me a swooning headache when discussing GNS. It gives me an even bigger headache when I try to consider High Concept Sim, something that as I understand it often comes with built-in premises that could be addressed, premises that indeed have no "right" answer.

It also brings up questions about games like PTA and possibly Universalis...
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Mark Woodhouse
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« Reply #40 on: October 20, 2005, 07:35:19 PM »

It's a cute hypothetical - you're playing a simulation of a narrativist WORLD.

While I understand the reasoning here, this is the sort of thing that inevitably gives me a swooning headache when discussing GNS. It gives me an even bigger headache when I try to consider High Concept Sim, something that as I understand it often comes with built-in premises that could be addressed, premises that indeed have no "right" answer.

It also brings up questions about games like PTA and possibly Universalis...

Don't it just? PTA tries to steer for the N by specifying that it's about Issues, but it's really quite a little S machine if the players pick their Issues on genre-driven rather than Premise-driven grounds and throw around Fan Mail principally to reward nice bits of homage or appropriation.
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Marco
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« Reply #41 on: October 20, 2005, 09:29:05 PM »

Trick question. As presented, it's perfectly Sim-y. All the referents are internal. Just because the object of emulation is one that is Premise-drenched, doesn't make the Premise itself the point of play. For that, you need to go after the premise purposefully, and because of how you, the player, feel.

It's a cute hypothetical - you're playing a simulation of a narrativist WORLD.

I don't think so. I think that's the answer a lot of people want to be true--but textually (by the definition of Narrativism) it isn't. I might be playing a simulation of a world--but it isn't necessiarily Simulationist (GNS Simulationist) play. That's the disconnect.

That's the problem right there. If you need to see the words "Premise is the point of play" then that limits Narrativist play to people who read The Forge and use the terms. If I want to "be" Will Riker, doing the stuff Will Riker does--which means, most importantly, making the kinds of decisions Will Riker makes, then I am, defacto, addressing Premise (well, it depends on the episodes--I'm thinking of the one where he is chosen to prosecute Data for being property of Star Fleet and has to make decisions about whether/how he handles his loyalties--if all we get is Riker shooting at things, that's fine--but it's also not Next Generation). What's not crystal *clear* from my write-up is my own (the player's) connection to the world.

But I think that if the player's mindset is "I. Now. Calculate. What. Will. Riker. Would. Do." in a cool, mechanical fashion and has no visceral connection to the events in the game (which Riker certainly would have) then I agree, I think it meets the textual definition of Sim play. It may also meet the minimum definition of Channeling Character.

If, on the other hand, the player is experiencing a strong visceral connection to the imaginary events then I think the requirement for player interest in addressing premise is well satisfied. If the play runs like many/most of the Next-Gen scripts the play will be Nar.

I think that if you want to experience what it is like to "be" someone, the second is the experience you are shooting for. The first is what you do if you want to experience what it is like to "act" like someone. It's not surprising that there are several different approaches to actual movie/stage actors that are similar to these methods (early on Next Gen, the directors kept asking Michael Dorn--Worf--to tone down the anger. I'd guess he was closer to experiencing what it was like to "be" a Klingon than some of the others who've worn that makeup).

-Marco
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jmac
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Posts: 36


« Reply #42 on: October 20, 2005, 11:40:35 PM »

About Will Riker and 'contradiction'.
I'm not sure if there is a problem if I play Will Riker only 'cause I'm interested in his choices or way of life. If I consider my own motives - "exploring" his choices _above_ his (character's) own motives - this can be wrong, because, for instance, if other players still play "sim", they expect me to act as Will Riker, not as myself exploring Will's decisions. If everybody changed their "mode" and such behaviour is acepted - ther is no problem either (but I hardly imagine such situation).

M.J., there is logic in your big list of "Why"s - I can't object it, but I, personally, am not able to distinguish such motivations in myself.
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Ivan.
jmac
Member

Posts: 36


« Reply #43 on: October 21, 2005, 12:32:04 AM »

I created "ignoring the subjective"
http://www.indie-rpgs.com/forum/index.php?topic=17334.0
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Ivan.
Ron Edwards
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« Reply #44 on: October 21, 2005, 05:35:55 AM »

Bah.

This thread just went south, guys. I'm not interested in explaining how.

Closed now. If you want sub-threads, start'em where they'd work best: in actual play.

Best,
Ron
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