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Author Topic: Another bit about InSpectres Greenfield  (Read 2569 times)
lumpley
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« on: September 11, 2002, 06:47:04 AM »

(Um, here's the original description, such as it is.)

But hey! It was gamism!  The competition was: whose ideas are funniest?  A la that guy, I was the referee.  I was all judging every idea for funniness on the fly, almost like an auctioneer, Whirlpool of Death going once, going twice -- Whirlpool of Death it is!  I stepped in over conversations if one of the quieter players said something funny, and I blew off the louder players if they didn't.  I can almost imagine tallying points at the end.

(Ben won.  Competition was stiff, but the guy had the we-thought-you-was-a-toad accent and a flair for Confessions.)

So that's a whodathunkit, me playing Gamist? for me.  Sorry if for the rest of you it's a hey! the sky's blue!

-Vincent
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Mike Holmes
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« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2002, 01:29:33 PM »

Hmmm. Maybe. People have often made the mistake of describing "playing competitively to create the best story" as Gamist. Or the converse. But that's not always the case. If one is simply prioritizing story that's Narrativism. If one is prioritizing something like "winning" and the way you do that is by telling the best story, then you may have Gamism.

If doing well, is Gamism, then everything is Gamism. Because Narrativists want to tell Stories well. And Simulationists want to Recreate some alternate reality well. As defined, Gamism is wanting to do anything other than these two things well.

Mike
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2002, 01:39:44 PM »

Hi folks,

Actually, I think people make this point harder than it really is.

Vincent may well have been playing Gamist, if his goal was to outdo the other people at the table (which is one form of Gamism, OK? Not its whole).

Also, counter to most people's intuition, self-check internal memory isn't going to be a great indicator - we can't just ask Vincent. No, we would have had to have been there and observed tons of things about the session.

As a good yardstick regarding the story/competition issue ...

Play Once Upon a Time (not quite an RPG) or Pantheon, which as written and in my experience are strongly Gamist with an "underbelly" Narrativist hybrid potentially - although not necessarily. (I've played both games, and both with and without the Narrativist element being involved.)

Then play Soap, which has a certain competitive angle as a secondary element that some groups emphasize and others ignore; I've participated in both situations several times.

And finally, play InSpectres, in which sometimes the attempts to "outdo" one another are very strong, but in my experience rarely displace the uber-goal of addressing Premise (ie stress vs. profit vs. team loyalty). It could be done, though, not saying it couldn't.

I think this background of play throws a very strong light on what is and is not Gamist play relative to the production of something that's nominally identifiable as a story.

Best,
Ron
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lumpley
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« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2002, 04:01:40 PM »

Hey! the sky's green!

Nah, I'm going to say with some confidence that there wasn't story to speak of. A series of events, sure, but it was a heckuva lot like playing Once Upon a Time. What made it gamist (for me or whatever) was the dynamic between oh say three or four of the six players.  They were, yes, competing, the reward was that I gave their ideas GM-run-with support, and the way they got it was by being funnier than each other. I was kind of like the host on Who's Line is it Anyway? or the panel on the Gong Show. The competition was friendly and graceful and good-natured, but winning it was more important than stress vs. profit vs. team loyalty, absolutely.

The stress vs. profit vs. team loyalty thing didn't happen for us.  We weren't in the mood and maybe we're InSpectres-drifting ratmonkeys to boot. And yeah, I've played Once Upon a Time, Soap, and now InSpectres, and I think you're right about them, Ron. I don't believe my InSpectres experience is characteristic. I certainly wouldn't say that InSpectres itself is gamist.  

Insofar as you can take my word for it, though.  Which, if you can't, there's no classifying any actual gameplay, right?  I can live with that too.  

-Vincent

(rather radically edited)
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2002, 05:50:52 AM »

Hi Vincent,

Makes sense.

Best,
Ron
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Mike Holmes
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« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2002, 06:34:16 AM »

I find that I rarely spill back into Gamism when I play RPGs. This is probably because I play so many other damn games that I get my fill of it there (Paintball, and Eurpoa Universalis boardgame this weekend; woo-hoo!).

But I do recognize the urge to go Gamist at times. It just seems like a relief sometimes. Not sure why. But it does.

Mike
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