Forum changes: Editing of posts has been turned off until further notice.
Started by Mike Holmes, May 29, 2003, 03:13:46 PM
Quote from: BankueiI was referrring to Fidelity to the rules "as written"(interpreted however the group may after that point). Hence, "Ignor the rules" is permission given to Drift, permission to drop Fidelity a notch to fulfill other goals. Does that make sense to you?
Quote from: Mike HolmesYou guys have taken this beyond me. I'm not sure what Fidelity to System is, actually. I know that it's not using the rules as intended. That can't be right. It can be using the rules to evoke that which the game seeks to evoke, namely some sense of the world as arbitrary.
Quote from: WaltThere seeoms to be some confusion between the amount of something and the prioritization of something....as I understand it, the prioritization referred to in GNS is always the relative variety. What is prioritized is what gets served when push comes to shove. In other words, it's the pushing and shoving, not the absolute amount of effort expended, that reveals priorities.Simulationism is not fidelity.Simulationism is not high fidelity.Simulationism is (to a first approximation) the prioritization of fidelity.
Quote from: However, then heM.J. wants three independent dimensions,...
Quote from: IIn regard to hybrids, I think there are three different notions that get mixed together.[list=1][*]Uncommitted games. I think Multiverser falls into this category--the core engine is simulationist enough to run everything, but flexible enough that referees can raise or lower the level of simulation to fit what's necessary at the moment. That is, I can use a running skill success roll either to determine exactly how fast you ran or to determine whether you ran "fast enough" in this situation. Meanwhile, referees and players can bring issues and challenges (that is, narrativist and gamist concerns) into play through world and scenario choices--but referees do not have the power to force players into gamist or narrativist play. Players are free to play as they wish, sufficiently isolated from each other's goals that they won't interfere with each other, and able to shift in response to the game if they desire--or not if they prefer. Some of it requires that the referee respond to the player's desires; but then, part of the mechanics in the game is "does the character have things go the way he wants, and to what degree", so that's also built in.[*]Driftable games. I don't mean this in the sense that you can force a game to be whatever you want by ignoring parts of it; I mean that people are trying to build games that provide specific support for two or three styles, so that players can make it support the one they want. We encountered this on a recent thread, in which someone tried to toss together a game that would let players decide through character generation whether they were going for gamist, narrativist, or simulationist advancement by how they built the character. I found this implausible, and following John Kim's comments said that character generation was not a sufficient foundation for that, as the game engine itself was going to matter greatly. But there are games which move easily between two agendae, as long as everyone goes with them.[*]Focused Concept games. This is a game in which your creative agenda becomes in some sense irrelevant. I think I recently suggested a Viet Nam game, in which you're a member of a platoon. If the platoon is under fire, it doesn't much matter whether you're a gamist, narrativist, or simulationist--you're going to defend yourself and try to fight back. The gamist does it because he likes the challenge; the simulationist because it seems like what he would do; the narrativist because it's the color of the story against which the issues are played out. For very different reasons, they all do the same thing. Thus the player styles are not in conflict at that moment. However, I argue that the focus of such a game has to be so narrow that it will ultimately be dissatisfying to everyone one way or another. The gamist can't win the Viet Nam war. The narrativist can't do anything about his questions of the morality of the conflict. The simulationist can't focus on the experience of living in the southeast Asian jungle. Their priorities only align while in the very narrow area delineated by the concept; the closer they get to what they want to do, the more it falls apart. I don't think you can do this kind of hybrid beyond very narrow concepts (the Netrunner card game was suggested in this context, and I pointed out that the narrowness of the concept was the only reason it worked). Thus I think this is a pipe dream. Yet usually when people speak of hybrids, they're trying to do this: create a game in which gamist, narrativist, and simulationist players all in the same scenario will all make non-conflicting choices because their different goals lead to the same decisions. I think you and I are both on the same page here, thanks to our theology backgrounds. I frequently tell people that theology is everything: that what you really believe will ultimately determine what you actually do. You can't have players with entirely different agendae coming to the same conclusions on the best way to reach those different goals. It's the error of Jefferson (was it called the Marketplace of Ideas? I'm not remembering it right now), that if rational men discussed all the options we would ultimately all agree on the best way to reach the best world--it only works if we've already agreed in every detail about the best world, because otherwise we're all trying to get somewhere else. That's the problem with hybrids of this sort: if we're all trying to travel together and reach different places, we fight. It doesn't happen in Multiverser, because we don't have to travel together (Have fun stormin' the castle!). Other games let players drift between goals as play progresses. But you can't do what is sought here.[/list:o]
QuoteSimulationism is (to a first approximation) the prioritization of fidelity.
QuoteThe question is whether when you do so you're actually choosing from more than one priority--and the answer seems to be probably not. You're choosing to do That Thing because it is the best gamist choice; the fact that it is also the best narrativist choice is irrelevant to your decision, but is what makes coherent play.
Quote from: before reading Ron's post IAll right, Mike, you got me. Every time I see the list of five elements I'm singing the "one of these things is not like the others" song.But I assumed that this was one of those things that was debated way before my time on other now-inaccessible fora, probably fought over tooth and nail, and who wants to go back there and hash it all out again?To be honest, I don't think changing it to "exploration of mechanics" helps in any fundamental way. It's still like including "adjust the telescope" in a catalog of viewable astronomical objects.Problem is, as a real-world observed behavior, this is a no-brainer. I've seen and done plenty of play that only seems describable as Exploration of System. Sometimes in overall Gamist contexts (by experimenting with the system, I hope to discover more effective strategies) and sometimes in overall Sim contexts (I just want to see what happens if the system is operated in a certain way). Sometimes I visualise the outcome in terms of the imagined game space. ("Lookit that! A low-level magic-user in the Hackmaster wurld could earn 50 GP per day by buying used books which are very cheap, using the Erase spell to erase the pages, and reselling the blank paper which is very expensive. I wonder if that means there are sweatshops devoted to this odd activity.") And sometimes I don't. (Hmm, for every 10 points I put into stat X, I get back 9 points in figured stats. Let's see what my defense rating would look like if I maxed stat X.)The only way out I can see is to declare such activities "not role playing" in the same manner that collimating the telescope isn't astronomical observing and "exploration of what kind of pizza we're going to order" is not role playing. A good case could be made for it, but it might be a rather unpopular position. (Also, I doubt my examples from the preceding paragraph are representative of all Exploration of System play; there are probably cases that are more resistant to being classified as "not role playing.")
Quote from: Ron EdwardsRolling to hit is a great example of Exploration of System. We have turned to some methodology in order to imagine what is happening in the game world. This methodology necessarily includes all the formal mechanics, but "formal" is often locally defined. ...To say that System therefore applies to all moments of play is perfectly correct. I should also say that System can be highly, highly prioritized, and that's often the case when it's formalized through text, and when, for that group, that text's integrity is a big reason for why they're using it.
Quote from: Mike HolmesQuote from: quoting what IThe question is whether when you do so you're actually choosing from more than one priority....I totally disagree. The reason I put Challenge and Theme on the same axis is that I tend to agree that on that count you probably only consider one option or the other. Or that, at least perceptually this seems to be the case. But in terms of Fidelity, players seem to follow this mental process to my mind...1. This is the first thing that comes to mind.2. It happens to seem to me to fit both axes.
Quote from: quoting what IThe question is whether when you do so you're actually choosing from more than one priority....
Quote from: To repeat what I previouslyThe question here is not whether the game has high or low fidelity, but whether when the rubber meets the road it is strategy, theme, or integrity that is the deciding factor in player decisions.
QuoteYou keep insisting that players always act from gamist or narrativist priorities to some degree
Quote from: M.J.1. Here's a set of options that have the required Fidelity. 2. Of those, I'll take a because it is the thing that my character would most likely do, since he is unaware of my concerns for story or success.
Quote from: I1. Here's a set of options that have the required Fidelity. 2. Of those, I'll take a because it is the thing that my character would most likely do, because choosing my concerns for story or success would violate what my character would do.
Quote from: M.J.You're ignoring that this is actually a real player priority which conflicts with both gamist and narrativist priorities in the same way that they conflict with each other and is actually independent of the commitment to fidelity within the game generally.