*
*
Home
Help
Login
Register
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
August 29, 2014, 08:27:06 PM

Login with username, password and session length
Forum changes: Editing of posts has been turned off until further notice.
Search:     Advanced search
275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 74 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
Pages: 1 2 [3] 4 5
Print
Author Topic: The whole model - this is it  (Read 54680 times)
Ron Edwards
Global Moderator
Member
*
Posts: 16490


WWW
« Reply #30 on: November 13, 2003, 10:30:59 AM »

Hello,

Actually, it really isn't the time and place to discuss either of those issues (Marco and Gordon). I misled Marco to think that he should bring it up here, so that was my fault.

What I'd really like to see is for people who are interested in this stuff to re-read the Simulationism and Gamism essays, with the points made in this thread in mind. And also, I ask for a certain amount of patience regarding the Narrativism essay, currently projected for January 1st.

We can talk more detailed-GNS after the re-readings of the two essays, and with a strong emphasis on laying off Narrativism until the essay is up and discussed. I don't see much point to getting into those issues before then.

Best,
Ron
Logged
Gordon C. Landis
Member

Posts: 1024

I am Custom-Built Games


WWW
« Reply #31 on: November 13, 2003, 10:53:58 AM »

Ron,

Cool.  If just letting Creative Agenda exist is all you need from this, no worrying about what it is, looks good.

I particularly like the distinctions drawn between what applies to the imagined environment vs. the social interaction (in talking about Character, Situation etc.), and between what can be discussed as general theory vs. what requires/allows for actual play (in the Creative Agenda section).  These are really important issues, and this is the best job I've seen of getting them center-stage without tripping all sorts of alarm bells.

EDIT - Uh, I wasn't quite done.  I also was wanting a little more about how one level can penetrate down to others.  You talk about about how System (from Exploration) shows up in Techniques - what about how Social stuff shows up in lower levels, or Creative Agenda?  This is a another tricky bit, and while I *think* I get it, sometimes I wonder if there's something I'm missing.

Gordon
Logged

www.snap-game.com (under construction)
Ron Edwards
Global Moderator
Member
*
Posts: 16490


WWW
« Reply #32 on: November 14, 2003, 09:02:24 AM »

Hi there,

As you might imagine, it took a full printout and a highlighter to get ready to respond to the comments so far. I'll start by saying Thank You to everyone, because this is a major push on my part. I appreciate people being willing to walk with me on it.

I'll go person by person, but I think everyone should go back and see the original comments for everyone else as well as just himself or herself. This is very much a community effort, for which the person-by-person reply structure will probably be misleading.

Oh! Two exceptions to that. The first is the call for "renaming" the model. You guys, uh, realize that the model has never had a name?

a) My original posting based on System Does Matter quickly centered (to my surprise) on people hotly contesting that any such thing as (now called) Creative Agenda was relevant to role-playing. Yeah, seems weird. 'Strue. We started by refering to this thing as "G/N/S" and over time the slashes got dropped.

b) Once my big essay was published here at the Forge, incorporating and altering the Scarlet Jester's concept of Exploration, people called the whole thing "GNS" merely to say "the model which has this 'GNS' thing in it," or just out of habit.

If you had a different impression about what the scope of "GNS" meant, and would like to enlighten me about that, consider yourself already heard. Let's leaving naming out of the picture for a while.

The second exception is the importance, primacy, increased emphasis, or whatever you want to call it of the Creative Agenda level (or, for that matter, "GNS" which is at-this-point synonymous). I'm with Ralph, you see: I think that people wrangle and suffer over this "bridge" more than any other, and try to solve problems in it in more messed-up ways than they solve any other hassles about play. In large part, it's due to the nature of the medium, and it's also, I think, due to Social Context issues that I raised in the Infamous Five threads earlier this year (when was that, anyway? geez).

I also think that the arrow is extremely important, denoting "now we enter actual play," and that there is no equivalent point/concept between any of the other levels/boxes.

To Lisa (theGM)! Let's talk about communication techniques, yes. I'm sorry if this is kind of abstract, when your whole post says "let's get concrete," but I hope you can spot me that for now, in this thread. We'll get there; as I said, this is what I really want to talk about once this "model" stuff gets better understood all 'round.

1. How things "happen" in the imagined events, especially single and short-term actions by characters. I spend a hell of a lot of brain-cells talking about this, eventually inventing something called IIEE to deal with it (Intent, Initiation, Execution, Effect). The notion is that the phrase "I hit him!" can mean four possible different things, and that dialogue just as you describe is almost always necessary to establish which one. Once a group gets playing together for a while, the need for the dialogue diminishes, but that may be a bad thing in many cases. My claim is that the dialogue which exists is often highly manipulative, in a negative way.

I advocate dipping into Techniques to help out the situation, rather than just going up to Social Contract. This is tricky because most games provide rules for Techniques that only handle (say) Initiation and Effect, or are otherwise "gappy" in the IIEE process. Since people often use those gaps for either Illusionist or strategic purposes, they are also often reluctant to admit they exist, much less close them. When Techniques set up all of IIEE with the points of "choice" well-established in there, it's a wonderful thing - but most role-players have never seen it, and some don't know what to do with it when they do.

2. Scene framing, on the other hand, is a wonderful opportunity for dialogue that permits people to work out how they want to play, as well as what happens. Scene framing is just what it sounds like: when the group (by whatever means) is now oriented toward a new situation, and usually a new locale and/or time in the Setting.

Most rules-sets just ignore scene framing. Some are pretty clear. The most extreme game design for scene framing, at this point, is my Trollbabe, I think. The rules state who can initiate and close scenes, and who can request either one. They also distinguish between Scenes and Conflicts (within scenes); the rules for declaring Conflicts are different from the Scenes ones, and equally clear.

If all this seems overly structured for "what we do anyway," that's great - but many, many groups have a terrible time with this exact issue, and if there's one thing I hear over and over about Trollbabe, it's "Thank you for cleaning the whadda-we-do fat out of our role-playing." Anyway, my point is that all I did with Trollbabe was take the dialogue that I had observed in our group for other games, and simply write it up as a "rule."

So my suggestion is to look at the dialogue by which you already do scene framing, and decide whether it really has the degree of looseness or "snap" that you and the group want. My initial steps in discovering this stuff was to realize that I did best to say, "All right, you're at the airport ..." then pause, and say, "Wait, is everyone OK with that?" and then go on from there. I'd discovered that I didn't like either (a) GM always dictates scene switches without input (after all, what if I just ran roughshod over something cool?) or (b) GM just does scenes as dictated by player actions, which (I'd experienced and observed many times) usually led to "Marty" role-playing. [Marty = "whadda ya wanna do?" "I dunno, whadda you wanna do?" repeat, repeat]

To Ben! Specific example of Ephemera, huh? All right, I'll pick Stance and hark back to some recent My Life with Master play. It's the "Black ooze" game discussed in Actual Play, so check out [My Life with Master] Black ooze oozes forth for starters.

In the second session, Tod role-played his character Nestor to kill a child, and it so happened that the child was exactly the one that the Master did not want killed, his favorite and most important protege. When Nestor found the child, Tod well knew the wide range of options - return him to the Master, etc. But Nestor didn't know any of this, and Tod knew that the character's ignorance was a wonderful opportunity for inserting intense conflict into the situation. So Nestor drowned him. This is hard core Author Stance. Tod could have had the character do anything; there was no particular rules-obligation for him to kill this child, and he could have had Nestor form a Connection with him instead.

Later in the session, when my character Augustin was looking for this selfsame child and confronted Nestor, Tod played Nestor as extremely sullen, defiant, and uncommunicative, essentially stonewalling Augustin. In this case, Tod was working from Actor Stance; he didn't care much about the results of the interaction but knew that Nestor enjoyed defying Augustin (an arrogant sort who'd already referred to the other Minions as "sideshow freaks"), and Tod enjoyed Nestor enjoying it. The story-impact was considerable and lots of fun for everyone: I liked the result of Nestor roaming helplessly around the woods, totally out of his element, and Julie, as GM, enjoyed describing all the twigs in his hair and clothes when she framed his next scene.

My claim is that both Stance usages were consistent (a) with the Techniques we were using (consistent with the game rules, in this case, so I won't list them) and (b) profoundly originating in Tod's rather hard core Narrativist preferences. In this case, he was contributing to the intensification of many different vectors of conflict, in a timed way. Author Stance tends to do that, but Actor Stance tends to prolong it a little, kind of wringing out the last drop, if you will. By themselves, neither Stance could have provided the powerful expression of Narrativism that Tod did in fact do; in this particular combination, they hammered it home in an incredibly fun way.

Please note that throughout this entire process, Tod was also engaged in classic Exploration of Character, which in this case embraced and focused the Narrativist Creative Agenda.

I'm quite confident about this example, first because of Tod's behavior and dialogue in both scenes, and second because we all chatted about it after the session was over, to confirm our impressions. Tod brought it up and was pleased to see his understanding of Stance confirmed.

To Jason! Thanks for your primary comments. My apologies for focusing on your small quibbles, but that is what this thread is for, after all.

1. You identify dice as fundamentally preventing disputes? I think your representational, high-Concept Simulationist preferences are showing. I'll spot you that they play that role in some forms of role-playing, yes. If I were playing Pax Draconis, that's what I would do - dice embedded in dialogue ("Role-playing"). But when playing Sorcerer or The Dying Earth, the dialogue is embedded in the dice, the other way around, and the whole package is the role-playing.

2. I will never understand any statements about how what a character would or wouldn't do is or can be independent of the person playing the character, or contributing to such play. I think I'll have to request that no one try to explain it to me any more, ever.

To Walt! Those within-Agenda categories and descriptors do exist "in" that level, but since Creative Agenda is an arrow, all of them are arrows too. Hence they are necessarily directly traceable to the outer and inner boxes in one of the following ways.

a) emerging from one or more elements of Exploration,
b) penetrating to one or more (usually more) Techniques,
c) both.

Food for thought, as well: hybrid Creative Agendas are obviously subdivisions within the Creative Agenda box, but they are combinations of GNS categories. That ought to clear up a whole of confusion right there.

All that said, let's take a look at the Creative Agenda subcategories. Here's one. I want to distinguish carefully between Points of Contact with System vs. Points of Contact with Color. Both of these obviously "hark" outward toward Exploration, and by definition, that means strengthening and clarifying "what we imagine together."

They are also totally GNS-neutral, or rather, the concept applies regardless of which Creative Agenda you're working with.

However, each approach still takes on a different "glow" depending on which Creative Agenda category. Within Simulationism, for instance, lots of Points of Contact with System corresponds to my "Purist for System" category; and lots of Points of Contact with Color (highly integrated with Setting + Character = Situation) corresponds to my "High Concept" category.

Once you nail down this idea, I hope you can see how this "outer-box structure" sets up desirable Techniques and Ephemera quite quickly. Let's stick with Simulationist play. The High Concept Simulationism bit, for instance, necessitates a hell of a lot of Ephemera around narration-rights and stances, usually Actor Stance, and sometimes more Ephemera which diminish the importance of "looking up rules" as a valid play-action. The Purist-for-System bit, on the other hand, necessitates a hell of a lot of very explicit Techniques for resolution, usually in written form ("rules"), and Ephemera which validate consulting those rules.

Within Gamism, I think my discussions of Gamble & Crunch qualify, and they factor straight in from System and then directly deeper into Techniques. Competition at the Step On Up level is right there in Creative Agenda connected to Social Contract; whereas competition at the Challenge level is coming from Exploration, as Situation, specifically Character + Situation.

I think it's awfully interesting that this "split" within Simulationism pulls System apart from [Character + Setting = Situation], whereas nothing of the sort is conceivably possible in either Gamist or Narrativist play (no matter how hard people try in the latter case).

I think that re-reading my Gamism and Simulationism essay, and relating their points to this new presentation of the model, will reveal tons and tons more such concepts.

And I was in fact looking for the acronym and was puzzled. Thanks for clearing that up. And then, you go ahead and make an acronym! SECT ... arrrrghh. Imagine an Irish cop from the 30s looking lugubrious and muttering, "Christ's bleeding wounds." That's my face right now.

To M.J.! Dag, list a whole bunch of things, why don't you.

- I agree with you that phrasing 1 is right

- I agree with you that phrasing 2 is wrong

- I agree with you that phrasing 3 is wrong (I'm on record about this in a big way; it's my physics/bridges concept)

- YMMV for phrasing 4, because one has to define "necessary for what" locally

- I agree with you that phrasing 5 is wrong

- I think phrasing 6 is right, but "a[/b] Creative Agenda" is a very flexible thing, and I can see both Walt and Mike Holmes getting squirrelly about this issue. later for sure

To Gordon! With any luck the connections among levels makes most sense when you think of each "lower" one as being a subdivsion or application of the higher one. Let's take a look, though, at our game of Trollbabe we played at GenCon earlier this year. I'm hoping you can answer all of the following positively.

1. Did our Social Contract set up a Creative Agenda? I submit that you and I were implicitly committed to Narrativist play, and that Michael was especially interested in "going there" due to his and my dialogues about Sorcerer and Fvlminata.

2. Did the whole "look and feel" of having your trollbabe character walk into that valley with her lucky rock (or whatever it was) set up Premise in your mind? And especially when I introduced the human girl wearing the troll horns, in Michael's scene?

3. Did the Creative Agenda (Narrativism) bridge the above point into Techniques? I call your attention to the failed rolls in particular, especially the physical defeat of your character at the climax. If that said "Theme" to you, then we're good.

4. Did the Techniques of re-roll mechanics ("use found item," drawing on relationship), which are exactly what result in your character's defeat, also rely on / result in Stance-changing Ephemera? I'm not off-the-cuff recalling examples, but maybe you can, I hope.

Whew! I'm tired.

Best,
Ron
Logged
Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
Member

Posts: 10459


« Reply #33 on: November 14, 2003, 11:41:18 AM »

Quote from: Ron Edwards
You guys, uh, realize that the model has never had a name?
Uh, yup. But now that you've brought it up, quick come up with one, or people are going to start suggesting ideas for a title. And I know how much you love that. ;-)

Mike
Logged

Member of Indie Netgaming
-Get your indie game fix online.
The GM
Member

Posts: 58


« Reply #34 on: November 14, 2003, 12:13:09 PM »

Ron says:

>> Let's talk about communication techniques, yes. I'm sorry if this is kind of abstract, when your whole post says "let's get concrete," but I hope you can spot me that for now, in this thread. <<

Ok.

Few things I did want to comment on here.

>>Once a group gets playing together for a while, the need for the dialogue diminishes, but that may be a bad thing in many cases. My claim is that the dialogue which exists is often highly manipulative, in a negative way. <<

Iím following you here. I think that the Ďintentí of the dialogue itself is key to this particular dilemma. For instance (an extreme example), if a GM/ player has a very antagonist view about the game itself (ie, itís me vs the group) then such dialogue could be twisted to manipulate in the very way youíre talking about.  I think current games on the market inadvertently encourage this kind of behavior. Literally, these kinds of manipulations are written into the damn rules when you read Ďexamples of playí. Now, Iím about to eat my words here. Iíve *always* taken the position that System Does NOT Matter. Mr. Snyder and I have wrangled over this topic more than once. I would like to change my view to system doesnít matter, except when it does.
Which would be, I guess, most of the damn time. What youíre talking about here clearly illustrates the point. (Even if that wasnít your original intent.)
I can see Matt doing a little dance from wherever heís reading this post.
;^D


>>I advocate dipping into Techniques to help out the situation, rather than just going up to Social Contract. This is tricky because most games provide rules for Techniques that only handle (say) Initiation and Effect, or are otherwise "gappy" in the IIEE process.<<

I like techniques, they are clear, they are firm. They allow things to Ďprogress as they shouldí as opposed to letting a game wander all over the map. As a GM I can go back to them and critically assess if Iím doing things the way we initially agreed as a group. As a player, I can do the same. It takes away the chance that a game wanders off topic. I like techniques. So we are in agreement that current games on the market do not address this issue in any substantive way, instead they point to a kinda dowhatchalike attitude which causes problems from the get-go. BTW, I like techniques.

>>So my suggestion is to look at the dialogue by which you already do scene framing, and decide whether it really has the degree of looseness or "snap" that you and the group want. My initial steps in discovering this stuff was to realize that I did best to say, "All right, you're at the airport ..." then pause, and say, "Wait, is everyone OK with that?" and then go on from there. I'd discovered(snip)]<<

Nice piece of advice, and something that I have recently discussed w/ my group. IOW, itís ok to Ďstopí in the middle of a session and say, ďHey guys, is this going right? Am I doing this right? If not, what do we need to do right NOW to fix it?Ē Now, hopefully weíll all get the groove pretty quick and get down to the business of having a blast.  As a group we recently talked about how busy we are, and how itís important to really get the biggest bang from our leisure time buck. So yeah, Iím all about techniques that work towards making every game session a good time.

Warm Regards,
Lisa
Logged

Warm Regards,
Lisa
Jonathan Walton
Member

Posts: 1309


WWW
« Reply #35 on: November 14, 2003, 03:11:16 PM »

Hey Ron,

I've been buried of late and just came across this thread.  First off, in one feel swoop you managed to clarify away much of my confusion about your model of "the interactions that produce roleplaying."  Give it a couple of days to sink in and I'll give you deeper reactions, but I wanted to point out one point of cognitive dissonance that is bothering me right now:

As you say, Creative Agenda is the only verb in the model, i.e. it is the real driving force behind everything that happens.  So I'm having trouble imagining the impetus for Social Contract and Exploration.  Do you see what I mean?  If Creative Agenda is the cause of everything that happens during play, what causes a group of people to form a Social Contract, Explore, and pursue a Creative Agenda?

It would seem like you need another verb, but I'm not sure.  After all, one might argue that it's Creative Agenda that brings people to the table in the first place.  Many (all?) people roleplay for the pleasure of enacting their Creative Agenda, whatever that is.  However, it then seems odd (in my mind) for the cause to be imbedded in the middle, and Exploration and Social Contract to eminate from it (though, now that I think about it, I suppose it doesn't seem that strange).

If Creative Agenda is really the only verb, the cause of everything, then Social Contract & Exploration don't exist because of any outside reason, they exist only to give something for the Creative Agenda to work within, they are the sea for the boat to sail across.  If this is indeed the case, I think you need to make it more explicit.  Many people will expect your Venn diagram to lead in one direction or another (out to in, in to out) and not erupt from Creative Agenda in the center.  Maybe arrows spreading out from Creative Agenda in both directions?
Logged

C. Edwards
Member

Posts: 558

savage / sublime


« Reply #36 on: November 14, 2003, 04:01:20 PM »

Hey Jonathan,

 
Quote
If Creative Agenda is the cause of everything that happens during play, what causes a group of people to form a Social Contract, Explore, and pursue a Creative Agenda?


It's the process. You may play for the pleasure of experiencing your Creative Agenda, but you have to travel through the layers of Social Contract and Exploration to get to that point. I think "boxes in boxes" works just fine for the model. Just think of those boxes as buildings within buildings, each with a door you must go through in order to reach the building located within. That's my take on it anyway.

-Chris
Logged
Jonathan Walton
Member

Posts: 1309


WWW
« Reply #37 on: November 15, 2003, 10:21:15 AM »

Thanks, Chris.  That does clarify things a bit and reinforce what I thought Ron's post was implying with the "Creative Agenda is the only verb" talk, which wasn't completely obvious to me.

Another thing that hit me last night: this is no longer a theory that applies only to roleplaying.  Think about all the interactions it could describe.  Are all of them things that your mind considers to be "roleplaying"?  I don't think so.  So either the definition of "roleplaying" has to change, in this context, or this needs to be "Ron's theory of ________," inserting a word other than "roleplaying."

Personally, I'd suggest not expanding the definition of roleplaying, because the term already has strongly imbedded connotations that the members of the Forge, diverse and vocal as they are, aren't going to be able to change.  But it seems to me that Ron's clarification of his thinking applies to all collaborative creative processes.

If people disagree, maybe we should start another thread to discuss it, since I realize that could be a potentially contentious suggestion.
Logged

Ron Edwards
Global Moderator
Member
*
Posts: 16490


WWW
« Reply #38 on: November 16, 2003, 08:01:00 AM »

Hello,

Jonathan wrote,

Quote
But it seems to me that Ron's clarification of his thinking applies to all collaborative creative processes.


I don't agree, I'm afraid. I mean, certain features do correspond, yes - but the key one is the mutually communicative medium among all members of a role-playing group, and how Explorative content is established in that medium. In that sense, role-playing is far more like improvisational jazz - and yet it carries the narrative (small N, no "ist") elements of theater, literature, or film. I consider it a unique art form in this sense.

Mileage may vary on this issue, but in the long run, I at least don't think that it's a very important issue.

I'd very much like to receive confirmation and feedback from some of the people I replied to, like Ben Lehman or Walt, etc. Lisa did so, for instance.

Also, those seven points in my initial post are not trivial. If anyone wants to discuss those, that would be wonderful.

Best,
Ron
Logged
Ben Lehman
Member

Posts: 2094

Blissed


WWW
« Reply #39 on: November 16, 2003, 12:03:28 PM »

Quote from: Ron Edwards

I'd very much like to receive confirmation and feedback from some of the people I replied to, like Ben Lehman or Walt, etc. Lisa did so, for instance.


Feedback:

Honestly, I was waiting a couple of days to see if anything more sunk in.  Hasn't yet.  The category of Ephemera is a little clearer to me now, I can see how it exists below techniques, but not entirely transparent.

Is the particular use of stance the example of Ephemera?  Is the whole experience?  Is something else that I am missing entirely?

Apologies for my denseness.

yrs--
--Ben
Logged

Jonathan Walton
Member

Posts: 1309


WWW
« Reply #40 on: November 16, 2003, 12:09:05 PM »

This'll probably be my last post on this issue, before starting a new thread, because I don't want to derail the discussion here:

Quote from: Ron Edwards
I don't agree, I'm afraid. I mean, certain features do correspond, yes - but the key one is the mutually communicative medium among all members of a role-playing group, and how Explorative content is established in that medium.


Bob and Joe are talking about what to do on a Friday evening.

Bob: "Why don't we go see the new Matrix movie?  That'd be way cool.  All those explosions and chicks in tight leather pants!"

Joe: "Yeah!  ...But wait! The last movie had all that talking in it.  Booooring!  The fight scenes and computer animation were cool, but way too much talking."

Bob: "Sigh.  I guess you're right.  ...Hey!  But if we have a few drinks before we go, we'll be tipsy enough to ignore all the talking and it'll be 100% great!"

Joe: "Totally!  Let's do it!"

I have a hard time seeing how your Venn diagram doesn't apply to this situation.  There's a Social Contract governing Bob & Joe's interaction, they are both imagining (Exploring) the possibilities for the evening in a shared imaginary space that both of them have influence over, they each have a Creative Agenda (even if it's only to discover the best possible activity), and they utilize various Techniques and Ephemera to pursue their Agendas.

I would argue that this kind of thing happens in jazz too, the only difference being that the "art" occurs not in a shared imaginary space, but shared musical space (both of which are based on our experience of the world, either through our imaginations or senses).  You're right that music doesn't have to strive for narrative the way words do, but it has to strive for coherance and gaining the listener's appreciation, just like narrative does.

Still, if you'd rather view your theory as applying only to roleplaying, I suppose that's your prerogative.  YMMV, and all that.  But it just seems very limiting.
Logged

Matt Snyder
Member

Posts: 1380


WWW
« Reply #41 on: November 16, 2003, 12:46:28 PM »

Jonathan, how is this collborative creation? They agreeing to go be the audience of a movie, not the creators. That they've created an amusing means to be an audience member doesn't seem to change that they're still just being audience at worst and interpreters at best.

But, while I think the model may be somehow a good "starting point" in assessing other "creative collaborations," I'm not sure the Forge is the place. Ron has all but defined role-playing (versus, say, improv theatre or jazz or whatever) with the theory. The theory is specific to role-playing, and so is the Forge.

So, what are these collaborative things you seem intent to examine? Are they things we really need to consider at the Forge, things that might broaden the circle of all the stuff that we do discuss so far?
Logged

Matt Snyder
www.chimera.info

"The future ain't what it used to be."
--Yogi Berra
Jonathan Walton
Member

Posts: 1309


WWW
« Reply #42 on: November 16, 2003, 01:44:16 PM »

Quote from: Matt Snyder
Jonathan, how is this collborative creation?


Sorry, that wasn't really clear, was it?  Let me try again:

Bob: "Why don't we go see the new Matrix movie? That'd be way cool. All those explosions and chicks in tight leather pants!"

Joe: "Yeah!"


[Bob imagines explosions and chicks in tight leather pants.  Joe shares this vision, created shared imaginary space.  However...]

Joe: "...But wait! The last movie had all that talking in it. Booooring! The fight scenes and computer animation were cool, but way too much talking."

Bob: "Sigh. I guess you're right."


[Joe has altered their shared vision to include lots of boring talk.  Bob agrees with this alteration and they share their vision of explosions/chicks/talk, though it is not really satisfactory to either of them.  Then...]

Bob: "...Hey! But if we have a few drinks before we go, we'll be tipsy enough to ignore all the talking and it'll be 100% great!"

Joe: "Totally! Let's do it!"


[Bob has altered their shared imaginary space again, adding booze and "fixing" the situation by minimalizing the effect of Joe's "talk" addition.  He could have simply rejected Joe's claim that "the last film was so talky," but he instead accepted it and offered to alter it, which Joe allowed him to do.]

So their decision to go drink booze and watch the Matrix is not the collaborative creative process.  But, in trying to make this decision, they imagine what the experience would be like, make changes to this vision based on the kinds of interactions that Ron describes as belonging to roleplaying.  My point was that this wouldn't normally be considered roleplaying, but the Social Contract, Exploration, and everything else are there in this situation.  Re-imagine the above conversation as two Universalis players trying to decide how to play a Matrix-style game and the parallels become more obvious.

P.S.  Ron, should I take this idea to another thread now?  I'm backing towards the door... opening it... sticking one foot out... :)
Logged

The GM
Member

Posts: 58


« Reply #43 on: November 16, 2003, 06:20:12 PM »

Got some additional thoughts here. Take Ďem for what theyíre worth, you get what you pay for! ;^D

Ron initially said:
>>Role-players often arrive at the Forge in an advanced state of frustration regarding either play, talking about play, or both. <<

Thatís a somewhat misleading assumption, and the reason I say that is because when reading the independent game forums, people seem pretty pleased to talk about/interact w/ or otherwise communicate about those particular games. Doesnít seem to be too much frustration over on that side of the site. Now, I came wandering through the GNS forums not because of my frustration level, but rather because of the frustration level of one of my players. I care about what he wanted to see in a game, thus I made a commitment to learn the stuff he thought was important. I coulda gave him the boot, and the rest of the group would have been none the worse because we already had a play style that worked for us. It was *important* to make our pal feel  like his ideas were appreciated (because they are.) IOW, it was a question of respect. To be fair, I see a fair amount of disgruntled peps too. But disenchantment isnít the *only* thing that brings people through the Forgeís virtual door. Alright, on with the show.


>>Point #1: Nearly everyone who first encounters the theory is predisposed to discuss Ephemera. (snip) point of discussion: Get them up to Techniques, which is what they really want to discuss. The key is to validate the Techniques they're trying to reinforce, and to acknowledge to the person that they are, indeed, making sense in these terms. After that point, the diversity of Ephemera can be discussed without the person going into protective-mode regarding what Techniques they prefer or are used to. <<

Rock on, now how are ya gonna do it? ;)
This can be somewhat tricky from where I stand. I donít know how many times Iíve asked about techniques in the last few weeks, only to be met with stony silence. Granted, maybe no one wants to talk about this stuff as much as I want to. Thatís cool. But maybe they donít know how to talk about it, or even understand what the hell it is Iím trying to talk about. This is where dialogue about gaming becomes so critical in my view. If I can point to a specific technique, this is now the Ďhow toí. Ephemera almost seems like the icing on top from what I can tell. Now we have technique established, and because of this nice little definition over here, itís a concrete, tangible thing. Now letís chat about ephemera and what that means to us as a group. I suppose all of that is self apparent. Whatís not so apparent is how to classify something that can change at a whim in actual play, and furthermore, how to utilize techniques to their best effect for any given game group.


>>Point #2 (related to #1): (snip) Required point of discussion: It's best to speak of combinations within an "inner" box in terms of how it affects or is affected by its "outer" box or boxes. Resist the extreme temptation to identify any one Technique, for instance, with a particular GNS category, or any one Ephemera-type event with a particular Technique.<<

Iím not seeing how a technique could be specifically tied to any given category, simply because techniques (I think) can be constant, even though particular game types might be radically different. For instance, I may employ technique X in game Y, but I may also employ it to great effect in game Z too. I need to think on this more though.


>>Point #3: Creative Agenda is the "verb" (snip) Required point of discussion: Don't get sidetracked into definitional descriptions when discussing actual play. If a person really is interested in examining the Creative Agenda(s) of his or her role-playing, or more accurately that of his or her group, then focus on social interactions, the real-people approval and disapproval during play itself, as quoted above. <<

Important stuff, to be sure. I see CA being inexorably tied to social contract. I think you have the right to understand *what exactly* youíre playing after you have the *who* youíre playing with out of the way. I see our troupe discussing CA a lot (although none of us call it that. Itís all much more informal than the way I discuss it in this post.)

>>Point #4 (related to #3: (snip)They want what they want without wanting (a) to say so or (b) actually to do that thing. Or if they are getting what they want, it's often through Social Contract manipulation and they don't want to endanger their carefully-constructed power-play. <<

I donít know if this is a purposeful manipulation. I canít imagine any well adjusted individual thinking ĎMan, itís game night, Iím going to put the screws to my pals.í This doesnít compute for me. I think of this as being a miscommunication issue. YMMV.

>> Cries of "it's just a game" or "I just play to have fun" are signs of these tactics in a state of final breakdown. Excessive arguing about details of GNS-stuff is sometimes a defense mechanism. <<

Iím unconvinced of this as a blanket statement. Sometimes a person very well may mean ("it's just a game" or "I just play to have fun"). Sometimes debate about GNS stuff is because a person genuinely disagrees. I think itís not fair to generalize these particular events (words) as a catastrophe waiting to happen.

 
>>Point #5: Also, a person who's confounded over this issue probably needs to hear that Creative Agenda categories (GNS) are not principles to live up to, but rather just a vocabulary that helps describe the whole-model profile for that particular group (or rather, an instance of that group's play in action). <<

Hey, this works for me. I use GNS as a lexicon so people know what Iím talking about. This is the level at which I choose to think about GNS at this time.

>>Point #6: (snip) <<

Right. Iíve already talked about this though.


 
>>Point #7: (snip) One of the most difficult problems with a multi-user forum discussion is when Person X explains something about the GNS-level to Person Y using a specific Techniques example, and then person Z gets the idea that this Technique is the GNS term. And if they hate the Technique, then they fall right off the cognitive mountain, sometimes irretrievably. <<

So itís necessary to keep GNS separate from technique talk? I mean, this is fine from my POV, but is that what you meant?

>>Required point of discussion: Fear is a serious problem when dealing with a third-party's reaction to these discussions. <<

I love that you talk about this. Iíve heard that fear is the ultimate reason that any of us truly gets anything done. (BTW, refusing to change a position/situation is still accomplishing something, even if the consequences may be negative.) These fears that you discuss need to be in big bold print at the top of your essay so that people understand that *you* understand where they are coming from. Get rid of the anxiety, and minds Ďmagicallyí open up. Nice.

>>- "The Storyteller Golden Rule ..." This rule is a big puff job, because it leaves "fun" undefined, nor does it specify who can mandate when a rule is to be ignored.<<

*Smirks*
Something Iíve never understood about the Golden Rule is this: If youíre supposed to do it Ďyour wayí, why did WW just spend 60 pages telling you how to do it Ďtheir wayí? I always enjoyed the irony of that.

Wow, thatís a lot of typing.
Logged

Warm Regards,
Lisa
Ron Edwards
Global Moderator
Member
*
Posts: 16490


WWW
« Reply #44 on: November 16, 2003, 06:21:49 PM »

Hello,

Yes, please, Jonathan, I would greatly appreciate the topic of role-playing relative to other art forms being taken to another thread. Here in this forum is OK because it's still about the model.

Ben, you wrote,

Quote
Is the particular use of stance the example of Ephemera? Is the whole experience? Is something else that I am missing entirely?


Tod's particular uses of Stances in my examples were exactly Ephemera during play. The whole experience occurred in the context of Techniques being employed, specifically the rules in MLWM concerning scene framing and certain rolls. Then, those Techniques being employed may be assessed "back up the arrow" through our Narrativist Agenda, as it was shot from [Characters in Setting in Situation, w/System (the "bow"), all Colored]. And that [Exploration box] itself only existed due to our Social Contract to do this thing, at this time, in this way; this Social Contract persisted because we kept giving each other positive feedback about all the stuff going on inside it.

You can't have Ephemera occurring unless Techniques are in action. You can't have Techniques in action unless you have a Creative Agenda at work (or are trying to). You can't have a Creative Agenda at work (or try to) unless you have an Explorative Context, including change [System]. And you can't have the Explorative Context (with everything I've just said inside it) unless you have a Social Contract for it.

If you can see the real events as occurring inward through the layers, and our discussion of it here as retracing that path outward through the layers, then you'll be cool.

Best,
Ron
Logged
Pages: 1 2 [3] 4 5
Print
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC
Oxygen design by Bloc
Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!