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Started by Ron Edwards, November 11, 2003, 06:49:15 PM
Quote from: Ron EdwardsPoint 7: this one is reeeal tricky. The issue is, you can't talk about Creative Agenda stuff without discussing Techniques, or the whole model, really.
Quote from: Ron EdwardsI'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.
Quote from: Ron previouslyThose 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.
QuoteBut I don't understand the paragraph starting "I think it's awfully interesting that..." What split in Simulationism are you referring to? (The preceding paragraph describes Gamism.) If it's the split between High Concept and Purist for System discussed in the paragraph before that, well, I still don't understand the point.
QuoteNow, some comments about causality and the SECTE hieararchy. In general, we can say that going from left to right "down" the hierarchy answers the question "by what means?" or "how?" Going from right to left "up" the hierarchy answers the question "to what purpose?" (or "why?", but I think "why?" is too loaded, as I'll try to explain).
QuoteBut there's no implied causal sequence or "starting point," is there? ... Not anywhere. With enough information we might trace out "which came first" for a particular player in a particular game, but there's no assumed causal sequence and no need for one.
QuoteAlso, I find that the SECTE presentation makes me want to reexamine the idea of what a "GNS conflict" really is. I'd explain it this way: G, N, and S (or players predisposed to play with those Agendas) aren't like cartoon foxes and hounds, genetically programmed to attack each other on sight. They're pretty much oblivious to each other. (That is, players are oblivious to others' differing Creative Agendas.) The conflict occurs at all the other levels of the hiearchy, when players with different CAs dislike or disagree with aspects of the Social Contract, Explored imagined space, Techniques, or Ephemera that are informed by different CAs.
Quote1. Observe play. 2. Perceive Creative Agenda of each participant. 3. If Creative Agendas differ, diagnose Creative Agenda conflict between players as cause of dysfunction. 4. To resolve dysfunction, convince participants to adjust Creative Agendas, or replace participants with people sharing the chosen Creative Agenda. When perhaps it should be more like: 1. Observe play. 2. Identify conflicts between participants over Social Contract, Exploration, Technique, or Ephemera issues. 3. If conflicts (especially, past history of failed attempts to resolve the conflicts by modifying Social Contract, Techniques, etc.) exhibit patterns suggesting differing Creative Agendas, diagnose Creative Agenda conflict between play styles as the nature of the dysfunction. 4. To resolve dysfunction, change Social Contract, Exploration, Techqniques, and Ephemera to support a consistent Creative Agenda. Replace participants who don't find the changes or the resulting play appealing with others who do.
QuoteI think I can now make the case that we CAN have two different resolution methods in a game, so long as those systems interact in some technique-serving manner of a particular purpose. The concept of technique supplanting mechanical method as the subject of investigation/creation is a bit of an eye opener, IMO.
Quote from: Ron EdwardsTo M.J.! Dag, list a whole bunch of things, why don't you.
Quote from: Ron- I agree with you that phrasing 1 is right
Quote from: which was agreeing with what IIt is absolutely necessary to recognize the presence of Creative Agenda as the bridge between Social Contract and Techniques if you hope to understand role playing games in a theoretical way.
Quote from: Skipping a bit, Ron then- 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.
Quote from: which referenced what IIt is absolutely necessary that all the players in a game share a Creative Agenda in order for agreement at the Social Contract level to be reached regarding what Techniques will produce the desired outcome in play. If this is what is meant, it's probably a very important point, and should be stated considerably more clearly. In fact, having just stated it that way myself, I see how important it is--we can't agree (at the social level) regarding how to do it (at the techniques level) until we know exactly what it is we are doing (at the Creative Agenda level).
Quote from: M. J. YoungQuote from: Skipping a bit, Ron then- 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.Quote from: which referenced what IIt is absolutely necessary that all the players in a game share a Creative Agenda in order for agreement at the Social Contract level to be reached regarding what Techniques will produce the desired outcome in play. If this is what is meant, it's probably a very important point, and should be stated considerably more clearly. In fact, having just stated it that way myself, I see how important it is--we can't agree (at the social level) regarding how to do it (at the techniques level) until we know exactly what it is we are doing (at the Creative Agenda level).I eagerly await comment from Walt and Mike on that. As I say, I think this point really is the summation of why GNS matters at all: if the players don't actually agree on what they're trying to do, they ultimately can't possibly agree regarding how to do it. Creative agenda is very much "what we're trying to do when we play", and has to be in sync.
QuoteI thought it was important to verify with Ron that the model's series of linkages is not meant to imply any specific chronology or direction of causality.