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Gamism does not require carefully pre-detailed rules; why is it Western engineering?

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Gamism does not require carefully pre-detailed rules; why is it Western engineering?

Gamism does not require well-defined and agreed-upon rules mechanics. Note that I am not claiming we do not have a pretty well-defined system (in the Forge sense: how we decide what happens next in the fiction). But the mechanics, as in how precisely we figure out what happens next, are loose and partially negotiated on the fly. Rulings, not rules, kind of, but a more extreme take.

Here is the rules framwork (in Finnish, feel free to try your lack with machine translation): https://ropeblogi.wordpress.com/2020/04/15/vanhan-liiton-henkiset-saannot/

Summarizing: A character has attributes, rolled 3d6 in order, a background which tells what they can do, and then a special ability (player-chosen) or a bunch of spells (random but conform to a player-chosen idiom of magic). They have some grit (hit points) and some equipment.

The basic resolution is rolling d20 plus relevant attribute, either as a versus roll or against a static difficulty level. Characters tend to have d6 grit and a successful attack tends to deal d6 damage, and if hit points are not enough, there are rules for getting wounded and dying.

These are pretty baseline stuff and could trivially be replaced by any other basic mechanical framework without affecting gameplay much (and I have run this kind of play with different mechanical rules). The gameplay is the kind of challenge-oriented sandbox OSR play that Eero and I have sometimes discussed; neutral referee who simulates the fictional world and so on. The referee-facing rules are prepared adventure locations and NPCs, random encounter and other tables, reaction and morale rolls, etc.

My question is: what precisely makes this engineering-thought play? Is it that I often declare difficulty levels for things before rolling, or can in any case explain them afterwards? Note that the consequences are usually not declared, but they are often clear or implicitly communicated. Is it that the referee does not aim for a particular mood and genre and does not steer play (by genre I mean: comedy, tragedy, heist movie, war story; this depends much on how well the players do and what the dice give)? Something else?

I wrote a game report on Adept play: http://adeptplay.com/actual-play/terrible-mushrooms-and-loose-rules

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I'm not sure I understand the

I'm not sure I understand the question exactly.

To me, that absolutely sounds like gamism if players are gladly engaging with it.

At worst, I guess you could call it a flavor of gamism that isn't to everyone's taste.

It certainly seems in line with Kriegspiel, and it's hard to get gamier than old Prussian military cadets and instructors.

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I'm guessing this thread is

I'm guessing this thread is directed in response to Jay's thread about mechanics and creative agendas?

But, to follow this tangent slightly...

It certainly seems in line with Kriegspiel, and it's hard to get gamier than old Prussian military cadets and instructors.

Is... Is Prussian military Kriegsspiel gamey? Even though the point is to develop real skills for warfare? Is that gamism? I guess it has that element of playing to win, in the same way that warfare does?

If I were to apply the GNS terms at all, I would have thought of simulationism, because it's so strongly directed at something beyond the game itself (i.e., real warfare). Trying to develop an "elevated appreciation and understanding" of something, in Eero's terms. Especially the Verdy du Vernois style, where the point is to recreate the feeling of command and test decision making under uncertainty, more than to create a totally fair model battle.

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I want to get a better

I want to get a better understanding of what Jay means by Western engineering thinking and lackthereof.

When reading the other threads, there was discussion about this and deterministic mechanics; I am not sure how this relates to improvised mechanics or mechanics by more-or-less explicit group consensus or rules-versus-rulings, as in OSR use.

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Engineering vs Bricolage

I suspect to really understand what the dichotomy is supposed to mean, one might need to read Lévi-Strauss.

I am pretty cautious to engage with the topic myself since I'm not really confident in my own interpretation which is based on Jay's interpretation of Chris Lehrich's interpretation of Lévi-Strauss' interpretation of the beliefs and mythologies of different cultures. I have made a few attempts to read The Savage Mind and get closer to the source, but I find it almost impenetrable.

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Excellent question!

Hello,

Apologies to Thanuir for not responding to his excellent question. Been struggling through a low point in my depression and haven't had much energy to devote to deep thinking. Heck, I've not even had the energy to read the boards. Feeling a bit better and hope to have a cogent response for you soon.

Best,

Jay

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Short response with a longer to follow...

Hi Thanuir,

The short answer to your OP is that Mechanics != CA. When I posted about Mechanics and CA I included the caveat that Mechanics attempt to influence the CA of the players but are not themselves a CA. CA is what the players do. It was my contention that as mechanics are in an of themselves the product of Western Engineering Thinking and because they function in the same fashion that Mechanics very easily (and strongly) pull the players thinking patterns into Western Engineering Thinking patterns as that is our current thinking paradigm.

You can have a game without any formal Mechanics and have a fully functional CA because CA is that which the players are grooving on. Mechanics can aid or hinder said expression but are not themselves the expression of CA. My final assertion is that because mechanics are Western Engineering constructs that function in the Western Engineering paradigm they strongly reinforce Western Engineering thinking in the players (and play) and as such are anathema to Sim/myth/bricolage thinking.

As to why Gamism is categorized as a Western Engineering thinking process I will address in my next post after a bit more navel gazing.

Best,

Jay

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Hi Thanuir,

Hi Thanuir,

I want to get a better understanding of what Jay means by Western engineering thinking and lackthereof.

Your question about the differences between Western Engineering Thinking and Myth/Bricolage thinking transcends that of mechanics into cultural approaches to cognition and humanity's place in the world. Western Engineering Thinking is reductionist, abstract, concise and seeks to remove the human condition from the process of explanation as much as possible. Western Engineering Thinking attempts to remove man from nature as much as possible to the explanations of things is as free of subjectivity as possible. For example particle physicists trying to decide if a finding is significant (IOW can be labeled a "fact") use math and statistics to see if they get a 5 sigma result to tell the scientists whether their efforts have yielded "fact" or not. Individual or even group judgement are as minimized as much as possible.

We have discovered this new "thing" apart from out subjective human judgement. We used math and machines to collect data and analyze it. This thing exists whether or not humans notice it or not. Its existence is ontological. This "fact" cares not (cannot care) for the human condition or its relationship to humanity, it just "is." As such we go about labeling this "fact" and treat it like an entity even if it isn't, thus we can talk about it without reference to the human condition. The "fact" may be about the human condition but the "fact", now abstracted and given a "name", can now be considered and talked ideally without human judgement. These "facts" are whittled down to the barest idea that is the central core that is unique to itself and no other thing. If it is closely related and not unique then it isn't a separate thing. These facts have either not been sufficiently resolved or are indeed facets of the same thing.

In the end this "fact" or abstraction is useful as a tool and is typically used in a very limited and exacting manner. If a situation arises where this abstraction is found to be insufficient to the task a whole new system of abstraction is typically created rather than kludged. Yes the Standard Model is an example of an abstraction that has been cobbled together over time but this fact makes a great number of Scientists (Western Engineering Thinkers) very uncomfortable and they are now seeking a new even more reductionist model to explain everything. All without concerning themselves with how this relates to the human condition and without recourse to human judgment (hopefully/ideally). Trust your data, not your judgement!

Much of the process of Western Engineering Thinking employs the logic processes of Abduction, Induction and Deduction in pursuit of a singular abstracted goal. Most of the effort of science operates in the realm of Induction (the determination of the rules of behavior) and Deduction (applying the induced rules to make projections and seeing if the rules hold). Abduction is more of the realm of theoretical thinking of new paradigms and theories - they need to be "proved" through induction and deductive testing. In all this the focus is very tight and typically narrowly applicable. Even the wild success of Quantum Mechanics in application is still a science of subatomic particles. It's not Biology, it's not Psychology, it's not Ecology, it's not Astronomy (not to be confused with Astrophysics), etc.

I'll touch on again the idea that if a tool/abstraction/theory/idea is shown to be inadequate typically a wholly new idea frequently is created to address the new problems. An example of early and incomplete Western Engineering Thinking was the addition of epicycles to the Geocentric model of the Universe to explain the unaccountable behaviors planetary motions. But even this addition could not account for other problems of the model predictions and observation. Through the course of 200 years the model was completely re-engineered with a completely new Heliocentric thesis. Western Engineering Thinking was still in its formative stages and the Scientific Process had only been expressly articulated by Giovanni Compano, (the chaplain for four Popes) at the University of Paris in the early 1200's.

The point of all this is that Western Engineering Thought works in the abstract, is reductionist, willingly throws out models of the outside world to start anew and works to create clean, efficient processes that provided repeatable results that are in themselves abstractions. All this while trying to keep the human condition out of the mix. One observes a phenomena, proposes a theory (abduction) of how said phenomena functions, devices and runs tightly controlled tests eliminating all non-essential influences (induction), and then tests the induced rules by making predictions (deductions) and seeing if they match observed behavior. If all works out this theory is said to apply to all places in the universe and is ideally independent of subjective human considerations. You now have a vastly streamlined representation of a small piece of reality that can be both used to explain that observed phenomena but can be used to make accurate predictions and can be generated by anyone with the skills to use the models. No sticky human context needed.

But see, here's the rub. We can talk about photons and all their qualities forever but we can never use science to describe the experience of "blue" or why this other particular wavelength of light "feels" warm on our skin. Or why it affects our consciousness the way it does. The same for music. There is a huge vocabulary and robust theory about music describing it but until it is actually heard we know nothing of the experience of music. And thus it is many role-playing games with deterministic resolution mechanics. Ideally, but likely not purely in actual practice, there is little else that can happen or is relevant to play that is outside the realm of what the mechanics cover. At least as intended. The primary game focus (the Creative Agenda) is strongly limited (or reduced) by tools to a limited number of high order processes/concerns. To win, or to perhaps to overcome Challenge (whatever its particular incarnation). But whatever it is, such guiding formulations are not originated from the source material or the SIS. The player comes to the game with an approach to thinking that they have grown up with that is strongly supported by system and Creative Agenda. The world is another abstraction where those Agendas are played out. Western Thinking. Very much the antithesis of mythic thinking.

I don't think this is a very coherent description of what I'm trying to say but it is a first attempt. I've read a little and been mentored some but I have no formal training in the history of Western thinking or in comparative thinking modes. Think of this as food for thought and not a definitive answer. There is another half of this post that ought to be included and that is contrasting Western Engineering Thinking directly with Mythic Thinking but I've written on myth many times and Chris Lehrich's writings are much better anyways.

I tried my best.

Best,

Jay

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defending W. E.

I'll take Western Engineering's defence, as the poor thing is accused in some places for it's supposed intentions (exhibit 1 : "At least as intended") rather than for it's acts (exhibit 2 : "not purely in actual practice").

If W.E. could talk, maybe it would say that well, it knows that all its technology is an appendage to human experience. But it is built around human experience, and constantly caters to it. For that reason you won't find an RPG making little case of the human experience. Human experience is the shape of the hole in the mechanical apparatus of W.E. Mythic Bricolage doesn't have a monopoly on consciousness.

If it weren't for the obvious frame (RPGs) I would add that some designers will work like Engineers and others through Bricolage (which translates into "tinkering"). After all, they are perspectives rather than facts.

It may be too early to critic a fresh formulation of a theory, but when you say "There is a huge vocabulary and robust theory about music describing it but until it is actually heard we know nothing of the experience of music." I want to give the full image : "And our experience of music is vigorously informed by our musical vocabulary". Human language is a technology, too, an extension of our experience, a patch on our chimp chassis. I find there's a very thin layer between W.E. and Mythic-Bricolage.

To conclude : even if you define the two concepts as contrary, all about them also screams complementarity. I'd say they're a Yin / Yang thing. When you play a game, you are micro-designing it on the spot constantly, and that part of the activity is Bricolage, right ? When you design it, you try to empathize with the player subjected to the game experience (Mythic), but when you work on probability distributions, the experience becomes an horizon to reach (Engineering).

I hope I have given a useful contribution with this conclusion. However, it is probable that I missed something of your intent. I suspect I mostly wanted to engage with you on this to celebrate the pleasure of seeing you back @Silmenume.

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Thank you, DeReel.

Hi DeReel,

Thank you for your well wishing. I really do appreciate it and am deeply affected. Thank you. I'm not feeling much better but I found that I missed talking with you all here and that not interacting was worse than the struggle to try and find the energy to write despite my mood and difficulty thinking.

I'll take Western Engineering's defence, as the poor thing is accused in some places for it's supposed intentions (exhibit 1 : "At least as intended") rather than for it's acts (exhibit 2 : "not purely in actual practice").

If W.E. could talk, maybe it would say that well, it knows that all its technology is an appendage to human experience. But it is built around human experience, and constantly caters to it. For that reason you won't find an RPG making little case of the human experience. Human experience is the shape of the hole in the mechanical apparatus of W.E. Mythic Bricolage doesn't have a monopoly on consciousness.

I agree. This is a depth nuance I didn't want to get into for various reasons but I do agree with this one caveat. W.E. thought, as a process, overtly and actively seeks to exclude the human experience. It may not succeed fully but it is an important pillar of the process for the simple reason that W.E. science (which is the per-eminent thinking paradigm in the west) overtly states that it can only concern itself with matters that are either material in nature or phenomena that can be reduced to the material. FREX - W.E. thought can only explain the how of nature but can not explain the why of nature. That is left to either philosophy or religion. In fact any statement by W.E. science about metaphysical matters such as religion is a category error. Science definitionally cannot make statements about matters of religion or questions of "why" because such subjects are outside the purview of the "purely" physical constraints that science places upon itself. Much of W.E. thought seeks to pare everything away that is not absolutely essential to explaining the phenomena at hand. However look at how uncomfortable science is with Quantum Mechanics and the problem of observation being necessary to collapse the quantum state into a fixed state. This drives the physicists absolutely batty.

However, as you rightly pointed out, science is still conducted by human beings and is thus influenced by them thereby. All science deals with are facts and not Truths and again by its own nature is necessarily provisional. As I indicated above the scientific method was not first articulated until the very early 1200's. We were still "thinking" before then but such process of cogitation included much thinking that included such things as "motive" in their explanations. So we see that break is a relative new comer. Prior to that you had Greek philosophy which disdained experimentation and early Scholasticism which did push up the importance of observation to a key position yet still relied heavily on philosophy and lacked rigorously controlled and repeatable experimentation.

It is my assertion that much of science today uses instruments that take phenomena that are not even available to the human senses and translate them into a form so that they do become available to our senses - almost exclusively sight. These machines render hitherto insensate phenomena into human experiences. Take, for example, particle accelerators or sussing out aggregate behaviors from a sea of observations and abstracting them into numbers which can then be manipulated and used in testing. These numbers which must be seen or heard to describe a "behavior". For all this science, as a category of process, cannot address why or what we "experience" as the color blue or the vibrations in air as a "tones" or why pain "hurts". I'm not saying that the human experience does not show up in W.E. thinking and science but it does seek to remove it as a priority. Peer reviewing a paper seeks, among other things, to find if human bias had somehow seeped into the process thus "contaminating" the results and rendering them anywhere from suspect to invalid.

It may be too early to critic a fresh formulation of a theory, but when you say "There is a huge vocabulary and robust theory about music describing it but until it is actually heard we know nothing of the experience of music." I want to give the full image : "And our experience of music is vigorously informed by our musical vocabulary". Human language is a technology, too, an extension of our experience, a patch on our chimp chassis. I find there's a very thin layer between W.E. and Mythic-Bricolage.

On the whole I agree. I would go so far to say that we use mythic bricolage for most of daily thinking as it is very easy and convenient (as it is neither rigorous nor formalized) as a quick "gum and twine" hacked solution. It works well enough most of the time to get along in life but it is also messy and creates many further problems (entailments) in the process. You offered that our experience of music is vigorously informed by our musical vocabulary yet a person who has never heard music will still experience it as they will even in total ignorance of music theory/vocabulary. But that is neither here nor there for the sake of this post.

I agree there is a very thin layer between the employment of W.E. thought and Mythic-Bricolage in our W.E. daily lives. However how they each function is very much in opposition to each other in process, goals and effects. The human experience is anything but physical though it is profoundly influenced by our physical makeup. A blind man will never understand the concept of color despite all the science being described to him. It is a phenomena that is beyond comprehension precisely because his physical makeup prevents him from sensing light.

Going back to game design and play I used the phrases "At least as intended" and "not purely in actual practice" to allow for the fact that we do slip back and forth between the forms of thought. Mythic-Bricolage is easy and we do it all the time while W.E. thought is hard, tedious, has to be taught and most importantly we are pressured culturally that this is THE correct way to make sense of the world. So we build games that are either Engineered cleanly or hacked together but we are told that to use these game we must/ought/should use the provided methods to play "correctly". My weasel words and caveats cover the case that in practice people don't strictly adhere to the mechanics for a whole slew of reasons. People forget, don't like a given mechanic or run into a situation that isn't covered by the reductionist nature of W.E. thinking. Mythic-Bricolage is excellent for quickly scabbing together a solution on the fly without having to re-engineer the whole mechanic. It works good enough most of the time and the process happens fairly naturally without calling attention to itself. What I mean is that W.E. thought would mean stopping the game and looking at the mechanic as a thing unto itself separate from the experience of the game play and working out a solution that now functions "correctly" so we can now go back into the game experience. Mythic-Bricolage makes no distinction between the game experience as it never makes a distinction as we don't leave the realm of the "concrete" for that of the "abstract". We scab together a solution while still using the elements of the SIS and the fictional world.

However, as a process W.E. thinking works overtly and aggressively to remove the human experience. This does not mean it always succeeds but it is always a goal of the process. Mythic-Bricolage works aggressively to include the human experience and thus excels at both engaging the human experience at a subjective level while while seamlessly correcting for problems without drawing attention to the fact that there was a problem in the first place. So what does this mean? Mythic-Bricolage Agenda games excel at creating subjective experience but are necessarily sloppy and in need of constant correction but that's OK because it does so without breaking the experience. Its not a bug but a feature. This messiness allows for games to run on for 20, 30, 40 years because this sloppiness (the entailments) are fodder for future bicoling (further scenarios). Also, since Mythic-Bricolage is expansionist as opposed to reductionist the process itself creates more of itself. W.E. games do not function well this way without drawing attention to this process of addition because these additions are abstracted and separate from the game play process itself.

Just a note - I am not in any way putting down Engineered games. What I am trying to do is contrast how these thinking systems work so each can be understood better and thus applied appropriately for the game we're trying to create. Neither is superior to the other, rather they create very different gaming experiences...and that is good, is it not?

Best,

Jay

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Discipline vs Harmony

What you are describing is Discipline vs Harmony on TV Tropes. I read you and our agreement is a good starting point. But where do we go from here is what I fail to see. What I lack here, as a pragmatist, is a use for the concept. Is the conclusion that we put D&D in the newtonian basket and Polaris in the sturmunddrang one ? this I could know by just weighing the printed rules.

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I found an article by Moyra

I found an article by Moyra Turkington interesting, that maybe shows the continuum from director stance to immersion : http://games.spaceanddeath.com/sin_aesthetics/36
Maybe WE is a way of naming "the red dot" and MB is closer to the "purple dot". I don't know.

Anyway, if Gamism is about competition, you can have competition about anything. I have done races to immersion (they look a lot like Playing to lose), and that's a Gamist agenda with a Mythic perspective.

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Hi DeReel,

Hi DeReel,

What you are describing is Discipline vs Harmony on TV Tropes. I read you and our agreement is a good starting point. But where do we go from here is what I fail to see. What I lack here, as a pragmatist, is a use for the concept. Is the conclusion that we put D&D in the newtonian basket and Polaris in the sturmunddrang one ? this I could know by just weighing the printed rules.

I googled the topic and read the post you described. The similarities you pointed to are superficial at best and miss the meaty fundamental essential differences between W.E. thought and Mythic/Bricolage thinking. Yes, one of the emergent properties of these different thinking processes could be said to be similar on the most superficial of levels to "Discipline vs Harmony" theses (like they both attempt to bring order to the universe but use different methods) but it utterly misses the profound fundamental structural differences between these systems of thought.

The first is that myth is an oral tradition that while produced in the moment and never recorded still takes serious cognitive effort to produce effectively.

Second, since myth is an oral tradition its effect/affect is strongly empowered by that very fact. Just like an improv jazz performance which can be recorded and played back later at will a large part of its power and impact on the listener comes from the listeners knowledge the this music and creativity IS happening right here, right now! This evanescent energy is a big part of the musical art form and is also a big part of the power of myth in mythic thinking cultures - and thus is also a strong component of Mythic thinking based role-play.

Third, myth, while trying to bring order to "our" understanding of the universe/reality/life and our place in it, it does so via creating meaningful relationships between the entirety of the other and the self. This works in that everything that is or happens in the universe happens because of its relationship to the self, not because the processes have been abstracted and later shown to be predictable. While myth combines "why" with "how", W.E. thought is almost entirely interested in just the "how" and has the opposite relationship with "why" trying to remove it altogether. In W.E. thinking the Universe exists at a remove from the individual and will do what it does whether or not the self is present. In myth the Universe is personal and is deeply tied to the self/human condition.

Again and in short W.E. thinking is abstract and devoid of (or shuns) the human condition. It concerns itself solely with the "how". Myth makes no such distinction and embraces both the "how" and "why" as one. The upside is a rich, meaningful life filled with purpose but the downside is that it is neither precise nor clinical. In fact myth, at large, is a hideously tangled mess, but a deeply human and soothing mess. For all this myth is no more "harmonious" than W.E. thinking. Myth can and does lead to practices that we in the West would consider abhorrent or "disharmonious". W.E. thinking while reductionist and abstract is working towards a unified whole of understanding.

The key differences in W.E. abstraction with its foundational lack of concern for the human condition is contrasted with myth's subjectivity and deep fundamental concern with the human condition as it relates to the "order" of the Universe.

Do not confuse my statement that W.E. thinking's removal of concern for the human condition to mean that the human condition is never considered, but that the human condition is considered in an abstracted way that is focused on the "how" and not the "why". W.E. put itself at a remove from the general matters of the human condition while myth is deeply personal and purposely addresses the human condition concretely/directly - not abstractly. A mythic culture individual is deeply enmeshed in reality in an extremely tangible first person sense. A W.E. thinking individual is but a piece in an otherwise vast universe that cares not one way of the other for any of its pieces. We are there but it is a matter of no consequence. And because we are of no consequence we can study the Universe in its abstracted isolation.

In the end this creates a way of thinking (Western Engineering Thought) that is very procedural, very exact and ultimately leads to high expectations of control via accurate predictability. Even games with "randomizers" still give an exact result after the randomization is accounted for. I know that my character might miss his swing if my randomizer does give me a value needed to meet some threshold but if I do, I KNOW that I've succeeded. We approach our games with the embedded idea that with "perfect" knowledge I can "perfectly" predict outcomes. We know this because if our sample size is large enough we can see the pattern mapping to specific known and thus predicted outcomes. Thus we come to believe that player "protagonization" is not only proven but predicated on very idea that the data must be available to show these procedures holding up and thus verified. Any "errors" or blips in the procedures is thus taken to mean either that the GM made an error or the GM purposefully deprotagonized the player. Hence the focus of so many rules systems that seek to deprotagonize the GM during play as much as possible.

Even more importantly, and central to my point, is that all this "thinking" about process and expectations and validation via mechanics about GM error (or malintent) all happens at an abstract layer away and completely separate from the SIS and the fictional world experience. This is completely different from myth/bricolage thinking.

In mythic thinking if an anomaly shows up in generalized expected behavior the myth is not described to have failed. In fact the process in mythic cultures is to show that the anomaly was not an error at all but through the adaptation process show that the myth is indeed whole and always had been without calling attention to the myth itself. This process of dealing with an anomaly requires the player to double down on their understanding of the myth and realize that if something didn't work as expected then the player's expectations are in error and that change or something new is happening. So not having a deterministic mechanics system allows for smooth gaming while also requiring the players to thinking harder within the fictional realm about what is really going on. Does this mean that a GM can "deprotagonize" players easily? Yes. Can the players tell if their input is being ignored? Over time, yes. How? Because myth is still normative, just not to the unforgiving degree that W.E. based games are. The trade off is for mythic play is games is the that the game is much more experiential in nature. It is much easier to feel as if you are in the fictional space as virtually all your "tools" are proximal and in-world-fiction/myth based and not distally abstraction based. IOW if there is something odd the mythic player looks harder at the myth to make sense of it rather that breaking away from the diegesis so as to discuss it as a mechanics or social contract problem.

Is the conclusion that we put D&D in the newtonian basket and Polaris in the sturmunddrang one ?

No. Not at all. The classifications are essentially category errors. Both D&D and Polaris are procedurally run with deterministic abstracted mechanics (i.e. Western Engineered design and play). Much of the play in both games is dependent upon or directed by the mechanics. (FREX - Hit Points in the former or Weariness in the latter.) Both games would be radically different without either of the respective mechanic in how they are played. Despite supporting different CA's they are still both very procedural and constantly operate at the abstract via the self-same mechanics. The analogy of "Discipline vs Harmony" falls apart because it utterly misses the point that W.E. games are procedural and abstract while mythic games are subjective and experiential.

Best,

Jay

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Hi DeReel,

Hi DeReel,

Anyway, if Gamism is about competition, you can have competition about anything. I have done races to immersion (they look a lot like Playing to lose), and that's a Gamist agenda with a Mythic perspective.

Thank you for the link. I read the post but I found a comment by Jim Henley dated Nov. 20, 2006 at 12:30PM to be especially interesting. In it he talks specifically about "immersion" (a very loaded term with enormous baggage that I personally try to avoid using) and the difficulty in determining when another person is in that mental state or even when oneself is in the mental state. Jim had noted, and I tend to agree, that noting that one is in a state of immersion is only noted in the past tense. To be self aware that oneself is in a state of "immersion" is to break "immersion" to note something about one's physical, real world mental state. How a player can race to mental state of "immersion" and measure the time to the transition, to me, is a contradictory. One cannot be functioning within another frame of reference (immersion) separate from "reality" and be aware of being in the fictional "reality" at the same time. The player has to leave the "immersive" mental framework to notice their own condition. To me its a logical and practical impossibility.

Maybe one can do it as you've described but however it happens it is not a "Mythic Perspective". Mythic cultural thinking does not, cannot not acknowledge anything outside the myth. Anything that is heretofore outside the realm of the knowledge of the culture is absorbed into the myth in such a way as to show that the anomaly was never outside the myth in the first place. There is no Gamism from a Mythic perspective. One can have a Gamist agenda using bricolage as the resolution system but that is not a "mythic perspective."

*"Playing to lose" is not a Mythic Perspective per say. A person could by playing a conquering general or the leader of the Mongolian Horde and thus be "playing to win" in a myth/bricolage game but competition is not the priority of play for the player. They are playing a person inside the socio/cultural norms as the attempt to achieve their character's goal of world domination.

Interesting notions, though.

Best,

Jay

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Sorry for the over

Sorry for the over-simplification and thanks for putting my reading head back on track. I'll try another approach : Mythic perspective is about playing, and Engineering is about the game. Given this, I understand Gamism is impossible from a Mythic perspective.
Your assertion about being totally cut off from reality in the context of tabletop gaming is something you will have to give documented evidence for. If you mean as a peak in a process, with sleep deprivation, and for a short period of time (minute) I can agree.
Just to be sure, are we not merely stating our respective golden zones between "Possessing force" and "Mask" (using the words from the article) ?

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