This thread is a direct continuation of a thread from the former Story-Games. I wasn't sure how to proceed so for now (or until I get instructions on some other way to proceed) I'll just link back to the originating thread. My apologies if this runs afoul of site procedures.
In mythic play it seems that the process itself does not really require a game master, but if one wants to have the mythic process and unknown truths, then the game master is very convenient. But is there some other inherent reason for having a game master?
The reasons that mythic play would not function well in a GM-less game have nothing to do with â€œunknown truthsâ€. The first is that Myth seeks to make meaningful the totality of reality. In mythic cultures there is nothing that is covered by myth and that which is not. People donâ€™t invoke myth at certain times of need, they live it all the time. Myth is reality. It is how life is lived and how life is experienced. They cannot be disentangled.
Second, myth is supremely subjective. There is no â€œobjectiveâ€ or alternate view of reality. Because myth is utterly subjective it is completely experiential. Myth makes life (and reality as a whole) meaningful and frames oneâ€™s personal relationship to the world at large. There is but one reality and myth makes it a rich and meaningful experience.
Because in role-play the fictional world is constructed someone must do the constructing. Parsing this among the players isnâ€™t a problem for Narrativist play because such play is focused about the abstract idea of the Premise Question. What the person who has the mantle of GM cannot do is make the actual response to the Premise Question. That part must still be handled by the players of the PC. In Gamism we run into the Czege Principle where operating on both sides of a situation robs it of its value/interest. So a GM-less game in Gamism doesnâ€™t work because the accurate appraisal of a personâ€™s skill at dealing with a Challenge (if said GM/player both created and solved it) becomes impossible. Weâ€™ve robbed the game of the point of playing.
In mythic play the reality that the myth creators are using is entirely fictional. Someone has to play and create the fictional â€œrealityâ€. This role functions at the real world level. To leave the â€œrealityâ€ of the myth to step into the real world so as to take on the role of GM is extremely disorienting. This shifting of maps of reality is a slow process and maintaining it requires the minding of enormous amounts of information. Shifting roles not only weakens the fictional subjective experience but you donâ€™t want to leave it as that is whole point of playing this CA in the first place. Unlike Narrativism where the player(s) with GM responsibilities are still participating in Addressing Premise not so with mythic play. In myth we are attempting to make the world meaningful and so it is with the players. The role of the GM is to add to and play as the world. In analogy the player bricoleur only has access to his shed of pre-existing things while the GMâ€™s role is to stock that shed with new items. Not the same process at all. A GM-less mythic game fails at the CA level as the players would not (for portions of the game) be engaged in Bricolage but stocking behavior. Plus the desired subjectivity that is the hallmark of the myth experience would be utterly contravened as the GM would be thinking about the world and how to make it dramatic/interesting â€“ an abstracted thinking process.