On 2009-04-10, Callan wrote:
For myself, these days, I see the GM deciding high ground as an artistic expression.
So it's not so much a matter of dealing with bias (because a persons bias is part of their art), but making sure that the art that they are able to express through mechanics, does not block other players ability to mechanically express their own art any more than one intends as a designer (actually I'm bringing in a second radical idea here, ie that it's okay for one player to block another players ability to express art (one of which might be to kill a character). The designer just has to decide how much blocking can happen in his game, and design it to only have that much blocking (hopefully without stuffing up))
To get at some evidence for the notion I have to challenge another notion. God, I make things hard for myself.
"Someone has to read the game's fiction and draw conclusions about it."
I take issue with the word read (and previously, the word 'refer' in refering to the spoken fiction)
Take the difference between reading a book and reading tarot cards, or even better, tea leaves. The book was written by someone who had a meaning and they conveyed (or tried to convey) it through words. The tarot cards were not layed out by someone who had a meaning to convey (lets discount spirits, for now). With the tarot cards, it's pure artistic expression. Which is cool.
The thing with the spoken game fiction, is that it's like the tarot cards, it has no intended meaning in it (or if the speaker does have a meaning intended, then he should just tell the other guy to give him high ground or else). Bobnar standing on the stump has no meaning. And so it's 'read' in the same way as the tarot cards - which is to say, an artistic expression. So that's my evidence for the whole art notion from above.
Though it occurs to me just now that it might just be me that plays with the imagined space not having an inherent meaning (oh, I want to get high ground when I go on the stump, but I see my words just going into a big pile, like adding tarot cards of my choosing to the imaginative pile). Perhaps other people speak about their character climbing the stump and expect someone else to catch the meaning and act on it. I have'nt thought about this much yet. Hmmm.