thread: 2012-03-19 : If it isn't an RPG, is it still an RPG?

On 2012-03-21, Simon C wrote:


Ok, yeah, that makes sense to me. I have some quibbles, but essentially I accept your point. Let me revise:

The way I think about it is like a line on a tennis court. The line is there to tell you that the ball is in or out. We can argue about which side of the line the ball fell on, but we can't argue about where the line is. Give perfect knowledge of where the ball went, we never doubt whether a shot was in or out.

If we replace the line with an imaginary line, suddenly we're in trouble. Every shot we argue about whether the ball was in or out. We both accept more or less where the line should be, but without some real-world thing to point to, there's no way to resolve the argument. Worse, the temptation is to imagine the line in your favour. There's nothing keeping the line impartial except your own integrity, and it sucks to be playing against your own integrity.

We could ask a referee to keep track of the imaginary line for us, which works as long as we accept the complete authority of the referee, but it becomes unsatisfying if the referee is inconsistent or arbitrary. It sucks to play to the whim of a referee.

I think there's no reason you'd accept playing with an imaginary line in a game of tennis unless: a) you weren't really competing, or b) the imaginary line serves some other goal, unrelated to competition.


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