thread: 2015-03-20 : High Five the ISS

On 2015-03-20, Gordon wrote:

Saying "gameplay has an uncertain outcome" doesn't seem to me synonymous with "success/failure with regard to the object of the game must be uncertain". "High Five the ISS" doesn't disprove the first, only the second. I personally have heard some people say it makes them laugh, while others say they don't see a way to even really "play" it at all. Outcomes are uncertain, because people react to the invitation to "jump up and touch the ISS" in uncertain ways. I mean, that's one reason - there may be others, too, but for current purposes one is all I need.

Does that explain some of the issue here? Whether we're talking about uncertain outcomes specifically related to the designed object of the game or uncertain outcomes of gameplay (play triggered by the object but by necessity not solely defined by it) in general? Because that way, both "surveyed gamethinkers" and Vincent Baker get to be right - just about different questions.

(I think surveyed gamethinkers would be wise to remember Vincent Baker's out there to catch them when they collapse something like "gameplay" with "the object of the game" - if that's what they did. On the other hand, I sometimes wonder if Vincent Baker is spending too much time worshiping at the "Object of the Game" altar and has forgotten to pay attention to the big church that altar sits in. Except, of course, he totally pays attention to that church when writing his games, so - who am I to judge the altar he sits in front of?)

A fancy way to say it - Vincent, I'm with you in being against an apotheosis of uncertainty in the object of a game, but I'm also against an apotheosis of the object, period. It's not clear to me if "Rules of Play" is committing the first reification or (among other things) providing one argument to support resisting the second. (Can I use "apotheosis" and "reification" as, essentially, synonyms? Well, I just made the attempt ...)


This makes GcL go "Other things like holding uncertainty generally important"
Given aching bones and futility, how long can "High Five the ISS" continue to make the Bakers laugh? It's (wait for it) ... uncertain!

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