On 2015-07-14, Vincent wrote:
1) Nope. I have lots of examples, though.
2) It creates tension, play, dynamism, with the rest of the game.
This is most straightforward in games where the object is a keystone rule, like "try to keep the balloon from touching the ground" or "whoever quits first, loses." But games' objects don't have to be so straightforward in order to create tension with the other rules. For instance, there are games where the object is unachievable, as in Tic Tac Toe played between adults or High Five the ISS, or where the object is achieved just by seeing the game through, as in Apocalypse World or Eat Poop You Cat.
3) No. I can tell you my interpretation of some games whose texts are ambiguous, but that's what it is, my interpretation.
For example: By my interpretation, the object of Sorcerer is to (a) see your character's kicker resolved, with (b) your character coming out on top, if you can manage it.*
4) No. The best I've got is to try to figure out the missing piece or pieces that create good tension with the existing rules. This is how I arrived at my interpretation of Sorcerer, for instance, as opposed to "the object of Sorcerer is to see your character triumphant over her enemies" or "the object of Sorcerer is to bind the most demons."
Well, that, and also Sorcerer's text isn't THAT ambiguous.
5) I don't know for sure of any games with no objects. Like I said to Ken, my guess is, the less obvious that it has an object, the less obvious that it's a game at all.
However, let me correct you on a couple of points:
- I think that the object of "let's pretend to be doctors and nurses" is explicit, not implicit.
- I think that the object of "let's pretend to be doctors and nurses" is to successfully pretend to be doctors and nurses, not to merely undertake to pretend to be doctors and nurses. This is how I threw the game I played with my kid, by unsuccessfully pretending to be a super agent on a mission.
6) Do you mean, like, "the object of Chess is to checkmate your opponent's king, by playing Chess" or "the object of nickel stakes Poker is to take your friends' nickels, by playing Poker"? That seems unnecessary to me, but whatever.
* In Sorcerer, part of the tension of play is that you have to judge and decide how hard and how far to push for (b), when (a) is developing against it. Or, from the other point of view, how hard and how far to put off (a) in order to keep (b) on the table.