thread: 2006-10-05 : Reward systems

On 2006-10-10, Tim Ralphs wrote:

Okay, I thought I was feeling what you (Frank T) were feeling when I started writing this, then you posted the above, and I haven't yet had a chance to let it settle in. I'll get back to you on that.

It seems to me that there are two different definitions of Reward System being used here. Firstly; the game system at its largest repeat. Secondly; the property of the game that rewards repeated instances of play. (Okay, neither of those are good definitions, or indeed the definitions people are using, but hopefully you can see how they designate the definitions being used above.)

Now it's easy to see how either of these can be the definition of a reward system. What is harder to see, where this topic actually becomes significant, is the claim that these definitions are synonymous. The claim that the largest cycle of the game system is the reason why repeated play is rewarding.

Does that make any sense? That???s why reward systems can???t be explained like the Lumpley Principle. It???s easy to say: ???You are playing a game by agreeing on shared happenings, therefore the game system is the system by which you agree on shared happenings.??? But the claims that are being made about reward systems are far more consequential than that.

I wonder is the stumbling block is seeing roleplay as a cyclical activity. Clearly if someone is not persuaded that their games are a systematic repeating cycle then that person isn???t going to understand the concept of reward cycle. Right now I???m having trouble thinking of my play experience as a systematic repeating cycle, and I think that???s why the concept of reward systems seems very artificial to me.


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