2005-12-01 : The World IS a Better Place
Here's something I wrote just earlier today.
You get to character-as-avatar [from "shared imagined space"] by taking too literally the "space" metaphor. There is (or there used to be) a certain kind of physics-emulationist technical agenda whose adherants are (or were) very prone to this.
I say "shared imagined space" and they say (or said) "right! Your character is your representative in that space, and your game rules are its physics!" As though there were a space somewhere wherein your character was really walking around and doing things, bound by gravity and +1 to hit.
Makes me CRAZY.
But like I say, maybe all those people are gone now and the world's a better place.
Here's a bit of a conversation I've been having yesterday and today.
I'm going to go Joshua [BishopRoby] one further and say that your character only ever exists in your head and the heads of your fellow players - in what your group says and does and thinks and feels. The stuff on your "character" sheet isn't about your character at all - it's stuff that you, the real live player, have at your disposal when it comes time to decide how the game's going to go.
...This, by the way, is a simple restatement of the so-called Lumpley Principle.
I think this matter is far more subtle than you make it out to be. The lumpley principle ("System is defined as the means by which the group agrees to imagined events during play.") certainly doesn't imply an ontology of characters.
And I'm like, actually it does, and then I'm like, know what? There hasn't been a dustup about the Limply Pimply around here for ages. And then I'm like, oh MAN, how good does that feel? Good, is how good.
And then Ron writes [A THEORY STORY] The youngsters. Here's a short piece:
They'll wonder what all the camp beds and bunsen burners are for, and we won't even mention the emergency stores of ammunition we buried next to each former outpost. Some of those are just parks now, and the ammo will stay buried forever.
Some of those are JUST PARKS NOW, and the ammo will STAY BURIED FOREVER.
edit: My inclusion of Ron's couple sentences won't make sense, I think, unless you understand the Looply Pooply as a publishing consideration. Which it is, pure and whole - see my answer about theory to Tim here.
1. On 2005-12-01, Brand Robins said:
2. On 2005-12-01, ethan_greer said:
3. On 2005-12-01, Roger said:
4. On 2005-12-01, Vincent said:
5. On 2005-12-01, misuba said:
WMW go "Can we NOT do that?"
misuba go "You prefer new-school rap, eh?"
6. On 2005-12-02, Ben Lehman said:
7. On 2005-12-03, Curly said:
8. On 2005-12-13, Steve Marsh (Ethesis) said: