2014-07-21 : Reminder: Object Schmobject

A reminder about Procedure, Components, Object, Strategy, Style; Strategy vs Style; Objects of RPGs; Non-Endstate Objects, Strategy & Style; and The Object and Particular Strategy

The object of the game is to...
Your goal is to...
The point of the game is to...
Your job is to...
The winner is the player to...
You have to...
You want to...
You need to...
In order to win, as a group you must...
The game ends when...
You're trying to...
Your objective is to...
You lose if the other player manages to...
Don't stop playing until...
The game can continue indefinitely, as long as...
See if you can...
Your agenda is to...

When you write out the object of a game, "object" might not be the right word to best communicate it. That's okay. "Object" might not be the best name for it in this series of posts, either. That's okay too.

Here's me from an earlier comment:

Multiple levels of simultaneous objects, yes, absolutely. Objects that change over the course of play, objects that you create for yourself while groping toward an understanding of how the game works, objects that are mutually incompatible or otherwise defy you to meaningfully pursue them, yes. All kinds.

1. On 2014-07-21, Stink Horse said:

I probably missed this question in an earlier post in the comment blizzard, but why "Object" and not "Objective"?

Is there an element to the grammar I'm not up to speed on?


2. On 2014-07-21, Vincent said:

"Object" is a little awkward sometimes and messes programmers up bad. "Objective" is subtly and perniciously misleading.

We should all be very used to hearing "the object of the game is to..." and that's the association I want to build on.


3. On 2014-07-21, Alex d. said:

"...and messes programmers up bad."

Totally was on that train.  I started following these threads a few days ago and it took me a little bit to understand that the discussion was about the mission/purpose players should want to have in a game and not a "thing" in general. 

This post makes that more concrete.  Thanks!


4. On 2014-07-22, Andy said:

The word I'm currently linking it with is "telos", "end/purpose/goal". The conclusion of a thing that is in accord with its intended meaning. Now I'll stop being wordy.

But yeah—telos, end, that's the sort of thing I think of when you say "object". Similar idea?


5. On 2014-07-22, Vincent said:

Andy: In many games, the object is an endstate, yes. In some games, it isn't, but an ongoing state or ongoing process.

The value of the idea of the object of a game isn't that it ends the game, but that it informs your decisions during the game.


6. On 2014-07-22, Joao said:

Vincent, I think "purpose" ressonates well with me.

Can it be safely used interchangeably with "object" in order to understand your posts?


7. On 2014-07-22, Vincent said:

Joao: I recommend that you try to understand the word that makes you less comfortable instead.

I'm saying something that contradicts conventional wisdom. Trying to rewrite it until it resonates with you is a way to avoid understanding it.


direct link

This makes...
Joao go "Cool"*

*click in for more

8. On 2014-07-22, Stink Horse said:

So I think I need some clarification.
An Object is a thing (any thing really) that exists within the bounds of the perceivable universe.

An Objective is a goal. It could mark the end of a game or event, or it could be an on going imperative, which may or may not be attainable. It can contrast and conflict with other objectives held by the GM/Player/Player's Character, and different objectives can have different weights and value at different times within the same game space/session depending on what the nature of the game is at any given moment.

I think at least one of my definitions isn't in line with yours, and I would like to know where I'm failing to line up.


direct link

This makes...
BL go "Might be worth pulling out a dictionary"*

*click in for more

9. On 2014-07-22, Stink Horse said:

I see where where you're pulling the word from from, but the phrase "The object of the game", when it's spotlighted, suddenly feels like a really weird kludge of language, especially when you broaden its use beyond that original statement.

It's like saying the word 'towel' too many times and finding a meaningless nonsense sound exiting your face hole.

If you're referring to a variety of intangible somethings that influence behavior, beyond the basic "end of game" goal that objective suggests, would 'imperative' work better? It has a more subtle nature, but isn't so broad as to be something that exists within time and space.


10. On 2014-07-22, Vincent said:

I'm basing my usage on the extremely common "the object of the game is to..." I'm not interested in terminological discussion.


11. On 2014-07-22, Stink Horse said:

No worries, just trying to make sure I'm understanding.


12. On 2014-07-22, Stink Horse said:

A friend just linked me the phrase, "The object of a game supplants* your normal interests."

I think I'm beginning to understand now.


13. On 2014-07-22, Vincent said:

Ah! Good. Excellent.


14. On 2014-07-24, tildesee said:

The players are the subject and they are verbing the object, yes?


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