Both Narrativism* and Gamism strike me as "dilemma" play: if there's an obvious best answer (morally, for Narrativism; tactically, for Gamism), play dies; the enjoyment is in making difficult choices among equally valid but imperfect options. A Gamist design or scenario that had (explicit or implicit) a single optimal strategy would be the equivalent of a Narrativist game where the designer or GM had already answered the Premise: The only role for the players is to discover the "lesson" and bow down before its wondrousness -- the model which Ron "abominates."** Lots of people have commented before on the mirror-imaging of these two Creative Agendas, so it's not surprising both would require a "fruitful void" that the players can fill.
Now, does Simulationism require a void, or does it require a filled center, or does this whole discussion have no relevance for that CA at all?
*I know this can of worms is not worth opening, but sometimes I pine for a less awkward word.
** This word is just cool, by contrast; can we use it more?
Some maybe useful links:
SF of I said that better here...
Complete Index of Entries
Search for a Post or Comment
Search the Forge Forums
go "Address v. Exploration"
And that's why games that focus on exploration of challenges ultimately tend to fail, as Gamist designs. After a while people figure out where the mechanical probabilities and tricks lie. It's in the address of challenge that people can keep on Stepping On Up by coming up with cool things on their own.
SF go "Hmm - but"
what if the dilemma is really unsolveable -- that there's no reliably optimum solution, and the trade-offs are painful in almost every case?