A Penny for Your Thoughts
On 2005-06-07, Jonas Barka wrote:
"What I'm seeing here is that someone who might just have a grand bit of insight into regular immersion isn't willing to admit that there might just be the possibility of better immersion. As if admitting that means admitting that his game sucks. Maybe that's not what's going through his head, but that's how it looks from my side of the screen."
The funny thing is I see it the other thing around. I se a person not able to admit "the possibility of better immersion. As if admitting that means admitting that his game sucks." I did not expect him to se the possibility to integrate it into his way of designing games, only that it could be another possibility for reaching immersion, equally viable.
You cannot deny that this article had a tone of "everyone who has dropped rules to enhance their immersion is not only universally wrong, but somewhat stupid".
I do not doubt that Vincents way of archieving immersion could be viable, even if it could probably never work as good for me. As long as he do not recognise the possibility (note possibility) of my way being equaly good and maybe the only thing that works for me, any creative input from me feels wasted.
This article, as written, feels much more lika an attack on the Nordic scene and the likes, than a creative proposal to get someting done.
"And the shame of it is that, if he were to open up that possibility in his mind for a moment, that it's possible to improve on something good, then maybe he could share that insight with the master rules designers that reside around here. Now, maybe no rules that ever interested him would come about. Certainly is possible. But then, maybe, just maybe, a rule would come to mind, become carefully honed, and expertly implimented, that would rock his world. Open up whole new qualities and quantities of immersion. New worlds to see and lives to live."
Yes, that could possibly happen if the master rules designer opened up a bit. I do already use rules, you know, and see their value. And what if, even if it would take lots of opening up, this master rules designer could see the value of no rules, and maybe even learn a non mechanic immersion technique or two. Yes, it's a shame.
"What really boggles me is that anyone who's spent any time around here can for a moment believe that any gamer at any time can achieve a 'no rules' state of being. I don't believe that can ever happen. Not for a minute, a moment, and instant. In the deepest most intense moments of immersion, one is still locked into a complex set of rules. They just aren't there in the front of the brain. They've settled back to a comfortable spot in the subconsious, still ruling things, but being quiet and unobtrusive. If the rules we notice between moments of immersion are like commericals, then the rules we don't notice are like product placements. Sometimes we notice them, and sometimes someone has to point them out to us."
That depends on how you see rules. If you call what actors do to do portray a good character rules, then it is ok. If you call what I do to not embarass myself at a party rules, then it is ok. If you call meditation techniques rules, then it is ok. If you call hypnosis techniques rules, then it is ok.
Othervise, no, I do really belive that rules interfere with immersion. At least for me and many person I know. You have to take my word for it.
The rules when in deep immersion (my opinion, you may differ) can be no more abstract and no less integrated in my mind than the social rules I live by every day. That's what I mean when I say "It would be as weird as rolling dice in real life." My game should be as close to real life as possible, only different. This kind of mechanical rules are not present in real life and thus should not be present in the game.
"So, if we take a moment to imagine those quiet rules in the back of our head operating like a quiet little machine, guiding and forming our game, then it's not too hard to imagine the ability to rebuild that little machine in earnest, with the intention of making it take us where we'd like to go."
Still depends, if Vincent would accept a "rules" system consisting only of thoughts and mind technique, where no part of the system is obervable to a bystander as soon as the game has started, then I'm all set. That would be a great experiment if there ever was one. For some reason I see dice, resource allocation, bidding wars and stances. Noone would be happier than me if I was wrong.
"If the master calamari chef could acknowlege the mastery of the cheesemaker and open his mind to the possiblities, then we might all have a tasty plate that much sooner."
It takes opening up from both parties. My only remaining claim, that my way of doing it could be equally good and maybe the best way for some persons and their minds, is something I'm not willing to drop. My world is based on a non-objective take on reality that can not accept a unviersal thruth like "there shure is an ideal ruleset out there, we need only find it". Why could it not be the other way? That only by dropping the rules can the game reach the next level. I do not say that is the truth, only that it's a possibility. And that is the possibiliy I personally belive in and work with.
No hard feelings from me, and I hope none from you. Even discussions where no agreement at all is reached can be valuable, at least for me. Som thought of mine have been formalised here for the first time and that will help me to get a better game.
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