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Sometimes I sits and thinks

To play games is to pursue, to invent even, meaning (in a pure sense), often for just its own sake. That's why we demand some level of truth from our games. Some people are happy with internal consistency, others demand verisimilitude (particularly those who play Og) and yet others want metatruth which destroy the previous notions but has some overarching scheme (in perhaps a Jungian sense).

That's the nice thing about games is that you can choose your preferred truth function. Real life, if such a thing exists (by which I mean it's just another game but with more players, no save points and a depressing end, and you always start from someone else's game and never chose your character etc.), also creates meaning, but the truth is more a function of a larger consensus and is quite possibly alienating. A good gaming group certainly makes you feel cozy.

Fiction is similar, except that it's a window into someone else's truths and meanings. And it's the overlapping and intermingling of the authors and ones own values that creates the interest. Which is why diceless roleplaying works just fine.

It's also why people get so involved and emotionally invested in games. Emotion is one of the key ways in which we decide things. Were it not for that, we wouldn't be able to make choices (in fact there's a psychological study that shows that this is the case, you can listen to a podcast about it here). I'm not sure why people are so bothered about fairness in games. Perhaps it's to do with the fact that although the starting conditions for life are not equal, the laws of physics are.

Enough of such meandering, I'm off to see Dulwich Hamlet attempt to impose their values on Burgess Hill Town.

The little girl behind me in the queue had a mascot hamster called Darwin.There are lots of kids here which is nice to see.

Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
heliograph
Sep. 4th, 2010 11:21 pm (UTC)
"I'm not sure why people are so bothered about fairness in games."

Maybe because their real lives are so unfair.
gbsteve
Sep. 5th, 2010 10:49 am (UTC)
Given that most gamers are white middle class men, if life is unfair, it's usually in their favour.
undyingking
Sep. 7th, 2010 04:17 pm (UTC)
That doesn't stop them whinging ;-)
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )