Thank You, But It's Still Not a Game

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hentropy:
I personally don't think anyone should be able to tell anyone else what a game is.

I like this idea. We shouldn't need unnecessarily restrictive so-called "definitions" for the words we use. Now, excuse me while I turn on my toilet roll so I can spend some time writing my turnips.

The problem is that the word "game" has no real definition and it's a subjective concept, not an objective one. It's not tangible. And like so many abstract concepts, its definition changes wildly depending on who you ask or what the context is.

For example, how many times have you heard that politics is a game? Business is a game? Relationships are games? Who's to say they are games? Who's to say they aren't? What makes anyone in this discussion an authority on the definition of a game?

This is the only thing I mean about "walls". I just think many of people in this discussion just hate the idea of both Skyrim and a button-pushing activity both being called "games" because they believe that one cheapens the other. It doesn't. Anything can be a game, and a game can be made out of anything. There are no rules, and trying to attribute rules to it is just a futile effort.

hentropy:

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hentropy:
I personally don't think anyone should be able to tell anyone else what a game is.

I like this idea. We shouldn't need unnecessarily restrictive so-called "definitions" for the words we use. Now, excuse me while I turn on my toilet roll so I can spend some time writing my turnips.

The problem is that the word "game" has no real definition and it's a subjective concept, not an objective one. It's not tangible. And like so many abstract concepts, its definition changes wildly depending on who you ask or what the context is.

For example, how many times have you heard that politics is a game? Business is a game? Relationships are games? Who's to say they are games? Who's to say they aren't? What makes anyone in this discussion an authority on the definition of a game?

This is the only thing I mean about "walls". I just think many of people in this discussion just hate the idea of both Skyrim and a button-pushing activity both being called "games" because they believe that one cheapens the other. It doesn't. Anything can be a game, and a game can be made out of anything. There are no rules, and trying to attribute rules to it is just a futile effort.

Yeah, I knew what you meant. It's one of those descriptive nouns that gets it bit fuzzy on the edge cases - I was just having a bit of fun, sorry:)

To answer one of the things you raise in your post; when people talk about politics etc being a game they are using poetic language; specifically a metaphor in this case.

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hentropy:

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I like this idea. We shouldn't need unnecessarily restrictive so-called "definitions" for the words we use. Now, excuse me while I turn on my toilet roll so I can spend some time writing my turnips.

The problem is that the word "game" has no real definition and it's a subjective concept, not an objective one. It's not tangible. And like so many abstract concepts, its definition changes wildly depending on who you ask or what the context is.

For example, how many times have you heard that politics is a game? Business is a game? Relationships are games? Who's to say they are games? Who's to say they aren't? What makes anyone in this discussion an authority on the definition of a game?

This is the only thing I mean about "walls". I just think many of people in this discussion just hate the idea of both Skyrim and a button-pushing activity both being called "games" because they believe that one cheapens the other. It doesn't. Anything can be a game, and a game can be made out of anything. There are no rules, and trying to attribute rules to it is just a futile effort.

Yeah, I knew what you meant. It's one of those descriptive nouns that gets it bit fuzzy on the edge cases - I was just having a bit of fun, sorry:)

To answer one of the things you raise in your post; when people talk about politics etc being a game they are using poetic language; specifically a metaphor in this case.

Well I'd say at the very least that there are many people who treat politics and those other things I mentioned as games, even if you might not think they are. If I were to say "Politics is a spectator sport", that would be more a metaphor. But politics does hold a lot of similarities with games and even sports, in the sense that there are two sides who want the same thing and are competing for points in the form of wins in the different levels of government. But that doesn't mean you have to see it as a game, it just means that many people do.

I was on SuperBetter for a while. I lost interest when I realized that there was literally no fail condition and therefore there was literally no incentive to try, not even the paltry YOU WILL LOOSE IF YOU DON'T DO THIS. After reading this, I feel better knowing that it's not as much that I'm lazy and don't want to accomplish the goals I set for myself, as this is a poor means of motivation and I don't feel compelled to report my progress in. It's basically HALF a game. You get the challenges but no release, no sense of accomplishment, because failure literally isn't an option. You can't fail if you tried.

its a button pressing simulation..

considering street sweeping simulators have a market hey why not

This seems more like an argument about semantics than a contribution to a concrete definition of games. I can totally see how you would think 'DayZ' isn't an actual game, but why not let everyone have their own opinion? On the matter of zombie sandboxes, both the 'Dead Rising' games are relatively close to the concept of "go wild and do whatever the hell you want", but most people would still call those 'games' in the classical sense.
On a side note, if you learnt to drive in a GTA game, there's a 99% chance you kill or severely maim a pedestrian every 4.3 seconds you spend operating a real-life vehicle. Fact.

mfeff:
That is to say that all the rules of chess must be present in the codified structure of the program. If we where to program a chess game, all the rules would have to be sufficiently represented. If we leave out or modify rules, it's no longer chess.

I worry, to a point, that we're building this definition backwards -- taking something we know to be a game, and using its features to construct the definition. That would be like knowing that dogs are animals, and thus using the structure of a dog as a basis for the definition of "animal."

Chess is what I would think of us a "pure game." It is nothing but Rules-Opposition-Goals. As such, it is certainly an exemplar... of that "pure" sort of game. I think that we can certainly use it as a measuring stick for the "purity" of other games, but I'm just reluctant to use it to disallow the use of the word entirely.

Basically, we've got pure games... and we've got games that frame other things (like narratives)... and we've got activities that contain games... and on the extreme, with gamification, we have activities onto which games are tacked.

The button in question here... has the same issue. Sure, one could "interpret" it's "game" aspects... but... internally, within it's own code structure, none of that "interpretation" would be present.

Bouncing to this real quick: Nothing about a chess board or its pieces tells me anything about chess. The rules are told to you from outside the board -- maybe a book, maybe a teacher. The board and pieces are tools used for the game, and the rules are the game... but the pieces exist in total separation from the rules. (This is also why the same deck of cards can be used for tons of different games.)

I could not simply reverse engineer "the button", and discern the "point" of the game. I would have to be told outside of the context of "what it is", as to "it's point".

I could say the same about backgammon.

Our most sacred of words is being used by productivity-boosters to hoodwink, bamboozle and otherwise flim-flam optimistic folks that believe anything can be made fun if it's a "game."

Ah. We're trying to keep the gaming world exclusionary. Another piece in the "war" between casual and hardcore gamers.

Jeremy Monken:

Ruzinus:
And language divides. Gamification and game are allowed to split in meaning. Menu, minute, and minutiae all have the same root, but no one freaks out and claims that menus shouldn't be large because it's root meant "small" for millenia.

I suppose... but if you X-ify something, you are adding the qualities of X to it. If someone use the word smallify, I would certainly assume they meant to make something smaller. Gamification is sold to people that want things to be more like games. It is implied that if things are more like games, they will be perceived as fun. If there's any disconnect in the meaning of that word, it's in the minds of the ones selling it, not the ones buying it.

See, I think the operative word here is "buying". I understand that as a reviewer your job was to use your professional expertise to protect consumers from wasting their hard-earned cash on terrible games, but I don't think this is about money. I don't think that Jane McGonigal has any intent of capitalizing on gamification and the Thank You Button game/thing doesn't cost anything does it?
I completely understand wanting to ward off Skinner's-box-type techniques from being used to easily part people from their aforementioned hard-earned cash, but there has to be a degree of live and let live, right? Why not just let Jane McGonigal and others like her continue to experiment without getting in their way over preserving the word "game" like it's sacred or something?

hentropy:

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hentropy:

The problem is that the word "game" has no real definition and it's a subjective concept, not an objective one. It's not tangible. And like so many abstract concepts, its definition changes wildly depending on who you ask or what the context is.

For example, how many times have you heard that politics is a game? Business is a game? Relationships are games? Who's to say they are games? Who's to say they aren't? What makes anyone in this discussion an authority on the definition of a game?

This is the only thing I mean about "walls". I just think many of people in this discussion just hate the idea of both Skyrim and a button-pushing activity both being called "games" because they believe that one cheapens the other. It doesn't. Anything can be a game, and a game can be made out of anything. There are no rules, and trying to attribute rules to it is just a futile effort.

Yeah, I knew what you meant. It's one of those descriptive nouns that gets it bit fuzzy on the edge cases - I was just having a bit of fun, sorry:)

To answer one of the things you raise in your post; when people talk about politics etc being a game they are using poetic language; specifically a metaphor in this case.

Well I'd say at the very least that there are many people who treat politics and those other things I mentioned as games, even if you might not think they are. If I were to say "Politics is a spectator sport", that would be more a metaphor. But politics does hold a lot of similarities with games and even sports, in the sense that there are two sides who want the same thing and are competing for points in the form of wins in the different levels of government. But that doesn't mean you have to see it as a game, it just means that many people do.

I disagree. Because you can use similar language to describe two concepts doesn't mean that said concepts are the same thing. This is just how language works.

Politics is not literally a game. Therefore it's a metaphor - for the exact reasons you state. i.e. it has enough similarities that the language of games can be used to describe aspects of it. You can apply this to business - is that literally a game? No it's not. What about war, is that literally a game? No it's not.

Dastardly:

mfeff:
That is to say that all the rules of chess must be present in the codified structure of the program. If we where to program a chess game, all the rules would have to be sufficiently represented. If we leave out or modify rules, it's no longer chess.

I worry, to a point, that we're building this definition backwards -- taking something we know to be a game, and using its features to construct the definition. That would be like knowing that dogs are animals, and thus using the structure of a dog as a basis for the definition of "animal."

Chess is what I would think of us a "pure game." It is nothing but Rules-Opposition-Goals. As such, it is certainly an exemplar... of that "pure" sort of game. I think that we can certainly use it as a measuring stick for the "purity" of other games, but I'm just reluctant to use it to disallow the use of the word entirely.

Basically, we've got pure games... and we've got games that frame other things (like narratives)... and we've got activities that contain games... and on the extreme, with gamification, we have activities onto which games are tacked.

I can see that, and you make a good point. I would state that an observation of a thing and then describing how we come to know that thing as it is observed is an ontological (seeing it) coupled with an epistemology (how I come to know it). Overlapping the two circles as it where, gives us, philosophically, knowledge. That knowledge is limited, likely not complete, and does not account for every observable element nor every heuristic of the epistemology possible. Yet, a rational knowledge nevertheless. So long as we keep our ontological observations and epistemology open to discussion, we remain flexibly rational.

I think to this end, we become empirical as long as we concede that every hypothesis, every theory, every definition put into practice, is a "test" of that thesis, theory, and definition. If it fails, let's examine why it failed and modify the thesis or examine the approach. Test ability, for me, is the key.

I also introduced a 2 measure scale, and I like your notion of the "pure" game. Personally the new frontier for digital game medium is a strong study of both hard and soft systems, as well as hard and soft narrative. That is to say that chess is a hard system but a game of pen n' paper dungeons and dragons maybe not so much. Many "point in click" adventure games are hard narrative, while the sand box game (tool set game) not so much. Thus as we slide across the scales we are able to sufficiently account for many many games as they exist today.

If we look at Mass Effect 3, as an example, much of the outcry was when it's establish codified system of both narrative and game-play systems where cast away in exchange for a very "tool-ball-click a magic button" meta narrative. It damaged game consistency and narrative cohesion. Clearly these elements where not in the service of a game, not even video-gamey.

It was (by all accounts) broken, incomplete, and irrational.

As far as using chess as a vehicle for allegory I think it works, if for anything it has a history as it relates to computerization of "games".

Back to what your saying, there are a couple good papers that describe this 2 system in parallel as "Parallel Parsing".

Essentially taking the qualities of codified hard systems, and meshing them intrinsically with narrative. I'm excited to tinker with the stuff, worked on all sorts of tech demos to try to come up with ways to do it in the finite system called "computer". It's as big as a tech hurdle as deform-able terrain.

The button in question here... has the same issue. Sure, one could "interpret" it's "game" aspects... but... internally, within it's own code structure, none of that "interpretation" would be present.

Bouncing to this real quick: Nothing about a chess board or its pieces tells me anything about chess. The rules are told to you from outside the board -- maybe a book, maybe a teacher. The board and pieces are tools used for the game, and the rules are the game... but the pieces exist in total separation from the rules. (This is also why the same deck of cards can be used for tons of different games.)

No. Your right. Again, reverse engineering the game would, as the rule set is intrinsic to the game as it is formally structured to operate on a finite calculating machine. I figured this would actually come up as a point that could be hammered on.

The computer chess game, pieces are intrinsic to the rules not separate, how they are represented is a concession to the player not the computer. There is no way inside the deterministic system to not play chess "correctly". All the labor you mentioned is offloaded to sheer calculation and memory addresses. The computer, as it is, is the arbiter of the game that is to be played.

Like any formal system one either understands and learns the rules or one doesn't. It's not really "maths" fault, as an example, if a student chooses to not learn formula and proofs.

So Chess then, as a language, when played with other chess players has already established a formal system and by degrees levels of etiquette as to how it will be conducted and ultimately a match ruled upon.

I wholeheartedly agree though, that the "rules" are the operating variables of the game. Just like math, or a language, or hanging out with a hot chick... The more informal the system the more subjective ultimately existential the game becomes. At some "magic point", it becomes purely existential and "make believe - pretend". There are simply no "rules" to fall back on as a structural compass.

I suspect the implication is that "the button" has provided a set of "rules" in it's philosophy paper... sure, I buy that. Where it fails for me is in it's enforcement and in that it's codified structure, it is simply not there. It's codified structure does not have the philosophy paper in it. Certainly not enforced, ergo it's a pretend rule set.

Data mining is there. Advertising is there. Nothing about individual player agency actually causing an effect though... other than in the mind of the agent.

We could look at Day Z as an anecdote. Server hopping. Dean Rocket has come down from on high and called it "cheating". Ok, that's great. The game "as it is" lets you do it, so enforcement and system's structure must be reevaluated to eliminate this form of cheating.

I think this is a great example of how "existential narrative" of agency and game theory (as structure) overlap and require addressing. Which brings me back to my previous point of being a narrative story "what it could be", as opposed to a structural fact "what it is".

I could not simply reverse engineer "the button", and discern the "point" of the game. I would have to be told outside of the context of "what it is", as to "it's point".

I could say the same about backgammon.

Yet backgammon as it is played on a computer, as it is played in general has a rule set that is structured and fixed. Running through that structure reveals the point in and of itself to itself.

What are the rules of the magic button? Well, there are none. The player makes them up, ergo the magic button has 0 opacity as to it's structural system. Thus any system that could be described by a player concerning the "rules" engenders a description of "the button" that would of all come from imagination land. "Pretend Rules"

Examining the system reveals data mining... data mining, plus a philosophy paper that says everything but "data mining" is phishing... and likewise, is tantamount to fraud, a confidence game.

Why not use that as our category for describing such games? Heck we discussed this shit before with the iOS and shovel ware/beg ware games... why can't we meet eye to eye on this? :D

hentropy:

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hentropy:
I personally don't think anyone should be able to tell anyone else what a game is.

I like this idea. We shouldn't need unnecessarily restrictive so-called "definitions" for the words we use. Now, excuse me while I turn on my toilet roll so I can spend some time writing my turnips.

The problem is that the word "game" has no real definition and it's a subjective concept, not an objective one. It's not tangible. And like so many abstract concepts, its definition changes wildly depending on who you ask or what the context is.

There are plenty of perfectly reasonable definitions for the word game. That it is being used subjectively is a by-product of modern relativism and is not an issue for the definition, it is an issue for the one who chooses to stretch the concept over any ole' piece of rubbish. By your stretch here, no information, and no definition could ever be considered solid or tangible. A word is a collection of abstractions of sounds, these sounds are related to objects, these objects with further abstractions give us language to describe tangible objects and the myriad interactions of those objects. Applied set theory.

I don't have to go further, because you use a language, which explicitly requires abstractions to make heads or tails out of the objects in which you refer to. The fact that you are able to communicate using abstractions is example enough to demonstrate abstractions as being good enough to relate tangible concepts, and the conveyance of those concepts in a meaningful manner.

Providing context to a descriptor signifies that the concept being conveyed is highly dependent on that context for which a meaning is to be derived. Conveying all information from a relative frame destroys communication. However, providing the context, no matter how subjective, the information should be able to transcend it's "meta" narrative, and become an object that is clearer to perceive.

Hiding behind context presents a false dichotomy of "intention". Maintaining the fog is vague to be vague, it's lazy.

This is the only thing I mean about "walls". I just think many of people in this discussion just hate the idea of both Skyrim and a button-pushing activity both being called "games" because they believe that one cheapens the other. It doesn't. Anything can be a game, and a game can be made out of anything. There are no rules, and trying to attribute rules to it is just a futile effort.

I don't have a problem with it. In fact I broke it down with a simple test. Skyrim is a strongly interactive game as it's systems are strongly explicit in it's play. Skyrim is weakly interactive in it's narrative as it is well... a sandbox.

Button - has no system, and is there for a 0 for structural form.
Button - relies completely on the imagination of the player agency and it's psuedo philosophy paper for the player to "come up with" the game. It's imagination, it's a pretend. Pretending to be a game. Pretending to be your friend.

Button - systems collect data, and are data mining, coupled with a philosophy paper that does not express this is akin to fraud... that makes it a "confidence game". It's game is "metaphorical" as what-ever game that it could be takes place outside of the structural form of the game in and of itself.

See that wasn't so hard. It's not a game rationally, it's a game metaphorically. The strength of the game is solely dependent on the imagination of the participant. Like a lot of non-cognitive junk flying around these days.

It's a game in the same way that Harry Potter is a real person.

mfeff:

hentropy:

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I like this idea. We shouldn't need unnecessarily restrictive so-called "definitions" for the words we use. Now, excuse me while I turn on my toilet roll so I can spend some time writing my turnips.

The problem is that the word "game" has no real definition and it's a subjective concept, not an objective one. It's not tangible. And like so many abstract concepts, its definition changes wildly depending on who you ask or what the context is.

There are plenty of perfectly reasonable definitions for the word game. That it is being used subjectively is a by-product of modern relativism and is not an issue for the definition, it is an issue for the one who chooses to stretch the concept over any ole' piece of rubbish. By your stretch here, no information, and no definition could ever be considered solid or tangible. A word is a collection of abstractions of sounds, these sounds are related to objects, these objects with further abstractions give us language to describe tangible objects and the myriad interactions of those objects. Applied set theory.

I don't have to go further, because you use a language, which explicitly requires abstractions to make heads or tails out of the objects in which you refer to. The fact that you are able to communicate using abstractions is example enough to demonstrate abstractions as being good enough to relate tangible concepts, and the conveyance of those concepts in a meaningful manner.

Providing context to a descriptor signifies that the concept being conveyed is highly dependent on that context for which a meaning is to be derived. Conveying all information from a relative frame destroys communication. However, providing the context, no matter how subjective, the information should be able to transcend it's "meta" narrative, and become an object that is clearer to perceive.

Hiding behind context presents a false dichotomy of "intention". Maintaining the fog is vague to be vague, it's lazy.

This is the only thing I mean about "walls". I just think many of people in this discussion just hate the idea of both Skyrim and a button-pushing activity both being called "games" because they believe that one cheapens the other. It doesn't. Anything can be a game, and a game can be made out of anything. There are no rules, and trying to attribute rules to it is just a futile effort.

I don't have a problem with it. In fact I broke it down with a simple test. Skyrim is a strongly interactive game as it's systems are strongly explicit in it's play. Skyrim is weakly interactive in it's narrative as it is well... a sandbox.

Button - has no system, and is there for a 0 for structural form.
Button - relies completely on the imagination of the player agency and it's psuedo philosophy paper for the player to "come up with" the game. It's imagination, it's a pretend. Pretending to be a game. Pretending to be your friend.

Button - systems collect data, and are data mining, coupled with a philosophy paper that does not express this is akin to fraud... that makes it a "confidence game". It's game is "metaphorical" as what-ever game that it could be takes place outside of the structural form of the game in and of itself.

See that wasn't so hard. It's not a game rationally, it's a game metaphorically. The strength of the game is solely dependent on the imagination of the participant. Like a lot of non-cognitive junk flying around these days.

It's a game in the same way that Harry Potter is a real person.

Well I bet you're a blast at parties. Look at it this way- how did most "games" get made? Way before video formats and age-old games like chess existed. People just made up their own rules for activities to entertain themselves. If a rule was bad and took away from the experience, it wasn't codified into some kind of stone tablet, they just changed it to make the game more fun. And then they changed it more and more. They certainly didn't try and define what a game was. You claim there is a rational definition of a game, yet there is no classical definition. A game is just whatever people wanted it to be.

Like I hinted at before, when my nephew plays over at my place I try to make "cleanup" a game. It's not really a game to me, I just want my floor clean. But it's a game to him. It's the same with many children's toys, pressing a button to make an animal sound might not be a game to you or me, but it's entertaining enough to them. Some abstract concepts do have more structured ideas that have been established over the period of centuries and have evolved and changed over time as well. A game is not some new-age abstract concept. It's just a borderless concept that encompasses a wide range of undefined activities that could or could not be enjoyable to certain people. I know, that's a FRUSTRATINGLY vague definition, and as humans we look to define everything so our brains can logically process it better, but that doesn't mean that defining every inherently meaningless abstract concept is beneficial or even useful either way. Take the idea of "love", one we constantly try and define but a concept that is ultimately extremely different depending on the context in which it is used. We WANT to define it, but the fact is that it can't be usefully defined in any direction, especially when some people don't even believe it exists.

Think about Monopoly. You're given a board, game pieces, and play money. Does that mean I have to follow the rulebook to play? Hell no, I can make up my own rules with my friends and play an entirely different game with the same pieces. Monopoly is a concept, not a tangible thing, and just because you change to rules doesn't mean it's no longer a game. In this case, the "button" is the just the board and game pieces and play money, the "game" is to thank people more and you get some kind of mental reward by pressing the button, the same way I get a mental reward whenever someone lands on my hotel in Monopoly. Sure, someone might hand me tangible paper money, or in chess I might take someone's Queen, but it's not any different at it's core.

To transfer the discussion to the idea of a video game, the software and platform you use to run the software, and even the graphics in the game isn't the game. Two of my favorite video games are LSD and Yume Nikki, in case you know nothing about them they are unlike any games because it's just about navigating a dream world of some sort. That's it, there's no other goal, you just walk around and look at the different environments. There's no real incentive to do this, in Yume Nikki there are different "effects" but no real incentive or real goal to pursue them, you can pursue those goals if you want, but there's no pressure to. But yet I want to keep playing despite this, because I'm intrigued by the different trippy environments and the randomness of it all.

Another kind of game I like are visual novels. Most people consider these games to some extent (actually called "doujin games" in Japan in many cases), at least the ones that offer alternate paths and different endings. But I'm not really doing anything other than clicking and reading. Most people wouldn't really consider a choose-your-own adventure novel a game, though they're basically the same thing in two different formats. So are people wrong to call it a game? By what standard? Is Yume Nikki not a game because it has no goal and no competition? If it isn't, then what should we call it instead? Is there a word that accurately describes it?

No.

The problem here isn't that the thank you game isn't a game. The problem is deeper than that.

Because let's face it, I can't of a better classification for the thank you game than "game." Application and program imply a sort of higher function or purpose. Only "game" fits well enough. And the premise for the thank you game only works if it can be considered one, which obviously people can, shallow as it is.

So far, the problem here is that "game" and "videogame" are too close together in their relative naming conventions, such that videogames have blurred definitions. What we actually need is a better word either for electronic games such as the thank you game, or a better word for videogames. Until then, this will remain a vague issue, but it's certainly not fair to fault people for calling the simplest of meaningless buttons "games."

...

And,

I personally find that the label "game" for the thank you game will actually be beneficial for the image of the game in the eyes of the public at large, especially the portion that refuses to take them seriously, as even the simplest introduction to the digital game will open a new world and meaning to the term. To become at angry at the people who attempt to understand our entertainment (though it may be a slow and gradual process) will hurt our cause.

This sort of article is exactly what wrong with the gaming community in the eyes of the public - a group that takes entertainment too seriously.

mfeff:
What are the rules of the magic button? Well, there are none. The player makes them up, ergo the magic button has 0 opacity as to it's structural system. Thus any system that could be described by a player concerning the "rules" engenders a description of "the button" that would of all come from imagination land. "Pretend Rules"

I prefer to think of them as "Voluntarily Enforced Rules." Take a look at games that incorporate the idea of "house rules." It might be a rule that is added by consensus... or a rule that is removed or adjusted by consensus. When I'm playing solitaire with an actual deck of cards, and I choose to take back a move... is it "cheating?" In a strict sense, sure, but who am I cheating? No victim, no crime, man.

Pretend rules are more nebulous, and they can be very problematic outside of small, tight-knit groups... but they're still rules, man. Calvinball is still a game.

Examining the system reveals data mining... data mining, plus a philosophy paper that says everything but "data mining" is phishing... and likewise, is tantamount to fraud, a confidence game.

Why not use that as our category for describing such games? Heck we discussed this shit before with the iOS and shovel ware/beg ware games... why can't we meet eye to eye on this? :D

I've already allowed for a category of games that operate exclusively with ulterior motives, whether it be data mining, advertisement, or behavioral modification. We already see eye to eye on this -- I just keep the category a little broader so as to encompass a few other related forms of manipulation.

But I'd like to point out that twice in the above-quoted section, you referred to this as a "game." :)

Dastardly:

mfeff:
What are the rules of the magic button? Well, there are none. The player makes them up, ergo the magic button has 0 opacity as to it's structural system. Thus any system that could be described by a player concerning the "rules" engenders a description of "the button" that would of all come from imagination land. "Pretend Rules"

I prefer to think of them as "Voluntarily Enforced Rules." Take a look at games that incorporate the idea of "house rules." It might be a rule that is added by consensus... or a rule that is removed or adjusted by consensus. When I'm playing solitaire with an actual deck of cards, and I choose to take back a move... is it "cheating?" In a strict sense, sure, but who am I cheating? No victim, no crime, man.

Pretend rules are more nebulous, and they can be very problematic outside of small, tight-knit groups... but they're still rules, man. Calvinball is still a game.

I'm seeing consensus and that is pretty interesting. Perhaps that is an issue with "the button". There is no consensus as to what it's rules are (I've stated repeatedly that it has none, it's a pre-formatted chain letter). Now in this sense I think that adding "any" rules to "the button", pretend or no, effectively "games" it. The issue I am bringing up with it, is that, as it is, there are simply no rules within it's structure. It is nothing more than a button... with some scribble out to the side of it.

ANY rules that one applies are rules that the person is applying, not "the button". Hence, without the player contributing a cognition to make the button "suffice" the self-referential "game" in it's title, it is not a game. A "rule", any "rule" is needed to make this button "a game", the person has to create, pretend, summon the pixies for it to be so. The button, has no such convention in it. It's philosophy paper and title are the catalyst for the cognitive dissonance, the player eliminates this by "pretending" rules, to make "the button" become "a game."

It is implying that it is a game, the player makes it explicit through pretend. The game does not satisfy on it's own merit. It requires 3rd party pretend to make it so. You hafta' "believe" it's a game.

As far as casual rule systems I don't have any issue with that at all... then again I own a copy of the player's handbook first edition signed by G.G. The flexibility is part n' parcel of it's casual and friendly nature. If I go to write software though... most of that flexibility gets sidelined... which is why I say it's a technical hurdle to unite strong systems with strong narrative, in this sense, flexibility by design is not flexible at all, just an illusion of it.

Just like "choices" in narrative heavy games... there are no real choices, just an illusion of choice in a very deterministic and scripted system. The more the illusion is maintained, the better the system.

The flexibility is accounted for in it's structure though... if it isn't it could not be run on an extremely deterministic calculating device.

As far as rule modification, again no harm no foul, but it does slide the system from formal to self referential (that is, it's self suiting). It just moves the slider... that's not an issue. Though it is no longer "the" game, it's more "your" game. I simply state that when the slider is all the way over to completely subjective, it's not even recognizable as a game anymore. It's "your" pretend world. It requires no consensus as there could never really ever "be" a consensus. It's metaphorical, outside the bounds of testable.

Playing with yourself... puns!

Now you may believe it's a game, but for others (myself) to believe it... going to need some more information... other than "because it is..."

Examining the system reveals data mining... data mining, plus a philosophy paper that says everything but "data mining" is phishing... and likewise, is tantamount to fraud, a confidence game.

Why not use that as our category for describing such games? Heck we discussed this shit before with the iOS and shovel ware/beg ware games... why can't we meet eye to eye on this? :D

I've already allowed for a category of games that operate exclusively with ulterior motives, whether it be data mining, advertisement, or behavioral modification. We already see eye to eye on this -- I just keep the category a little broader so as to encompass a few other related forms of manipulation.

But I'd like to point out that twice in the above-quoted section, you referred to this as a "game." :)

I do not attribute "game theory" or strongly formal systems as confidence games. I usually save that for "artifice" when I berate "art games".... another garbage topic.

...such games... again, confidence game; pyramid scheme, slight of hand... metaphorically they are games that people play on other people, but they are not explicitly games with formal systems or rules. If there is a game at all, it is predicting how long it takes for the scheme or ruse to be discovered.

from good ole' wiki:

A confidence trick is an attempt to defraud a person or group by gaining their confidence. A confidence artist is an individual operating alone or in concert with others who exploits characteristics of the human psyche such as dishonesty and honesty, vanity, compassion, credulity, irresponsibility, naivety and greed.

You just playin' with language! (It's one of the reasons I enjoy debating/arguing with you)... Zombie needs brains! ;)

hentropy:

mfeff:

hentropy:

The problem is that the word "game" has no real definition and it's a subjective concept, not an objective one. It's not tangible. And like so many abstract concepts, its definition changes wildly depending on who you ask or what the context is.

snippers

Well I bet you're a blast at parties.

I do alright for myself, you just have to get to know me.

Look at it this way- how did most "games" get made? Way before video formats and age-old games like chess existed. People just made up their own rules for activities to entertain themselves. If a rule was bad and took away from the experience, it wasn't codified into some kind of stone tablet, they just changed it to make the game more fun. And then they changed it more and more. They certainly didn't try and define what a game was. You claim there is a rational definition of a game, yet there is no classical definition. A game is just whatever people wanted it to be.

Most games that are played today that have long running histories where codified and formalized so that there would be clear winners and losers. Many games where structured around military or economic principles and could easily be seen as the first "simulations". The attempts at codifying games especially those which revolve around competitiveness or act as simulacrum to military stratagem where designed intentionally and where not as emergent as you describe, more like a by-product of the culture. The games you are describing are "narrative", the games I am describing are a set of formalized abstracts known as "game theory". Modern "ludology" from an engineering perspective attempts to quantify as many variables as possible, ultimately, to produce better products.

It's easy to sit around and say "Skyrim thus and such..."

Now code it. Budget for it. Advertise for it. The list goes on and on and on...

I used to be amazed at how few people I ran into could "codify" a simple game of black-jack.

It's work and effort, not impossible, and not subjective.

Like I hinted at before, when my nephew plays over at my place I try to make "cleanup" a game. It's not really a game to me, I just want my floor clean.

Gunna stop you right there, and quote myself from a previous post...

A confidence trick (game) is an attempt to defraud a person or group by gaining their confidence. A confidence artist is an individual operating alone or in concert with others who exploits characteristics of the human psyche such as dishonesty and honesty, vanity, compassion, credulity, irresponsibility, naivety and greed.

But it's a game to him. It's the same with many children's toys, pressing a button to make an animal sound might not be a game to you or me, but it's entertaining enough to them.

Like you just said, it's not a game. He only thinks it is a game as he has been deceived by pretending it is something that it is not. A confidence trick.

Some abstract concepts do have more structured ideas that have been established over the period of centuries and have evolved and changed over time as well. A game is not some new-age abstract concept. It's just a borderless concept that encompasses a wide range of undefined activities that could or could not be enjoyable to certain people.

But I am not some ancient thing that evolved a definition over a long period of time. I simply observed what was to be observed and began to rationally explain the cause and effect of the observation, then predictions, based on evidence. Appeals to antiquity are as much of a logical fallacy as a false dichotomy, or an existential fallacy... which is "borderless concept... wide range... of something... maybe maybe not..." It's basically saying it is unknowable, but clearly, your nephew "knows" when a game is a game, and you "know" when a game is a game, now all one has to do is "explain" how you know... and your journey to the dark side will be complete.

I know, that's a FRUSTRATINGLY vague definition, and as humans we look to define everything so our brains can logically process it better, but that doesn't mean that defining every inherently meaningless abstract concept is beneficial or even useful either way. Take the idea of "love", one we constantly try and define but a concept that is ultimately extremely different depending on the context in which it is used. We WANT to define it, but the fact is that it can't be usefully defined in any direction, especially when some people don't even believe it exists.

That does not frustrate me though, heck I predicted easily 70 percent of your response possibilities. There is nothing particularly frustrating about it, I am familiar with the frame of reference, which is quite modern, relativism. It's all good in the hood, written plenty of papers on Wittgenstein.

Love is difficult to fully explain, but it can be coerced into happening. Manipulated into being I think is what the artist would say. Soliciting emotional responses from folk is almost as easy as paint by numbers. Though that isn't love. Like anything love may be formalized... it's just a lot of work, so much easier to make shit up and explain it away with relativistic nonsense. It's lack of coherence in a post post modern world is just a by-product of the poorly educated self indulgent culture that is attempting to play games with "what they want it to be", as opposed to accepting it "for everything that it is at face value".

Think about Monopoly. You're given a board, game pieces, and play money. Does that mean I have to follow the rulebook to play? Hell no, I can make up my own rules with my friends and play an entirely different game with the same pieces. Monopoly is a concept, not a tangible thing, and just because you change to rules doesn't mean it's no longer a game.

Ah Monopoly... come here wiki:

Elizabeth (Lizzie) J. Magie Phillips created a game through which she hoped to be able to explain the single tax theory of Henry George (it was intended to illustrate the negative aspects of concentrating land in private monopolies).

A formalized system to describe the effects of an economic policy that could be used to simulate an abstract concept in a meaningful way. We call these things games. Now once you change the rules you are no longer playing Monopoly, you are playing a game that is decidedly more "yours". Once that game gets into a realm where you are changing or inventing the rules at whim (see pretending), it is no longer structurally a game. It's imagination. It's play, sure, but it is not a formal game with formal rules. It's an informal game, with informal rules... as it degrades further and no semblance of a rule may be detected, it is no longer a game.

In this case, the "button" is the just the board and game pieces and play money, the "game" is to thank people more and you get some kind of mental reward by pressing the button, the same way I get a mental reward whenever someone lands on my hotel in Monopoly. Sure, someone might hand me tangible paper money, or in chess I might take someone's Queen, but it's not any different at it's core.

Cripes! So many fallacies n' non sequiturs.

The button is a button.

These rules you are inventing. They are not codified in the formal structure of the button or it's back end code.

You believe you get a reward. There is no reward. Imagination.

You've been data mined and so are those people you have thanked. That is fraud, insisting that something is a game (such as to your nephew) when you know it's not a game, is a confidence trick. That is what the button does.

It's not a game, but it presents a case in which "it must be" because it "is saying so" in it's title. There is no game. That is a lie. Plain ole' deception, nothing more nothing less. The best part is you get to spend time defending the lie. I am simply offering an explanation as to why you defend it, as a part of "the button" insidious use of psychological trickery.

as I said before... ANY rules that one applies are rules that the person is applying, not "the button". Hence, without the player contributing a cognition to make the button "suffice" the self-referential "game" in it's title, it is not a game. A "rule", any "rule" is needed to make this button "a game", the person has to create, pretend, summon the pixies for it to be so. The button, has no such convention in it. It's philosophy paper and title are the catalyst for the cognitive dissonance, the player eliminates this by "pretending" rules, to make "the button" become "a game."

It is implying that it is a game, the player makes it explicit through pretend. The game does not satisfy on it's own merit. It requires 3rd party pretend to make it so. You hafta' "believe" it's a game.

To transfer the discussion to the idea of a video game, the software and platform you use to run the software, and even the graphics in the game isn't the game. Two of my favorite video games are LSD and Yume Nikki, in case you know nothing about them they are unlike any games because it's just about navigating a dream world of some sort. That's it, there's no other goal, you just walk around and look at the different environments.

There is an internal structure to both these products which (while weakly interactive systems) are still in place, and are systems. The narrative is strongly interactive. This is common in products which use the "game" aspect as a delivery system for a secondary or tertiary product. These are still games. It's presentation and interaction are inherent in the product through the play of the game. As long as it has a formalized system inherent to the game it is a game, albeit a very weakly formalized structure, which normally is in the service of a strong narrative element.

There's no real incentive to do this, in Yume Nikki there are different "effects" but no real incentive or real goal to pursue them, you can pursue those goals if you want, but there's no pressure to. But yet I want to keep playing despite this, because I'm intrigued by the different trippy environments and the randomness of it all.

If it has "any goals", or even a single rule, it is a game. Thus it has a rule system explicit in it's design. Ergo, it is a game. You don't pretend it has a rule, because it has a rule, it requires no pretend. That rule is that "rule" simply must be greater than 0.

Another kind of game I like are visual novels. Most people consider these games to some extent (actually called "doujin games" in Japan in many cases), at least the ones that offer alternate paths and different endings. But I'm not really doing anything other than clicking and reading. Most people wouldn't really consider a choose-your-own adventure novel a game, though they're basically the same thing in two different formats. So are people wrong to call it a game? By what standard? Is Yume Nikki not a game because it has no goal and no competition? If it isn't, then what should we call it instead? Is there a word that accurately describes it?

These are games, "point and click" adventure games favor strong narrative at the expense of strong formal systems. It has a structure, the outcomes follow structure which must be formalized during the development of the product. It's a game.

Like I have been saying... and repeating... over and over again...

Strong formal systems -> weak formal systems
Weak narrative systems -> Strong narrative systems

Typically as we go from strong on one side, the other side picks up the slack. If "the button" has no formal system, it is a 0, it has no narrative system implicit to itself, that narrative is meta/existential/make believe and pretend on the part of the participant.

It's no more a game, than you sending an email to someone. It is a chain letter designed specifically to data mine, calling itself a game. I call these products "phishing" and "fraud".

I call interactive text adventures, "point and click adventures", or "text adventures", I have enjoyed them since Zork.

I call strongly formal systems, "pure analytic" games, as in "game theory" games. They do not need a board to be played. A good chess player can play chess with other good players without any board simply by referencing the moves. These are "strongly interactive formal systems".

"The Button", is not a game, it's formal system = 0, it's narrative isn't substantiated in it's own context, it's meta... so narrative = 0. It's a tool, like a ball... it's not a ball - game.

Okaaay, and that puts Diablo 3 where exactly?

Way back when The Escapist ran an article about modern video slots, it occurred to me that top level taxonomy of games and sundries should probably look like this:

Games: definite start state, definite end state, and a set of rules to allow players to affect the transition from start state to end state. Chess, Pac-Man, Harpoon, et al

Toys: no definite start state, no definite end state, but there is a set of rules allowing players to interact with the toy, eg Ball: throwing, rolling, kicking, etc, Simcity: set tax rate, zone lots, budget taxe income, Legos: brick bottom onto brick top

Lots: definite start state, and definite end state, but no set of rules that allows the player to affect the transition from one to the other

This reminds me of the debate surrounding many social games and weather or not an Item shop attached to skinner box counts as a game or not.

Im sad this is a thing, mainly because for years now i've wanted to try out my "Pay 10$ and win the game forever" social game. You give me $10, i tell you you won the game. Seems legit.

Scrumpmonkey:
Im sad this is a thing, mainly because for years now i've wanted to try out my "Pay 10$ and win the game forever" social game. You give me $10, i tell you you won the game. Seems legit.

That makes me think of something that would be right at home in the movie Idiocracy. Some day in the future, there will just be a button on the arm of a recliner that says "GAME" and when you hit it, you hear a voice that says "You win!" and somewhere, $1 is deducted from an account.

The button itself isn't a game, but the Thank You game, as it's described in the article, sounds like an actual game. Rule: Press the button every time you thank someone. Winning condition: Get total of 500,000,000 button presses. It's not a video game, but it is a game.

I do agree with the fact that something without clearly defined rules and goals cannot be called a game.

SenseOfTumour:

Personally I hate any game where you can gain advantages just by throwing cash at the game, as it reduces that game to the crushing inevitability of real life, where the rich get all the breaks, and if you do catch a few breaks and start advancing, don't get noticed or someone powerful will use their advantages to smack you back down where they feel you belong.

*Pushes the THANK YOU button*

My exact problem with the basic idea of buying gold/XP/anything with real money in a multiplayer game. If you can't excel based off skill and commitment then it's not a game, it's the american pop charts.

Well McGonigal, Billy is dead! They slit his throat, from ear-to-ear.

That's all I came in here to say

(Skips replies)

That map looks like some dreaded lurgie that appears to be spreading across the world. It must be a game if it inspires this much fan vitriol.

itsthesheppy:
I'm sorry, but this isn't an article.

Here, I'll provide a review:

I read a guy whine about a thing he didn't think was a thing that other people think is a thing. 2/10

Ha ha, yes, precisely.

This whole fighting about what is and isn't a game is ridiculous. Do you know what a game is? It's something people think is a game. That's not a snarky response. Language works like that. Stuffy prescriptionists will tell you that everything needs to work per the rules they set, but no matter how much they say 'irregardless' isn't a word if people know what it means then it is a word.

I tend to disagree with McConnigal's views, but her definition is perfect. If you neglect to change your oil so you can deal with car repairs later, then presumably you like to deal with car repairs, so it's a game for you. (Conversely, if you don't change your oil out of laziness, you are not 'volunteering' for it so it's not.) Consider how that definition encompasses everything from Call of Duty to tag to chess to 'the floor is lava'.

The main beef I have with exclusionary, prescriptive definitions of 'game' is that they are always set on leaving some stuff out, as if their presence in the same mindspace as the stuff we do like soils them somehow. Is it not better to have an inclusive definition, so that innovative stuff doesn't have to, in addition to fighting for the right of being understood, also having to fight for the right of being called what it is? Pre-electronic definitions of 'game' often describied it as an activity including one or more players, as without computers it was difficult to think of a way one could play a game by onself. Do you want that, one hundred years from now when concepts we can't begin to comprehend nowadays are commonplace, people look at our definition of 'games' and laugh at how their most played games of the future, squawababble and genital frisbee, are clearly not games?

the captcha was 'bowties are awesome', which they are. but my computer rebooted and now it's something else. Come back, bowtie captcha :-(

The Random One:

itsthesheppy:
I'm sorry, but this isn't an article.

Here, I'll provide a review:

I read a guy whine about a thing he didn't think was a thing that other people think is a thing. 2/10

Ha ha, yes, precisely.

And so it begins...

If it wasn't an article then it would hold that as an article that it would be equal to 0, but it was scored a 2/10... so 2=0... neat! I suspect it is not so much that it is or isn't an article it is simply that one only agreed with 1/5 of the content of said article as it related back to a self.

Not liking something is not suitable grounds for it's merits as an object, or it's proposition as having some validity. Clearly it is at least 1/5 correct, and not a 0.

What part did you agree with, what part is in error? What adjustments would it need to not be in error? On what grounds is it in error?

I am sure you will tell us... can't wait.

Couldn't of said it better myself Brando... but enough screwin around... let's get it on.

This whole fighting about what is and isn't a game is ridiculous.

Fighting has a point, it is a form of communication. However, fighting is what people do when other forms of communication break down. Often fighting is a by-product of cognitive dissonance, easier to fight than to adjust. Debate leaves open the dialog for opposing viewpoints so that through the conflict better concepts may replace old or conflicting information, the goal then is learning.

Fighting and debate are different words, one may be blue the other violet, they may appear to fall within the same spectrum of definition, but they are not the same color or wavelength or frequency.

Debate is often a learning tool. If one already "knows it all" then there is no room for debate or learning. Debate on this topic is not ridiculous objectively, for example, gamification from "Dastardly's perspective" is an important topic in the realm of education. He has made some very convincing argument on the topic and in turn I changed my mind somewhat with respect to his experience and position on the matter.

Games theory as a "personal project of hard empirical study" has assisted me tremendously in the realm of research and engineering. Had I not have debated people on this very forum and elsewhere I would of perhaps not expanded my appreciation for the arts as it relates to game studies and in turn it's relationship to applied theory. The goal as an objective is to improve my own understanding and cross link information that is useful in product development and deployment.

We learn quite a bit. Sometimes by engaging in the debate itself, by being wrong, or by further elucidating as to why we think we are right, and in that illumination sometimes we find out own internal inconsistencies. A form of didactic learning.

In considering of this first statement then, wouldn't your post be ridiculous?

No not really, but it is perhaps ironic... as you will proceed in making an argument about what a game is, just after calling such an effort ridiculous.

So let's see how you do.

Do you know what a game is? It's something people think is a game.

In an attempt to avoid a propositional fallacy you state that the definition of a "word", is whatever someone claims as or more appropriately "believes" what that "word" is. Imagination then is employed to define an object, in this case a noun "a game". Without defining "a game" what we then have is a fallacy of distraction closely resembling an enthymeme.

This avoids defining "a game" by expanding the possible set of "games" to include imaginary constructs outside of objective entities.

Going to revisit this later in this discussion.

If I understand your proposal, would I be correct in stating that according to your thesis that "it's whatever you want it to be", as such objectively undefinable.

Of course, I will have a problem with this... since you proceed to define away-anyway.

That's not a snarky response. Language works like that. Stuffy prescriptionists will tell you that everything needs to work per the rules they set, but no matter how much they say 'irregardless' isn't a word if people know what it means then it is a word.

No it's not a snarky response, but claiming it's not pejoratively may make it so inductively.

How does language work like that? I "think" I have a pretty good idea'r about how language works... comes from having of sat a couple classes of developmental studies... and having a couple kids... coupled with having of studied modern philosophers and lexical semantics... I am of the mind to say that what you are "getting at" is that language is "abused" like that.

A difference here is that poetry avoids abusing language although it does often forge and coerce interesting associations in the imagination. It may passively change the audience perspective.

Manipulation of the semiotic properties of words is an abuse of language. The goal is not to guide an audience through various undiscovered associations. Rather it's purpose seems bent on breaking down and overriding abstractions (from the material world) by reversing the imaginative property of the mind back onto it's structural abstractions. Manipulation utilizes a shifting sand approach and is generally active in it's discourse. Manipulation, as a confidence trick, has been associated with the modern notion of "he or she got (game)".

Sufficiently employed by a master manipulator in turn modifies the perception of the audience reality... generally to the ends of the speaker/actor/agency abusing the language.

We can watch this happen as someone who could be said to have been manipulated will again begin to naturally draw abstractions from the material world which will in turn not "add up" with the manipulation and abuse they have endured. This is said to be a form of cognitive dissonance.

Red hearing coupled with an abusive fallacy, then a straw man referring to an etymological fallacy, which was pretty good if I do say so myself. Although in the context of your dissertation of the "undefinable definition", I really can't say it helps your case. The word is still considered somewhat broken... for it to have made the case it would have had been a word that was one way, and is now defined another way; a history demonstrating the process. There are words out there like this but this isn't one of them.

I tend to disagree with McConnigal's views, but her definition is perfect. If you neglect to change your oil so you can deal with car repairs later, then presumably you like to deal with car repairs, so it's a game for you. (Conversely, if you don't change your oil out of laziness, you are not 'volunteering' for it so it's not.) Consider how that definition encompasses everything from Call of Duty to tag to chess to 'the floor is lava'.

This is a suppressed correlative, leading us right into what appears to be a masked man fallacy. "...the presumably you like.... so it's a game for you". Yes this definition works nicely with the propositional fallacy you started with, good job. It's whatever an observer wants to call a set of discrete objects and their cause and effect relationships. It may be true to the observer (in their imagination), but that does not necessarily satisfy a condition for "a game" state. Which has yet to have been defined.

This also eliminates the subject and the consequence of consensus, the person dealing with the car repairs and their own position on the nature of "what they like and don't like". This appears to be an affirming the consequent, another logical fallacy.

I wish this was poetry...

The main beef I have with exclusionary, prescriptive definitions of 'game' is that they are always set on leaving some stuff out, as if their presence in the same mindspace as the stuff we do like soils them somehow.

Abstract and imaginary are not the same word, really these concepts are not even close... Imaginary "meta" objects simply do not exist except in the stratum of the mind. Figments of imagination are often times the result of associations, however, as a concoction of abstractions (from real objects), they lack the necessary discrete objective form from which they could be abstracted from reality.

That is to say, one may abstract the number one, by negation of a singular object not being a multiplicity of objects. You are you because you are not everyone else.

You can abstract 1, I can abstract 1, I guess 1 is a useful abstraction.

If one adopts through imagination that they are a wizard, and attend Hogwarts, then pretend to be "Harry Potter", clearly, this is pretend. Harry Potter is a discrete object (abstracted from a work of fiction), and the individual is a discrete object (abstracted through a mirror, and not being anyone else), Harry Potter does not equal the individual.

The projection of Harry Potter as a finite identity into reality is pretend. Some people even cosplay characters. While a person may look like a character, they are clearly not that character.

Even though both Harry Potter and personal identity are both abstractions, this projection is imagination. One may believe it, but it is simply not so, as it will fail objective investigation by simply applying a proof through negation.

Who's they? I guess you mean "stuffy prescriptive folk". Who wants to be that? Gosh your soooo right!

What have they left out? You mean, they have left out someones subjective imagination as it relates to the definition of a noun? This creates a quantification fallacy.

It also begs the question, how are people supposed to account for the imaginations and whims of other people who insist on shifting sands? This is akin to blaming someone for not being a mind reader. Hardly an offense.

Is it not better to have an inclusive definition, so that innovative stuff doesn't have to, in addition to fighting for the right of being understood, also having to fight for the right of being called what it is?

An object is a discrete unit, it is what it is unto itself. The idea here in this statement seems to suggest that "innovative stuff" should not require a definition... I'm (of course) going to have a problem with this...

Innovation by definition refers to the creation of "better" objects. It cannot "be" innovation if it is not categorized as to what set of discrete objects are being innovated with respect to. Innovation is a derivative of a set of objects.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and muddy the waters by saying what I "think" you mean is that art cannot be innovative if it is hemmed in by categorization. I tend to agree with this concept, art is for art's sake.

That is, a piece or work of art is a discrete object in and of itself. Because it's origin is likely from the formulation of abstractions from the real world, it is a representation of the imagination (the re-combination) of abstractions within the artist mind. This effort called "art" then is that mind expressing that creative gene into a structured work which may be appreciated by those who examine it... as an object.

As an object the audience may draw abstractions.

When we discuss the medium, we are discussing the structured set in which that imaginary idea will be formulated into a discrete space. The medium explicitly entails the formal rule set by it's physical nature for which said art will be crafted into a manifest discrete object.

A piece of paper, a pencil, tools in which the artist skill in gradient, values, balance bring forth from the mind a "work" of art. This is craftsmanship, and is often considered a highly prized and valued skill in individuals who take the time to learn the medium.

Craftsmanship is a good metric from which to examine the skill of creation, the art in and of itself is it's own justification.

Art Games is a different topic though and one that I won't address any further than I already have.

Pre-electronic definitions of 'game' often describied it as an activity including one or more players, as without computers it was difficult to think of a way one could play a game by onself. Do you want that, one hundred years from now when concepts we can't begin to comprehend nowadays are commonplace, people look at our definition of 'games' and laugh at how their most played games of the future, squawababble and genital frisbee, are clearly not games?

Play is simply activity, as defined within "play":

"Play is often interpreted as frivolous; yet the player can be intently focused on his or her objective, particularly when play is structured and goal-oriented, as in a game."

Play "defined" by objectives with goal-oriented formal sets of rules, it follows then that rules entail consensus. A game played by an individual requires only 1 consensus, the individual, by multiple participants, multiple consensus.

Solitaire was played by oneself without the aid of a discrete calculation device, and it's a game. So no it's not hard to conceive of, there are hundreds of examples that predate computerization.

Do I want what? A hundred years from now what? It's not my concern I won't be alive, likely you won't be either. The rest just looks like some nonsense to try to wrap up some "point". Finishing with an appeal to emotion looks like... at least it was consistent...

wow... that was a lot of work... could of written The Thank You Button data miner confidence trick in less time... about 1/3 of the time... come to think of it...

Reading this article put me in mind of this video.
It's worth watching if you've never seen it before.

mfeff:
-snip

Eliminating quotes, your last post (the one I've quoted/snipped) has 1962 words.

In comparison, the article you've commented on only has 1448 words.

This isn't a dig at you or your comment by the way. I just don't think I've actually seen a comment longer than the article before now.

I'm tempted to add up all your posts on this thread together to find out the word count. I'm waiting for something to update at the moment and am very bored.

DVS BSTrD:
I'm sorry, but I simply cannot trust the opinion of a man that would turn down free pizza.

He's not really turning down anything, simply asking for an alternative reward. A reward which he could use to -buy- that pizza, and probably other things rather than just the pizza.

WaysideMaze:

mfeff:
-snip

Eliminating quotes, your last post (the one I've quoted/snipped) has 1962 words.

In comparison, the article you've commented on only has 1448 words.

This isn't a dig at you or your comment by the way. I just don't think I've actually seen a comment longer than the article before now.

I'm tempted to add up all your posts on this thread together to find out the word count. I'm waiting for something to update at the moment and am very bored.

HEHEHE! Well glad I could be of service!

Big fan of campster's channel BTW, I have chatted with him a couple times... really nice guy. We differ on a couple points but I would have em as a team member on just about any project without a second thought.

As far as my post in hindsight I could of done a better job of separating the issues certainly. The biggest difficulty for me is that...

A) Most people on the escapist are "game enthusiast", and have no tangible skill when it comes to development, or even art for that matter. The users have no real experience with either topic, but (I think) because they identify with the "games and games industry" so strongly as a personal anchor of identity, that any attack on anything calling itself a game, is like a personal attack on their person.

(Marketing exploits this phenomena often).

This results in poor arguments which are combinations of radical skepticism and post modern relativism. Both of which are epistemological dead ends.

The last post for example is a good demonstration of circular logic, which while internally consistent, is for all practical purposes, incoherent. The body of the user's argument is an exercise in a logical fallacy known as "confirming the consequent" more known as a modus ponens.

B) Confuse the issues between "exploitation-ware" and the "Art Game" debate. I do think it is a justifiable deontological position, that is, defending all "would be games", also defends the "art games" topic. Getting around this and explaining to people that condemning marketing tricks such as what Oprah and company have produced, in no way condemns the "art game" issue.

Creating clear lines of demarcation help us avoid hasty generalizations.

C) The concept of innovation comes up quite a bit. For me (my dog in the fight), software such as the Oprah button are insults to both the games industry, artist, and creative hard working people everywhere.

It muddy's the water, as to what innovation actually is and how it comes about.

On the topic of the Oprah button I will relate a chimpanzee that has been captured in the wild.

That chimp is sent to a lab. In the lab it has a cage. In the cage it has 2 buttons. If the chimp presses the right button it receives a tangible reward (sometimes).

After a long enough period of time the cognitive and behavioral scientist may teach the chimp to sign "thank you".

The Oprah button is insulting as it reduces "player agency" to "agent". "Agent" in this sense is simply a mark or unit that will perform a specific action. That action is facilitated by a "selling of an indulgence", a pseudo piece of feel good that has nothing to do with the software structure or intent of their product.

The button is simply a cleverly disguised "submit", and the philosophy paper exploiting human psychology. By observation and separating the two entities we are able to abstract both constructs and clearly define what it is. A marketing scheme.

If I where to have made this button, no one would care, and I would be ridden out of town. This only works because it leverages Oprah (recognition) and some art assets to mask a submit button and a recursive database.

The chimp as mentioned above at least has a choice, and the cognitive scientist the decency to provide a tangible reward. The chimp is not playing a game, it's simply an agent for study.

Ultimately the chimp will have more money spent on it's education than many here on the escapist, ironically resulting in a chimp that may sign "thank you".

It is exponentially more meaningful to be "thanked" by the chimp. ;)

image

While I am thinking about it... http://www.progressquest.com/play/

WaysideMaze:
Reading this article put me in mind of this video.
It's worth watching if you've never seen it before.

I always think of this when gamification is discussed:
http://www.smbc-comics.com/index.php?db=comics&id=2286

Jeremy Monken:

WaysideMaze:
Reading this article put me in mind of this video.
It's worth watching if you've never seen it before.

I always think of this when gamification is discussed:
http://www.smbc-comics.com/index.php?db=comics&id=2286

Very slick comic, thanks for sharing.

It is an interesting topic for a couple reasons. Mathematics utilizes the set theory as it's grounding principle, however, in engineering it is often convenient (for example) to create an operation that may take the square root of a negative number. The square root is a convenient concept as well as the imaginary number. Often this is used (and not really debated due to professional consensus) as the imaginary number result will be canceled out in a subsequent calculation. Especially true in my field of electrical engineering.

Collections of "convenient concepts", such as both the square root function and the imaginary resultant give us a "useful convenient convention". The downside is that attempting to build further principles on the top of such useful convenient conventions often creates paradoxes in logic.

(For example, the comic you shared).

When I examine the definition of "game", there are around 15~20 given definitions. This is indicative of a term that has over time become a "useful convenient convention", like one user noted, "love" is the same way, and another user mentioned "that's how language works".

The same paradoxes of logic could be said to occur once the term is used as a foundation of a position. When the term is used recursively it tends to drag along the associated (for lack of a better explanation) all the narrative bricks of all the other "convenient concepts" umbrella under the "convention". Thus as one begins to build an argument, to take that argument further, a tremendous amount of philosophical "papering up the cracks" must occur to shore up the paradoxes that are occurring from the word having of been used as a metaphorical trash can of conveniences.

It's a pyramid effect of sorts, that is, for every increase in height, the base must be increased exponentially.

In debate it tends to build a monument to nowhere. One user commented on the ridiculousness of the debate, I suspect (she) intuitively knew this, but was compelled into a propositional partisanship for some reason, building... a monument to nowhere.

There are a couple other words out there that tend to have this issue as well, such as "gravity", "art", "god". Normally we remain problem free until that convention is taken and utilized or employed as a catch all descriptor for some object.

Doing so tends to break down said term and as a result a sort of positional (propositional) partisanship occurs. Political parties tend to suffer from this quite a bit.

"Gamification" and "art game" are two big offenders in this department which attempt to take elements of the linguistic garbage dump, and retroactively apply them to a product or series of products. The use of self reference are pretty sure fire indicators that we have strayed into this territory. As an aside I tend to think this is a ploy to illuminate "relevance" to products that simply are not relevant. A sort of proverbial dick riding.

Clearly this is a a chain letter mailing list thing, which retroactively has a "game-thing-theme" hodgepodge tossed on top of it. It becomes very confusing and clearly (from this forum) creates a break down of consensus as to the use of the "convenient concepts".

As you said, play it... it's not a game. However, if I frame it in such a way that there are the marketing people, and the audience... each with a different set of goals and objectives there is, by some measure of definition, a game -> being played.

So the object does not convey or match up with what it is implying that it is. It's not a game.

When I "retroactively" force the object by verbiage to "fit" a definition, starting with the definition first and building a philosophy paper around it to make it work we tend to violate causality by over-turning the observation. In mathematics we call it "forcing", and utilize "bounds" to avoid logic regressions and redundancy. A useful set of conventions, especially fruitful in designing "decision making" formal systems utilizing economics.

In this sense it is a study of the play of games (stakes, priorities, available information - intelligence, counter intelligence on and on...), occurring inside and outside of formal games. That being said, I am actually referring to the play (grift, scam, scheme, tactics, strategy), not the game itself... it's still not a game as it relates to the product.

In common language (observed object)s are often said to be "a priory" or "self evident" to the terms in which they will be associated. Thing is if we are not able to work (rationally) from the observation (evidence) to the definition and rationally work back from the definition to the observation (evidence), all we have is "self evidence"; loosely translated as "it's my opinion".

It's starting with the conclusion first... a sort of "bad faith", but also ends with a circular logic that takes us nowhere.

I really enjoyed the article and subsequent debate, then again I approached it like a game... damn shame people "tilt" as much as they do. Ah well! Cheers!

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