Meta Discussion about the RULES of the Standard Rants on Illusory Play & Practices thread

edited August 2014 in Story Games
This is a thread specifically designed for talking about the RULES of the Standard Rants on Illusory Play & Practices thread, and necessary community-self-policing enforcement thereof. It is NOT a place to discuss the CONTENT of the Standard Rants on Illusory Play & Practices thread. Start new threads for that.

The kind of thing I'd expect to see here:
  • Wow, this entire idea is really terrible / awesome / dubious.
  • Why are you doing this?
  • Hey, is it okay to do X in the other thread?
  • Yo, Bob* posted twice. I thought that was against the rules?
  • Can we get a moderator to look at Bob's latest post, since they seem to be attacking other people?
The kind of thing this thread is NOT FOR:
  • I disagree with someone's definition of illusionism.
  • Bob's ideas in the other thread are really wrong.
  • Anything else that starts a discussion that really ought to have a rant in the other thread.

* If your name is Bob, I apologize.

Comments

  • edited August 2014
    This meta thread is needed. Thanks for creating it and be sure to keep it prominently linked from the other thread.
    My first question: what is the plan for enforcing the rules of the standard rants thread? (Ditto for the rules for this thread.)
    I.e. how to delete double posts?

    My second question: does S-G allow indefinite editing? Some forums do not. The posts become static after a few hours.
  • edited August 2014
    I am not a moderator here so I have no idea. When James gets back from GenCon, anything could happen, right? If he likes this idea, he can offer to enforce the single-post rule.

    I don't know if S-G allows indefinite editing. Does anyone else know? I can still edit posts from a couple days ago, at least!
  • edited August 2014
    I don't like this. I don't like illusionism. Not as a form but as a term. It's been created by the wrong people with the wrong attitude.

    If we want to be able to discuss this, we need a new way of looking at it. Reusing this term only
    a) make people think of different things which makes discussions even more confusing.
    b) bring up bad blood from previous discussions on this or other fora.
    c) making people shit all over other people's playstyles.

    Because the last point is what illusionism is. Keeping it is acceptance of a term created on a faulty base.

    Having a definition thread where people can spew shit over the playstyle wont help.

    That's my opinion anyway.

    ---

    2097: Edits are indefinite.
  • edited August 2014
    If you think people are sp*wing sh*t, wouldn’t it be a good idea for them to do it in one single post instead of all over the forums? The metaphorical water closet.

    I’m not wholly sold on the idea, yet, either.
    I see it as just a change of medium. Then again, so is “Slow down” and I see the slow down technique as having been a good thing for these forums.
  • Rickard,

    If you're concerned only about the use of a term in the subject of the rant thread, that's something we can fix. I'm happy to rename the thread without the term illusionism, but I'm not sure what term to use. I chose it because everyone knows /what topic/ I'm talking about. The rant thread is the place to collect people's essays on /that topic/, whatever they want to say about it. This thread here is a great place to suggest alternatives. Criticism without alternative solutions doesn't really help me though. Suggest alternatives.

    If you're concerned about the existence of the thread, I'm not sure what to say. It's not a definition thread. It's a thread to collect essays about a topic. I would be sad if the only voices in that thread were negative ones. I want people to summarize all the good things about the play style and post them, too. It's not like the ideas aren't already out there in a handful of threads from the last month alone. I just want to get people to slow down, write a well-conceived essay, and collect those essays in one spot so that we can refer people to them when these subjects come up next week or next year.

    It really sounds like you should write an essay that talks about how illusionism is a bad term and how it's a valid play style and so on. I hope it's clear that there's not only room for that view in the rant thread, but that the rant thread would be sadly lacking without that opinion there. When I say "rant," I expect rants from all sides.
  • @ Rickard, My impression is that the Standard Illusionism Rants thread is the exact right place for you to express these valid feelings about the subject, without getting trapped in a non-constructive back-and-forth.

    I think the 'rants thread is/should be for people to express any ideas or opinions they have on the subject, not specifically for creating or defending pejorative definitions of one of the related words.

    As far as the title "Standard illusionism rants," Is there more neutral language that could be adopted to address the broader subject of "hidden information" in games that wouldn't alienate a valuable chunk of people from contributing?

    I totally love the idea of both this meta-discussion thread and the rant-collection thread, and hope that they will enable better communication about this topic.
  • I chose it because everyone knows /what topic/ I'm talking about.
    I’m not sure about this. Part of the issue, and I am very much one of those whom to blame for this, is that illusionism and railroading have been conflated and I would like to separate them.
  • edited August 2014
    Some months ago in Rickard's "We Know So Little" thread I said that every topic should have a functionalist thread and a structuralist thread. At the time I was talking about "lab" threads (which Rickard's is, and which several of mine are).

    But this structure (topic and meta) could do just as well. Or even better, since if you're interested in a lab you can just ignore the meta. I'm willing to give this structure a trial run.

    ETA: Ok Adam. Fixed.
  • I think if people want to include railroading discussion in their post, no one is going to stop them! No one gets to own any definitions in that thread (for other people), so everyone should define their own terms in their own posts.

    My problem with replacing "illusionism" with something else in my post title is that starts to try to /define/ illusionism, and I totally want to avoid that. For example, Dirk's suggestion to say "hidden information" forces that definition on other people.

    Really, I want to have the thread be called something like "Standard rants about this topic that keeps getting us all riled up" but no one will know what we mean in a year. Would it help if I made it "Standard Rants about that topic that some people call illusionism"? I'm willing to do that.

    Tod, be careful in your rant post, because if the thread title changes to exclude the word, your post won't make sense. Self-sufficiency has to include dependence from even the subject of the thread.
  • edited August 2014
    @ Rickard, My impression is that the Standard Illusionism Rants thread is the exact right place for you to express these valid feelings about the subject, without getting trapped in a non-constructive back-and-forth.
    I fear the thread will be open for selective reading. People pointing at specific posts in that thread and using that as "proof" of how bad it is. But it's mostly a guess from me, so I will leave it at that and see how it turns out. I wont, however, contribute to it myself.
    If you're concerned only about the use of a term in the subject of the rant thread, that's something we can fix. I'm happy to rename the thread without the term illusionism, but I'm not sure what term to use.
    Changing the name wont matter. It's like changing the term "negro" into "afroamerican". It hasn't stopped that kind of segregation in USA, because the way of thinking about people is the same. Remove instead the notion of that there are any difference between any skin color (remove the use of "race") and I think that country got more to win.

    Coming up with a new way of thinking will take time, and I will be glad to help out on working on that. I believe it can meanwhile be easier if "and their playstyles" were added to "Strive to treat other participants with respect." in the forum rules. Because that's what it is all about ... at least for me.
  • Coming up with a new way of thinking will take time, and I will be glad to help out on working on that.
    Ditto. In fact I thought (and I think Rickard thought) that's what we were doing the whole time.

  • There is still value in moving away from a term that’s strictly exonymic.
  • Is there a common-sense term that means the thing at the heart of illusionism?

    Deception?

    Something connoting the context would be nice, so people have the option to read it as either "deception like a lie" or "deception like a performance".
  • I use the word "didactic".
    I think from that point you can see the problem easily: because all intentional art is didactic on some level.

  • David, I think we should let the pro-illusionism side have a say in which term to use and some of them have reacted negatively to the word “deception” if I understood correctly.

    Adam, I kind of want to make one post about illusionism and one about railroading. :)

    I see them as different as, say, dice vs diceless on the one hand and what snacks you’re eating on the other.
  • I see “didactic” as too hyponymic. I have no problem with didactic elements, only with a few (probably not overlapping) subsets of them.
  • edited August 2014
    "Artifice"?

    This is tough. "Illusion" really is the best term.

    Synonyms?

    "Mirage"?
  • Yeah actually "illusion" is a good term - magicians use it, stage directors use it, etc - unfortunately it has taken on a pejorative slant in the context of our hobby, and has become politicized. Damn shame.

  • Illusions and impressions are good terms; one guess is that the added -ism, which suggests that it's a methodical, deliberate practice, is problematic.
  • Sandra, make one post with two subjects! Explain why you think they're different; that connects the two topics. Or start a Railroading Rants thread and meta discussion. Why not?

    I think David's definitions showcase exactly why I don't want to replace illusionism with another term. If someone can think of a term that means "That subject we are all talking about here," I'm all for it, but it has to be broad enough to include classic Forge-style illusionism, participationism, railroading, hidden force, the black curtain, and so on -- all the different views.

    It's perfectly valid to post in the other thread about how crappy a term Illusionism is and why you think so. At least the subject title gives you something to react to, right?
  • Illusory instead of illusionism?
  • "Standard rant on illusory play & practices" could work.
  • I'm good with that. Tod, Sandra, Rickard?
  • It sounds better.
  • edited August 2014
    I agree that the form “___ ___ on illusory play & practices” seems good.
    Standard Rant can stand for now, but I think it’s deprecating — but I guess deliberately so? As in self-deprecating?
  • edited August 2014
    Standalone essays...?
  • edited August 2014
    In a sense I don't have a dog in this race, because my position is that the various potential acts and stances falling under the rough umbrella terms being discussed here function atomically not categorically, and that they are often dependent on ephemeral qualia and subjective drives that even the participants cannot necessarily define.

    That said, I feel a slight negative sense to the word "illusory" as in "not the real thing".

    If I were writing the standard exegesis (which I am not), I might go the stage magician's route and say "The Art of Illusion".

    But don't let me stop you. I am not Blocking.

  • Standalone essays...?
    I like it.
  • edited August 2014
    Okay, titles are updated.

    Ha! It's such a pain to edit two threads that point to each other. When you change the subject, the permalink changes, too. Yikes! Took four edits to make it all work (probably could have done it in three).
  • Yeah, I like "essays" or one of its permutations much better.

    The majority of the folks on this site (even if not the majority of posters) weren't too involved with the Forge, so there isn't a good reason to stick with the term "standard rants," especially considering how pejoritive that sounds.

    I'd definitely prefer something more neutral, if not constructive. "Essays" is a great choice on that front, and better communicates the expectation that these are position statements, not conversations or mere lettings off of steam.
  • I somewhat like the light-heartedness and self-deprecation of "rants". Plus, I imagine there will indeed be some ranting, even if we call it "essays". :)
  • If you want to be academic and precise, perhaps "Position Papers" is the clearest way to say it. But I do think a self-conscious sense of humor is an important touch. Could go either way: "Manic Rantings of a Delusional Gamer" or "Holy and Canonical Exegesis as pontificated by [your name here]".

    Take the piss out of ourselves.
    We got a lotta piss up in heeah.

  • Take the piss out of ourselves.
    We got a lotta piss up in heeah.
    Definitely. Whenever people are getting HULK SMASH angry about something dumb, it's important for them to point out that they are aware how dumb it is. That little bit of ironic distance helps blunt the fury.

  • Great post over there, @David_Berg.

  • I think creating that thread was a good idea! It's generated some interesting food for thought.
  • edited August 2014
    Thanks, @AsIf!

    Yeah, it's definitely cool to see the different angles and priorities different people bring to the topic. I'm kinda hoping some practiced illusionist GM chimes in with some keys to doing it right vs doing it wrong.
  • I wrote out my big-ass rant in a text document and it doesn't fit in one post. I have to figure out how to edit it down. <=)
  • I doubt anyone will mind if you amend the rules to say "a single piece of writing that requires 2 posts to fit is okay".
  • As long as they're sequential. Hurry hurry!
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