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Your patterns can sequence and your sequences can pattern. Imagine a field of nuerons in your brain. You can play with that field like silly putty. Try it, do it right now.I guess the interesting part to me is the idea of play as warping context and creating discourse, and therefore mechanics as tools for that. The interpretation and subjective of fiction (by which I think I mean setting) is available to the player in many story-games that I've played and read, but I can't think of mechanics for it. There are approval/disapproval mechanics, but usually only for player-provided fiction, and in games with very little 'published setting.'
The rounder it is, the more of a toy you have, the more formed it is, the more of a story you have. You can strech deep a round dollop of putty, so that the center is thinning, and you get fiction, the background context of that material. You stretch it long and you get storyline. You can do all sorts of stuff in between. You can even fold in your contexts to get subtext, which is like context for hip people.
Now, this is where it gets crazy. You're always giving to the player, so some degree, the ability to warp that putty. And that process of warping produces a discourse, in other words, giving the player the ability to affect the pattern's sequence and the sequence's pattern creates subjunctivity, "what-if" thinking, the stuff dreams are made of ect. And thats interactive storytelling.
Story and games, shit, that horse has been beaten, skinned, eviscerated, chopped up and sent to the glue factory for processing.Inasmuch as we post on this forum, I presume it's because we believe there's more to be said on the subject. I hope we're right.