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James Manning
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Just a quick note to say how enjoyable this exchange is to read. I've only til now dug just a few layers deep, yet look forward to hitting rock-bottom. Your "no-one plays alone" idea is certainly where my interests lie, not only as a community of "play practices," but also recognising the co-creativeness of games themselves. My thinking to date considers the designer as a player (through playtesting, iterating etc.) but also the player as a designer (through feedback via the community etc.). In both cases, both individuals contribute meaningfully to the practice of making and playing games. It might be taking it too far to suggest that processes of 'design' and 'play' are synonymous, yet this is something I'm certainly toying with. The reason I post here is, in extension to your acknowledged metatextual framing of games (as you say, derived from other games, thematic expectations etc.), is recognition that we are also playing someone else's many, multiple playings through--and reframings of--the game we are playing, as wrapped up inside the game itself. In other words, we could consider this as playing with the designers themselves, or at least the consequences of the decisions made during the development process. Maybe I've gone slightly too far with this as a response to your post, however I think it worth adding that "no-one plays alone" should also encapsulate the idea that we are playing with something that someone else made, and therefore are playing with their actions (or consequence thereof) just as much as our own. Even in the instance where the game being made is only to be played by the makers themselves, perhaps it is useful to consider how the designer plays themselves as part of the design process.
Toggle Commented Mar 19, 2014 on The Rules of Game Worlds at ihobo
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Mar 19, 2014