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Veli-Matti Karhulahti
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Yes, I also think the awareness of our opposite approaches solves all major points of dispute. One of your arguments I cannot, however, accept, namely that the three challenge structures couldn't be used to analyze (tabletop or other) RPG challenges -- which are primarily strategic. I was thinking about adding 'social challenges' to the discussion, but since those would also be strategic by nature (involving dynamics) I decided to leave that out for further development. In the Finnish language make-belive (kuvittelu), acting (näyttely) and child play (leikki) have nothing to do with game (peli). This is the case in many other languages too. This is also the reason why I don't make an issue out of leaving those things out of my research (at the same time being critically aware of it). But because English is the dominant academic language, it seem to me that most ontological problems in game studies (especially for those scholars who only speak English) result from the fact that they are shackled to their mother discourse which in this case has made a little trick by overspreading family resemblances. Evidently all these phenomena do share features -- not doubt here -- but if one has read her Wittgenstein she also knows that the features on the left corner may have absolutely nothing to do with the features on the right corner. And in your case it seem to me that you're trying to tie those corners together under the label 'game' due to the fact that English parlance supports this. But neither English nor Finnish should be used as final evidence (albeit they might help) when we try to understand phenomena in academic research. I've read your book and it seems to me that the phenomenon you're trying to understand is human imagination. While that phenomenon certainly relates to most or all games, it is nevertheless different from them. So here's a little riddle: are the 'games' you're interested in any different from 'imaginative activities' ? I guess I should add a smiley here because my writing often tends to become a bit heavy :) matti
Toggle Commented Oct 9, 2013 on Is a Jigsaw Puzzle a Game? at ihobo
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Chris, firstly it is of course an honor to see you discuss my contribution in such detail. While I don't have too much time in my hands (who has), your discussion deserves a reply. So here are some notes that will hopefully clarify things and perhaps be of some use to your own work. 1. You say that my ontological goals fail to escape terminological debate because I employ contested language. Unfortunately game scholars, like all scholars, must often employ contested language as long as written text is the discourse in use. We could talk about games without using the term 'game' and about puzzles without using the term 'puzzle' but I don't see any benefits in it in this case since my 'puzzle' refers to the actual nominal use of the term, more or less (and allows me to use Tetris as a perfect counter example). Your jigsaw puzzle only confirms this. 2. To be clear, one should note that the reference to Gadamer is only a reference to his phrasing of the distinction, not to his aesthetics which is a real mess in this case. 3. The games of game studies have very little to do with child play (what you call 'children's games') for which I saw no reason to prolong the paper with Waltonian speculation. 4. It seems your confusions are first and foremost a result of misinterpreting 'determinate.' So let us consult a dictionary: "Precisely limited or defined." This is the way I use the term, which should be visible in its relations to statics and dynamics. I simply can't see how combining two specific puzzle pieces could have unlimited or random empirical results unless in the hypothetical case of an endless jigsaw puzzle (which apparently would no more be a puzzle, but this is another discussion we must not enter here). 5. In case of your sister etc., you simply confuse theory and practice. I am talking about the Rubik's Cube as a theoretical object, you talk about it as a practical activity. I warn about this in the section where I show how Crawford makes the same mistake. This object approach (cf. system-centric vs. player-centric, Frasca 2007) results in some interesting problems, however, which I discuss in great length in separate sections. 6. I guess most of the confusion in (5) can be explained by your misreading of 'process.' I don't claim that processes have nothing to do with puzzles: "the process of solving the puzzles is silent" (cf. later: games are rather objects with special processing nature). To repeat, there is a difference between THE puzzle and the ACT of solving a puzzle. Again, I discuss the problems of this distinction in great length -- and in fact I do remark that some puzzles can be played as games. Lastly it cannot be stressed enough that the aim of the paper is not to name objects but to explore systemic game ontology which cannot be done without object-centric analysis. This is clearly visible if one looks not at the title of the study but into the results of the study. The result is not that the puzzle was proven not to be a game; the result is that games seem to involve at least three different forms of challenge that are worth further analytical research. Let it also be noted that I'm currently interested in the possibility of distinguishing kinesthetic aspects of puzzles, or kinesthetic puzzles, which would further question (ergo advance) this primal framework. Thanks for the fascinating discussion, and looking forward to continue it one day! bst matti
Toggle Commented Oct 4, 2013 on Is a Jigsaw Puzzle a Game? at ihobo
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Hi Chris! A couple of corrections. Firstly, I do not employ the term 'interaction' in the referenced article -- save once at which instance I expressly withdraw from the idealism you argue against by using the term in a dissociating context: "specialized modes of modern interaction." As you say, many modes of interaction exist, and that which defines virtuality is only one of them. Secondly, as it is mentioned in the article and as you well know, I do not submit myself to the digital ideology either, which is the impression I get from your text. Virtual (as I define it) does not equal to digital. I would also encourage you to study some basic narratology, in which you can find the topic of the writing cleared already some four decades ago (reader-response criticism). The well-worn story-discourse distinction would likewise be helpful. Even though it is not directly applicable (mentioned in the article as well) there is no need to re-invent the whole wheel (but we can always invent better wheels). best matti
Toggle Commented Aug 30, 2013 on The Interactivity of Non-Interactive Media at ihobo
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Aug 29, 2013