Is RPGing a *literary* endeavour? - Page 99
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  1. #981
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maxperson View Post
    You don't get to just invent definitions in order to win the internet. At the very least, I have no obligation to humor you and your fictional definition.
    It was @Lanefan's definition, and it was the impetus fir this spur of the discussion. I neither invented it, nor particularly cared for it because there are examples of RPGs without Lanefan's defined role. Just like there are RPGs without your preferred role.


    I don't believe for one second that you forgot the second part of the definition. ", in particular by narrating the details of the story that are not controlled by the players."

    Stop your disingenuous arguments.
    Oh, Max. Didn't you just say the GM is also a player in your special pleading against @hawkeyefan? Yet, here you are backing off of that so you can special plead against me. And, I'm disingenuous? It's not like I've tried to agree with you twice, now, on a good point but you're still arguing the infallability of internet dictionaries.

    Hete's a clearer example of the circle in your argument:

    Q: What are the properties of a field?
    A: They have cows in them.
    Q: What's a cow?
    A: Cows are things in fields, particularly things different from other things.

    That's the heft of your current argument, with a good bit of appealing to.the authority of internet dictionaries thrown in.
    Last edited by Ovinomancer; Monday, 3rd June, 2019 at 11:43 AM.
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  2. #982
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hussar View Post
    And, really, he's right. Without context, that monster is just a stat block and a picture. It's no different or more engaging than any of a thousand other monsters that have graced the pages of D&D over the years when it's removed from context. But, see, that's where the literary aspect comes in - building context. World building, while certainly not limited to the literary, is a primarily story telling element. We don't do world building in a conversation. @pemerton talked about how getting a letter from a relative has a viceral element and it's true, it does. But, that's because it's part of the real world and all the context is built right in. In a second world, you need to create that context for the reader, or, in the case of an RPG, the player. And, you create that context through literary conceits like world building.
    I agree with you that "there is no outside text," or in other words, there is no text outside of context. However, I don't understand why you concede that worldbuilding is a storytelling/narrative element that is not limited to the literary and yet then refer to it as a "literary conceit" when speaking of creating narrative contexts in TTRPGs. That seems like some duplicitous double-speak, Hussar.

    It's the literary - world building, setting construction, theme, trope - (and yes, that's not limited to the literary, but, just because other story telling media use the same conceits doesn't make it any less literary) - that builds that context.
    "Yes, four legs are not limited to cats, but because this dog has four legs too, I will keep calling the four-legged dog a 'four-legged cat'?"

    You have been repeatedly corrected on your terminology, and yet you still decide to double-down on it so that you can win an argument about this being literary? I wish you would stop backtracking. (NARRATIVE =! LITERARY.) It's not entirely helpful for the discussion.

    If a student submitted a second paper to me that kept repeating the same error as the first paper even after I had returned the first paper with corrections, I would definitely be inclined to think that the student failed to learn anything and adjudicate grading accordingly, likely with me grading more harshly with even redder ink pen.

    Just like @pemerton said, why should the player care about a Vengaurak without any context?
    Several flaws with your epiphany is that (1) you are equating the creation of context with the creation of literary text, and as part of that (2) you are repeating your categorical error that this narratological aspect of worldbuilding for RPGs represents a literary conceit. I'm not even sure if it constitutes a "conceit." A ltierary conceit is typically an extended rhetorical device. In contrast, worldbuilding is a process for creating or establishing the narrative context through an imagined world of fiction. (FICTION =! LITERARY.)

  3. #983
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maxperson View Post
    Were that true, they could not enjoy the game like a GM. They could only enjoy it like a player. And it's not even true. The DM in 5e is also a player, so if your logic were correct, there would be no GM for D&D, either. He's just a player with some different player functions.
    You have an odd definition of the word “like” that doesn’t allow for comparison or metaphor. You also keep misquoting Robbins, or mis-paraphrasing him.

    And while I wouldn’t say there’s no GM in D&D, I think that describing the DM’s role as “a player with different functions” is an accurate, if broad, description.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maxperson View Post
    If that's true, then there's no such thing as a GM function in any RPG. Just different player functions, with one guy getting player functions the other players don't get.
    Sounds about right. GM is just a label we use. What that label means will vary a bit from game to game, or the responsibilities of that role will vary a bit.

    But I think that one of the essential elements of the GM is that they are somehow functionally different from players. So in a game where there is no functional difference among the participants, there’s no such distinction as GM and Player. There are just players.
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  4. #984
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    Given our inability, throughout a multitude of threads, to agree on any definitions, causing many a pericombobulation, I hope no one objects if I offer Dr. Samuel Johnson my enthusiastic contrafibularities for his book, A Dictionary of the English Language.

    You may now return to your scheduled posting interfrastically.
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  5. #985
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    Quote Originally Posted by hawkeyefan View Post
    You have an odd definition of the word “like” that doesn’t allow for comparison or metaphor. You also keep misquoting Robbins, or mis-paraphrasing him.

    And while I wouldn’t say there’s no GM in D&D, I think that describing the DM’s role as “a player with different functions” is an accurate, if broad, description.

    Sounds about right. GM is just a label we use. What that label means will vary a bit from game to game, or the responsibilities of that role will vary a bit.

    But I think that one of the essential elements of the GM is that they are somehow functionally different from players. So in a game where there is no functional difference among the participants, there’s no such distinction as GM and Player. There are just players.
    It's a label that is used for those functions which differ from those functions that are on the "player" side of things. Those same functional differences exist in Fiasco and Microscope, which is why the players in those games are both player and GM, depending on what function they are performing.

  6. #986
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maxperson View Post
    It's a label that is used for those functions which differ from those functions that are on the "player" side of things. Those same functional differences exist in Fiasco and Microscope, which is why the players in those games are both player and GM, depending on what function they are performing.
    Your circular reasoning remains circular.

  7. #987
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aldarc View Post
    Your circular reasoning remains circular.
    I'm not reasoning in a circle, which you'd realize if you cared to actually try to understand my argument.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aldarc View Post
    I agree with you that "there is no outside text," or in other words, there is no text outside of context. However, I don't understand why you concede that worldbuilding is a storytelling/narrative element that is not limited to the literary and yet then refer to it as a "literary conceit" when speaking of creating narrative contexts in TTRPGs. That seems like some duplicitous double-speak, Hussar.

    "Yes, four legs are not limited to cats, but because this dog has four legs too, I will keep calling the four-legged dog a 'four-legged cat'?"

    You have been repeatedly corrected on your terminology, and yet you still decide to double-down on it so that you can win an argument about this being literary? I wish you would stop backtracking. (NARRATIVE =! LITERARY.) It's not entirely helpful for the discussion.

    If a student submitted a second paper to me that kept repeating the same error as the first paper even after I had returned the first paper with corrections, I would definitely be inclined to think that the student failed to learn anything and adjudicate grading accordingly, likely with me grading more harshly with even redder ink pen.

    Several flaws with your epiphany is that (1) you are equating the creation of context with the creation of literary text, and as part of that (2) you are repeating your categorical error that this narratological aspect of worldbuilding for RPGs represents a literary conceit. I'm not even sure if it constitutes a "conceit." A ltierary conceit is typically an extended rhetorical device. In contrast, worldbuilding is a process for creating or establishing the narrative context through an imagined world of fiction. (FICTION =! LITERARY.)
    I would say that world building is very much part of the literary creation process. In that you cannot really have literature without world building, or at the very least, setting creation. Yes, it's also done in movies and, well, any narrative form, true, but, remember, the contrast here ISN'T between literary and narrative. The contrast here is between literary and CONVERSATION. That's always been the problem @Aldarc. You are arguing against something that has never been the point. The contrast, right from the opening of this whole thread has been between the "literary" and the "conversational" where it is the content of the situation that drives emotional connection, NOT anything to do with the literary. That these literary elements also appear in other media is beside the point because we're not contrasting different forms of media.

    Now, would you say that world building has any place in conversation?

  9. #989
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hussar View Post
    I would say that world building is very much part of the literary creation process. In that you cannot really have literature without world building, or at the very least, setting creation. Yes, it's also done in movies and, well, any narrative form, true, but, remember, the contrast here ISN'T between literary and narrative. The contrast here is between literary and CONVERSATION. That's always been the problem @Aldarc. You are arguing against something that has never been the point. The contrast, right from the opening of this whole thread has been between the "literary" and the "conversational" where it is the content of the situation that drives emotional connection, NOT anything to do with the literary. That these literary elements also appear in other media is beside the point because we're not contrasting different forms of media.

    Now, would you say that world building has any place in conversation?
    Now it is my turn to ask how you are defining your terms, because you appear to be doing some heavy equivocation of terms here, especially around what you mean by "literary," keeping in mind how @pemerton has defined his sense with how you are using it here almost interchangeably with other meanings.

    That's always been the problem @Aldarc. You are arguing against something that has never been the point.
    However, it has been my point ever since you misused your terms and repeated the categorical error.

  10. #990
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    I think genre fiction can still rise to the literary level. Depending on your measures of what makes something literature, you can probably make a good argument that Conan has had the impact, is lasting, and strikes enough of a chord that it is literature. I think he wrote better than love craft actually in terms of Prose. Been a few years since I read R E Howard though. These things are always debatable. The point is just not all books you like are literature. Most books I have read, particularly genre fiction, are definitely not what I would teen literature

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