Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Not, In Fact, A Duck

If we want to talk about something, and have a valuable discussion that can shoot off in any direction, let's have a shot at the below quote from Friedrich Hayek ... because when I hear some miscreant without an education shooting his or her mouth off about supply and demand, I find myself thinking along the lines of Hayek below.  Someone just recently brought this to my attention, and I think it is dead on.  It's from the lecture Hayek gave upon winning the Nobel Prize for Economics:
"It seems to me that this failure of the economists to guide policy more successfully is closely connected with their propensity to imitate as closely as possible the procedures of the brilliantly successful physical sciences - an attempt which in our field may lead to outright error. It is an approach which has come to be described as the 'scientistic' attitude - an attitude which, as I defined it some thirty years ago, 'is decidedly unscientific in the true sense of the word, since it involves a mechanical and uncritical application of habits of thought to fields different from those in which they have been formed.' "
And so I've never argued my economic system, or my world in fact, is anything like the real world, simply because it is complicated and bears a similiarity to it.  I am not a simulationist.  I'm merely trying to give the best possible experience to my players by creating the most open system imaginable, and I'm using numbers and templates from the real world because that is easier to do than making everything from scratch.

2 comments:

joe said...

I often espouse simulation gaming, though, I don't think I am truly a simulationist.

In gaming, do what makes sense. If the situation presented was reality, what would happen?

The game should be a representation of a fantastic reality. An internal logic should be maintained.

As the players have a responsibility to roleplay their characters appropriately, the DM has a responsibility to roleplay the rest of the universe appropriately.

By my understanding, you're accomplishing this goal the the systems you've created.

While I am incapable of this approach, I can understand it.

Others, perhaps, simply can't fathom why you would do this.

Rev. Dane Black said...

I often reflect on "associated mechanics" when considering game elements for my own systems. I want the choices in the game to be game-world-referencing, not meta-game-referencing. I think a lot has been written on this as a critique of D&D4e's Powers System.

I think a lot can be gained from having deeply associated systems, whose structure can even seem simulationist. I like deep systems that more fully engross the reader / player in the world of the system.

The simplest example I can think of for contrast would be Spells/Spells Levels versus 4e-Powers.

Spells immediately evoke the nature of the abilities. Wizards, magic wands, rituals, etc. Spell Levels can (if framed correctly) imply a "degree system" of sorts where the magic-user -- as they rise in power -- gains access to deeper mysteries.

"Powers" imply -- I don't know -- Superheroes? It begins to lose meaning when applied to many different archetypes at once. If Fighters and Thieves have "Powers" as well as the Wizard, it begins to wear down my suspension of disbelief.

It's not necessarily my passion (at the moment), but I think creating systems that chart populations, economics as you have creates a deeper immersive experience.

Maybe it's "Immersion" as a goal as opposed to "Simulation." Maybe we should call ourselves this "Immersionists?"