Rigging Raph to make him say what I want to say

Continuing on the line of immersion, mechanics and metaphors.

From “A Theory of Fun” (the actual book, not the site – Chapter 4 – What Games Teach Us):

Formal training isn’t really required to become a game designer.

I went to school to be a writer, mostly. I believe really passionately in the importance of writing and the incredible power of fiction. We learn through stories; we become who we are through stories.

If games are essentially models of reality, then the things that games teach us must reflect on reality.

Sadly, reflecting mathematical structures is also the only thing many games do.

The “coordination” between mechanics and metaphors is all there. Those are the reasons that justify why they ARE distinct, but they SHOULDN’T be thought as disctinct. Hence why I find the distinction not as a useful one (and why I backed off on the discussion about “what is what”).

It’s all there. We learn through stories and those stories are myths and symbols. This part is cultural, so arbitrary and much more “powerful” than the strict mathematical, functional level. It’s that impact and viscerality that makes this part stronger and much more effective. It communicates better. Hence why I said that this is where even this medium is going. We are in for the stories. In games: to be part and live those stories. Living stories = immersion. Be there. No interfaces or filters. So the simulation as: direct tie between mechanics and metaphors. A transparent experience.

The mathematical structures are worthless if they get in the way of the communication. The sphere of the emotional impact.

We are back at the essential premise that games are about learning. And the ethical problem about what we teach. So learning is still essentially about communication. Communicating something about us. That we have in common, that we can recognize, that we can share. And the best communication, the most convincing and even honest, most direct one is through the emotions.

Games are like drugs because we are addicted to the emotions. In every form. Even in the form of an artificial drugs.

But it’s not the “pornography” of the emotions to be the strongest element. It’s not the “image”, it’s the “idea”. What the form suggests us, what we carry within and that we can recognize outside. A desire, a wish, a symbol.

So games are essentially “worlds of ideas” that are replicated through a “form”.

I suppose you’d say I come down on the ludological side, because I do grant a certain sort of primacy to mechanics. That’s why I tend to call everything else “the dressing” — it’s the stuff that orbits the nucleus, which is the game mechanics.

When Raph says that, he becomes a pornographer.

He reveals the explicit image and forgets about the idea. He sets that hierarchy that he wanted to avoid. He denies the symbolic and, then, emotional level.

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