It's Just A Game: The Myth Explained
Or why solitaire is just a game, and checkers is not.
Any time you have involved more than one person, the activity stops being
"just" a game, and starts becoming social interaction. Other terms have been
used to describe such things, for example, soccer is considered a sport, not
a game. Sports have teams, which thrive on unity and spirit... hardly words
that you would associate with "just a game." The terms "a good loser" and
"a poor winner" are another example of the social interaction that mixes
directly with the game. After all, how can you be a "poor winner" if, in
fact, winning is the only point of the game?
So what is the point of the game? The most obvious answer is "to win", but
again, how does that explain a "good loser?" The truth is a lot more
nebulous, ill defined, and rarely stated. It is for everyone to have fun
playing the game. That is how those terms can be associated with the game.
Those terms speak not about the skill used to position the pieces on the
board, but rather, the skill with which the winner or loser interacted with
the other players.
A Muck, in many ways, is the pure essence of this level of the play. It has
less defined rules, giving the players the freedom to interact in a wide
variety of ways. They can roleplay fantastic things they never could do real
life, they could discuss the real life that others are busy ignoring,
they could create their own "what if" scenario. There are few limits to what
can be done.
But, it comes at a price. A traditional game has boundaries and limits to make
the social interactions easier, to set clear expectations about how the game
will be played, and what will be fun for everyone. Much of that simply does
not exist on a Muck. You often have to make up the rules as you go along,
and carefully work with the other players you are with to make certain they
are rules that people can have fun with.
The difficulty of this grows worse when you are dealing with the subject
matters that are presented on Tapestries MUCK. Sexuality has been
shunned for a few hundred years, leading to people being insecure and
nervous about what they are trying to express, making finding a common
ground to interact with each other something that requires a particular
amount of care.
Considering the challenges that this presents, the willingness to try
deserves a certain amount of respect, no matter how good or bad the attempt
turns out to be. Remember, your fellow players, even the ones you never
learn the names of, are sharing an intimate part of themselves with you.
Their fantasies, their desires... their feelings.
Copyright 2003 by WhiteWizard