Peter Cooper Jr. on Mon, 23 Jan 2006 21:18:04 -0600 (CST)

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[s-d] Re: "Other Game Documents"

comex <comexk@xxxxxxxxx> writes:
> Peter writes:
>> But I think it may be possible to have objects in the game that
>> aren't defined by a rule.
> Are forum posts Game Documents?  If not, why [[ do people use
> comment text ]]?

Those are some interesting questions, which I'll try to answer in
reverse order. But my opinions aren't authoritative in any way.

I think people use comment text in forum since they're a convention
we've established. They make it clear what is just a comment and what
is a game action. Since we're pretty nonspecific about what
constitutes taking a game action, and we let pretty much any
indication of an intent to perform one act as doing so, it can be nice
to have a convention for when one is not trying to take a game action.

My initial instinct was that forum posts weren't Game Documents; as
they were just how we communicated to each other what actions we were
taking in the game. But the more I thought about it, the less I was
sure. Rule 1-2 (which I wrote the most recent version of, so you'd
think I might know something about it) says that "Anything that exists
in the game is an Object, and anything that is not an Object is not in
the game." And as fora are described by rule 1-4 and used by rule 1-3,
they must be Game Objects. Which is kind of odd in and of itself, as
if I call Wonko on the phone and talk to him, the phone line between
us is then a Private Forum and a Game Object, as least while we are
using it, if not before and afterward as well. That's weird.

Whether or not posts to a public forum are game objects is a little
fuzzier. Rule 1-3 implies that the game must be able to "read" public
forum posts in order to determine what game actions a player is
taking. [[And as a side note, r1-3 does in fact use the word
"recognizing" with regards to ministers and Discussion Fora, which I
hadn't realized was actually used in the rules anywhere. Even though I
probably put that in there.]] So it seems like posts must at least be
game objects, since they're used in the game. But we could certainly
take the idea too far and have every External Force be a Game Object,
which would be odd as well.

As to whether or not forum posts are game documents, the definition of
Game Document in rule 1-2 sounds to me like they aren't, since they're
not described as such anywhere. (And it doesn't sounds to me like any
body of text within the game is a Game Document.) But maybe they
should be.

If you'd like to clarify any of this, by all means feel free to submit
a proposal.

Peter C.
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