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Subject: I'm coming out rss

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Richard Moxham
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Confession time: I don’t much like playing pure-skill abstracts.

Why? Simple: I’m not much good at them, and since I have lots of other things on the go, including some which I am quite good at, I prefer to invest my time elsewhere.

The single odd-game-out right now is, predictably enough, Morelli, and this for two reasons: first, that I’m working very hard at gaining recognition of its right to a place on or beyond the summit slopes of Olympus, and, second, that I want to understand more fully the intricacies of my own creation.

Anyway, as I say, with that one exception you’ll hardly ever find me at the table for purposes other than eating, and indeed I was taken to task not long ago, in a private message on Little Golem, by a gentleman who considered my one-track playing record there to be socially unsound. Disagreeing with him on that specific point, I do nevertheless think that, when someone who is himself a designer shows a generous interest in your game, it’s a matter of elementary courtesy to reciprocate. Thus it was, a while back, that I made the acquaintance of Rich Gowell’s Entrapment, my characteristic ineptitude at which in no way hindered an appreciation of its tension and finesse.

I bring all this up because, Christian Freeling having recently paid me the compliment of welcoming Morelli to his MindSports site and then devoting a considerable amount of time to playing it with me, I duly accepted his invitation to join him in a game of Emergo. I knew from the start that I would struggle, because any element of three-dimensionality is guaranteed to compound the difficulty my brain already has with look-ahead in general, but nothing could have prepared me for the extent to which I would feel out of my depth. Unable at the best of times to bear even a slight sensation of incompetence, I was reduced to staring dumbly at the board, bereft of all positional understanding and with literally no clue as to what it might be advantageous or catastrophic to do next. More than anything else in the world, I wanted just to walk away from that game - and of course I knew I couldn’t.

It was at about this stage that Christian, perhaps taking pity on me, pointed out a sub-goal that I might usefully consider aiming for, and encouraged me, unattainable though it seemed, to seek out the one and only way – apparently at Emergo it’s nearly always the one and only way – of achieving it. I had to be allowed a couple of bumbling tries (“Almost! …. So I'll give you some time to undo 23.cd3 and find its similar alternative”), but then, wholly without warning, all the stars in heaven came out at once. I don’t mean that I experienced a sudden revelation of the entire winning line – on the contrary, I failed to capitalise on my decisive advantage even after being informed of its existence, and resigned two or three moves later. But I had glimpsed Emergo as a whole for the flawless mechanism that it is (Christian would say organism), and had been able to envisage the endlessly rich encounters that would take place between well-matched opponents operating at a level far beyond the capacity of my own cerebral processor. You can do that with a game, if the depth is genuinely present and you keep a genuinely open mind.

So I’m reopening this earlier thing about Emergo, whether or not the local consensus is that we should devote our lives primarily to cuddling one another in preference to administering a sharp kick in the balls even where urgently needed. Obviously people are free to follow their own tastes and interests, and cannot be browbeaten into doing otherwise by citizens of differing inclination. That’s true, but also blah. Fact is, that your or my taste in games is of no significance to anyone other than you or me. More than that, indeed: it can’t even be a subject of meaningful discussion between us. But when we’re alerted to a game of allegedly transcendent quality, and actually provided with material with which to test that claim, then we should bloody well investigate – either that, or stop flattering ourselves that we exist as a community for any higher purpose than compiling endless Geeklists of games played on the sub-grid of a torus with icehouse pieces and a ko-, pie- or slide-rule.

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christian freeling
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Let me just add a fact to that: at mindsports.nl Emergo is now also available on (the diagonal sub grid of) a 7x7 board. That's 25 squares with 2x8 men. How complex can it be?
 
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Brian Wittman
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mocko wrote:

Confession time: I don’t much like playing pure-skill abstracts.


This fact has been obvious for as long as you've been here. Do you really think you could go to China and convince them that you speak their language by making random noises?

mocko wrote:
whether or not the local consensus is that we should devote our lives primarily to cuddling one another in preference to administering a sharp kick in the balls even where urgently needed.


What on earth are you even talking about? So the point you're making is that we devote way more time to these games than you do... and yet we should devote yet even more of our time? Really?

What is the correct amount of time we should be spending on these games? We already spend 5 times as much as you do... I suppose you would prefer it if we spent 10 times as much as you... maybe 20 times as much?

Do you have any recommendation's for how much time we should spend on any other activities you know nothing about? I'm guessing you also know nothing about carpentry, how much time should we spend on woodworking? I'm sure you also know nothing about whaling, how much time do you recommend we spend harpooning marine mammals?

So you found a game of "transcendent quality"... good for you. Most of us already play half a dozen such games regularly. YOU only play 1 game like this and yet you're complaining that WE aren't each playing 7 or 8 of them?

mocko wrote:
then we should bloody well investigate


It has 19 ratings! You don't actually think that means only 19 people have ever played it do you? Believe it or not people can investigate games without giving them number values on some website. And even if only 19 people had tried it, how does that quantity prevent them from investigating it? Is 20 people enough? Is there some "correct" number of people that should be playing a given game?

mocko wrote:
stop flattering ourselves that we exist as a community for any higher purpose than compiling endless Geeklists of games played on the sub-grid of a torus with icehouse pieces and a ko-, pie- or slide-rule.


Are you hallucinating?! Most people here know what internet forums are and understand how they behave. You and maybe a couple others seem to be the only ones who aren't familiar with the technology.

The purpose of this board is clearly labeled as "abstract games", and if you look through the threads here you will find that they are almost all discussions of abstract games. Exactly what part of that is confusing?

If you want a forum with a different purpose (a "higher" one perhaps) then it is really easy to make a forum website where you could designate boards for whatever extremely specific purposes you might want.

If a hot dog stand is clearly labeled as a hot dog stand, how could you make the argument that hes "flattering himself" as a taco stand? Walking up to this poor guy and telling him that he SHOULD be a taco stand when his product is clearly different AND properly labeled, is not the same thing as HIM claiming that he has a taco stand: Just because you constantly tell us that we SHOULD have a different purpose doesn't mean that any of us have claimed that we do.
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David Buckley
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Since Richard has put Emergo back under the spotlight I have a question for Christian about his game with Ed:

christianF wrote:


3.c7 e5



So Black attacks. Now I had expected Ed to move 4.f6 giving me a choice of captures, but no way to prevent him from evening out the number of them: White would 'virtually' keep the first move of the next stage. The line I envisioned was 4… f5x7 5.dxf5 d5, opening more options to attack. But Ed moved 4.d7, accepting a 'capture without reply' that 'virtually' gives me a shadowpiece of two at the end of the entering stage. Of course he still has the first move. But being a careful player, a shadowpiece of two is enough of a compensation in my book.

4.d7 exc5



So Ed obviously understands that he shouldn't allow you to create a shadowpiece without getting some sort of compensation. So my question is what other factors do you think made him prefer 4.d7 over 4.f6?

I also have a comment on the mindsports interface. I prefer to be able to see the whole stack of pieces as per the SDG interface for Focus or Abande, or indeed the mindsports interface for Bashni. Having the stack represented numerically as in the Emergo example makes it harder to follow. This could be something specific to my brain though.
 
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christian freeling
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simpledeep wrote:
So you found a game of "transcendent quality"... good for you. Most of us already play half a dozen such games regularly. YOU only play 1 game like this and yet you're complaining that WE aren't each playing 7 or 8 of them?

I don't think Ridchard's post was meant to be inflammatory so I feel these issues can be solved by argument. But on a side note: I don't think there are 'half a dozen games like Emergo' either.
 
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christian freeling
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Buckersuk wrote:
Since Richard has put Emergo back under the spotlight I have a question for Christian about his game with Ed:

christianF wrote:


3.c7 e5



So Black attacks. Now I had expected Ed to move 4.f6 giving me a choice of captures, but no way to prevent him from evening out the number of them: White would 'virtually' keep the first move of the next stage. The line I envisioned was 4… f5x7 5.dxf5 d5, opening more options to attack. But Ed moved 4.d7, accepting a 'capture without reply' that 'virtually' gives me a shadowpiece of two at the end of the entering stage. Of course he still has the first move. But being a careful player, a shadowpiece of two is enough of a compensation in my book.

4.d7 exc5



So Ed obviously understands that he shouldn't allow you to create a shadowpiece without getting some sort of compensation. So my question is what other factors do you think made him prefer 4.d7 over 4.f6?

It was a plain oversight.

Buckersuk wrote:
I also have a comment on the mindsports interface. I prefer to be able to see the whole stack of pieces as per the SDG interface for Focus or Abande, or indeed the mindsports interface for Bashni. Having the stack represented numerically as in the Emergo example makes it harder to follow. This could be something specific to my brain though.

If I remember correctly I started the numerical representation with Stapeldammen because stacks may become very high indeed in that game. Then I felt the switch was easy once I got used to it, so I changed it in Emergo too. Ed can probably make it optional, I'll ask.
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christianF wrote:
simpledeep wrote:
So you found a game of "transcendent quality"... good for you. Most of us already play half a dozen such games regularly. YOU only play 1 game like this and yet you're complaining that WE aren't each playing 7 or 8 of them?

I don't think Ridchard's post was meant to be inflammatory so I feel these issues can be solved by argument. But on a side note: I don't think there are 'half a dozen games like Emergo' either.


Perhaps not, but I wonder if this means that Emergo is the transcendental game of choice by you, for us to focus on? You have to slow down on creating transcendental games, we can't keep up. (I kid -- please never stop)

 
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Russ Williams
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christianF wrote:
simpledeep wrote:
So you found a game of "transcendent quality"... good for you. Most of us already play half a dozen such games regularly. YOU only play 1 game like this and yet you're complaining that WE aren't each playing 7 or 8 of them?

I don't think Ridchard's post was meant to be inflammatory


Even these parts?

OP wrote:
whether or not the local consensus is that we should devote our lives primarily to cuddling one another in preference to administering a sharp kick in the balls even where urgently needed.

...

But when we’re alerted to a game of allegedly transcendent quality, and actually provided with material with which to test that claim, then we should bloody well investigate – either that, or stop flattering ourselves that we exist as a community for any higher purpose than compiling endless Geeklists of games played on the sub-grid of a torus with icehouse pieces and a ko-, pie- or slide-rule.


===

christianF wrote:
But on a side note: I don't think there are 'half a dozen games like Emergo' either.

Brian didn't say there were. He said "half a dozen such games" (i.e. "games of transcendent quality"), not "half a dozen games like Emergo".

(I trust that we agree that the set of "games of transcendent quality" contains more than 6 elements.)

===

OK, anyway: Brian administered a "sharp kick", all right, but then Richard has strongly implied that he prefers that communication style to a cuddly style, so I guess he can't complain too much about the sore balls. :/

And I admit that I too was rather boggled by and unsure what to make of Richard's original post. I'm sincerely glad that Richard enjoyed trying out Emergo, and hope the experience encourages him to play abstract games more often, but the whole post left me feeling as if something like this had happened:


There's a person who doesn't like reading novels and thus almost never reads novels. He starts going regularly to a book club, where people read various novels, and sometimes talk about some of them, and also sometimes talk about meta or peripheral stuff related to novels (favorite authors, industry news, lists of novels, history of fiction, etc).

One day the person says "Hey, I read a novel finally - it was Anna Karenina. And to my surprise, I found that I could sort of enjoy it, and I could see that it's really a transcendent novel! If you all don't read Anna Karenina now and start talking about it now, then it shows that you're all just a bunch of self-flattering poseurs just talking about trivial stuff, and this book club doesn't exist for any higher purpose."
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christian freeling
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fogus wrote:
christianF wrote:
I don't think Ridchard's post was meant to be inflammatory so I feel these issues can be solved by argument. But on a side note: I don't think there are 'half a dozen games like Emergo' either.


Perhaps not, but I wonder if this means that Emergo is the transcendental game of choice by you, for us to focus on? You have to slow down on creating transcendental games, we can't keep up. (I kid -- please never stop)


I feel Dameo is the best 'weapon' I made, but Emergo for me has an unparalleled beauty. And I stopped .
 
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christian freeling
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russ wrote:
christianF wrote:
But on a side note: I don't think there are 'half a dozen games like Emergo' either.

Brian didn't say there were. He said "half a dozen such games" (i.e. "games of transcendent quality"), not "half a dozen games like Emergo".

(I trust that we agree that the set of "games of transcendent quality" contains more than 6 elements.)

I misread that indeed, thanks.

P.S. No, I don't feel the comments you specified are all that inflammatory. A healthy forum should be able to harbour different people with different ways of expressing themselves and Richard merely voiced an opinion on 'local consensus'. The other part - the discovery of transcendence so to say - is indeed a bit funny for someone who isn't all that familiar with abstract games. It's also a bit funny, for that very reason, that he should be among the first to discover that Emergo fits that somewhat awkward description.
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christianF wrote:

I feel Dameo is the best 'weapon' I made, but Emergo for me has an unparalleled beauty. And I stopped .


Thanks for that. At the moment I'm captured by your Havannah, but I do want to try these two that you mention. This makes me wonder if all of this talk of transcendental nature is hurting the discussion. There's little doubt in my mind that the games you mention (and also Morelli) are deep games, but to discover transcendence seems like it might take a lifetime to appreciate. I only have but a single lifetime to spend -- though my wayward youth definitely feels like another lifetime, and my exploration of transcendence was spent on Chess back then.
 
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David Buckley
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christianF wrote:


Buckersuk wrote:
I also have a comment on the mindsports interface. I prefer to be able to see the whole stack of pieces as per the SDG interface for Focus or Abande, or indeed the mindsports interface for Bashni. Having the stack represented numerically as in the Emergo example makes it harder to follow. This could be something specific to my brain though.

If I remember correctly I started the numerical representation with Stapeldammen because stacks may become very high indeed in that game. Then I felt the switch was easy once I got used to it, so I changed it in Emergo too. Ed can probably make it optional, I'll ask.


Only don't do it on my account. I'm no longer active on mindsports (got fed up with Java).
 
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Pablo Schulman
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mocko wrote:

So I’m reopening this earlier thing about Emergo, whether or not the local consensus is that we should devote our lives primarily to cuddling one another in preference to administering a sharp kick in the balls even where urgently needed. Obviously people are free to follow their own tastes and interests, and cannot be browbeaten into doing otherwise by citizens of differing inclination. That’s true, but also blah. Fact is, that your or my taste in games is of no significance to anyone other than you or me. More than that, indeed: it can’t even be a subject of meaningful discussion between us. But when we’re alerted to a game of allegedly transcendent quality, and actually provided with material with which to test that claim, then we should bloody well investigate – either that, or stop flattering ourselves that we exist as a community for any higher purpose than compiling endless Geeklists of games played on the sub-grid of a torus with icehouse pieces and a ko-, pie- or slide-rule.


So does it mean if I don't play that game you think it's transcendental, I'm not allowed to call me a member of a community which YOU think has a specific purpose?
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Richard Moxham
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simpledeep wrote:
mocko wrote:

Confession time: I don’t much like playing pure-skill abstracts.


This fact has been obvious for as long as you've been here. Do you really think you could go to China and convince them that you speak their language by making random noises?

mocko wrote:
whether or not the local consensus is that we should devote our lives primarily to cuddling one another in preference to administering a sharp kick in the balls even where urgently needed.


What on earth are you even talking about? So the point you're making is that we devote way more time to these games than you do... and yet we should devote yet even more of our time? Really?

What is the correct amount of time we should be spending on these games? We already spend 5 times as much as you do... I suppose you would prefer it if we spent 10 times as much as you... maybe 20 times as much?

Do you have any recommendation's for how much time we should spend on any other activities you know nothing about? I'm guessing you also know nothing about carpentry, how much time should we spend on woodworking? I'm sure you also know nothing about whaling, how much time do you recommend we spend harpooning marine mammals?

So you found a game of "transcendent quality"... good for you. Most of us already play half a dozen such games regularly. YOU only play 1 game like this and yet you're complaining that WE aren't each playing 7 or 8 of them?

mocko wrote:
then we should bloody well investigate


It has 19 ratings! You don't actually think that means only 19 people have ever played it do you? Believe it or not people can investigate games without giving them number values on some website. And even if only 19 people had tried it, how does that quantity prevent them from investigating it? Is 20 people enough? Is there some "correct" number of people that should be playing a given game?

mocko wrote:
stop flattering ourselves that we exist as a community for any higher purpose than compiling endless Geeklists of games played on the sub-grid of a torus with icehouse pieces and a ko-, pie- or slide-rule.


Are you hallucinating?! Most people here know what internet forums are and understand how they behave. You and maybe a couple others seem to be the only ones who aren't familiar with the technology.

The purpose of this board is clearly labeled as "abstract games", and if you look through the threads here you will find that they are almost all discussions of abstract games. Exactly what part of that is confusing?

If you want a forum with a different purpose (a "higher" one perhaps) then it is really easy to make a forum website where you could designate boards for whatever extremely specific purposes you might want.

If a hot dog stand is clearly labeled as a hot dog stand, how could you make the argument that hes "flattering himself" as a taco stand? Walking up to this poor guy and telling him that he SHOULD be a taco stand when his product is clearly different AND properly labeled, is not the same thing as HIM claiming that he has a taco stand: Just because you constantly tell us that we SHOULD have a different purpose doesn't mean that any of us have claimed that we do.

Well, where does one start? Maybe by saying that there's a difference between being provocative and being inflammatory - or at least there is in all existing forms of communication except the internet - or ... wait a second ... I guess that means there isn't a difference any more.

Be that as it may, the post certainly seems to have provoked a reaction from at least one reader, which perhaps counts as achieving something of its purpose. Not a terrifically coherent reaction, admittedly (the ache with which it left me was more cranial than genital), but we'll strive to be grateful for small mercies.

Had you read a little more thoughtfully, Brain, you might have noticed that I didn't say I didn't like pure-skill abstracts. I said I didn't like playing them, which (1) isn't the same thing at all, and (2) isn't remotely inconsistent with being interested in them - which I very much am. So I'm a bit in the dark as to what exactly it is that's been evident to you about me since I started posting here. Still, I'm sure you're quite clear on the point. Anyway, since almost all the rest of your reply - as far as I can make head or tail of it - seems predicated on that misreading, I'll pass on further comment for the moment. But my (believe it or not) constructive reservations about this forum still stand, and furthermore are perfectly justified.



 
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Corey Clark
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I will say that maybe taking into account Morelli's colorful board, I expected a "coming out" of a different nature. Given Moxham's previous track-record of generating utterly irrelevant palaver on this forum, I would not put such an impertinent announcement past him. What I was met with was of course much worse than an irrelevant itinerary of bedroom activities. Here we have a self aggrandizing wall of text upholding ignorance as THE virtue.

Look Rich, nobody needs to know how the hotdogs are made. Having it confirmed that "the rainbow game with all kinds of rules, tenuously held together in service of a novel objective" was invented by someone with little familiarity with -or indeed any apparent respect for- abstract games as a whole is hardly a shocker; least of all to me, who was quite perplexed by whatever Morelli's underlying "logos" was to begin with, at least until your personage came into public view and I rightly began questioning if it had any at all. But I can hardly think that "I have never experienced zuzwang" is much of a selling point for the brand of an abstract game. For my part if I had any sort of remote inclination to play Morelli, it has surely been dashed in light of how proudly its originator touts his own ignorance, implicitly insulting Freeling, Bolaños, Bentley, Whitmann Steere and myself amongst others who take this discipline as a serious craft, requiring at least a modicum of effort and attention to detail. The idea of an abstract game designer who never plays abstract games is nearly as absurd to me as a composer who never listens to music or a writer who doesn't read. And this is not only because such a person has no base of inspiration to build off of but also because it implies a lack of passion, or indeed, genuine interest.

I guess my question would be is why do you feel you deserve this Moxham? Is it because life is unfair? I'll agree, even I am railing against the ghost of myself that invented Slither while having a much more limited concept of abstract game design. Well, fair enough. If you are happy being the buffoon who stumbled into something brilliant (and btw I do not necessarily countenance these claims of brilliance myself) then congratulations. You have surely hit a new low by posting this.
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Richard Moxham
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CoreyClark wrote:
I will say that maybe taking into account Morelli's colorful board, I expected a "coming out" of a different nature. Given Moxham's previous track-record of generating utterly irrelevant palaver on this forum, I would not put such an impertinent announcement past him. What I was met with was of course much worse than an irrelevant itinerary of bedroom activities. Here we have a self aggrandizing wall of text upholding ignorance as THE virtue.

Look Rich, nobody needs to know how the hotdogs are made. Having it confirmed that "the rainbow game with all kinds of rules, tenuously held together in service of a novel objective" was invented by someone with little familiarity with -or indeed any apparent respect for- abstract games as a whole is hardly a shocker; least of all to me, who was quite perplexed by whatever Morelli's underlying "logos" was to begin with, at least until your personage came into public view and I rightly began questioning if it had any at all. But I can hardly think that "I have never experienced zuzwang" is much of a selling point for the brand of an abstract game. For my part if I had any sort of remote inclination to play Morelli, it has surely been dashed in light of how proudly its originator touts his own ignorance, implicitly insulting Freeling, Bolaños, Bentley, Whitmann Steere and myself amongst others who take this discipline as a serious craft, requiring at least a modicum of effort and attention to detail. The idea of an abstract game designer who never plays abstract games is nearly as absurd to me as a composer who never listens to music or a writer who doesn't read. And this is not only because such a person has no base of inspiration to build off of but also because it implies a lack of passion, or indeed, genuine interest.

I guess my question would be is why do you feel you deserve this Moxham? Is it because life is unfair? I'll agree, even I am railing against the ghost of myself that invented Slither while having a much more limited concept of abstract game design. Well, fair enough. If you are happy being the buffoon who stumbled into something brilliant (and btw I do not necessarily countenance these claims of brilliance myself) then congratulations. You have surely hit a new low by posting this.

Well, for a start:

"I'm coming out-o
I'm coming out-ere
I'm coming out-i
I'm coming out-um.
Tra-la!"

Are you with me, Corey?

 
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christian freeling
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CoreyClark wrote:
The idea of an abstract game designer who never plays abstract games is nearly as absurd to me as a composer who never listens to music or a writer who doesn't read. And this is not only because such a person has no base of inspiration to build off of but also because it implies a lack of passion, or indeed, genuine interest.

Disregarding the other opinions you put forward, I yet feel I must put in a word of caution here. I've always been much more an inventor than a player - both require a different way of thinking. Of course I play, but more as a maker of a musical instrument trying the instrument: I don't have to play at the level of a master musician to see if the instrument works as intended. Nor did I ever need loads of games as a source of inspiration or loads of game material to tinker around with. When down with 'creative flu' the games came, when not, they didn't. So I'm not sure about the 'passion'. As for 'genuine interest', when it struck it was more of an Asperger-like obsession. That's genuine interest if you like, but at the same time devoid of any choice. So inventors may actually be quite different, and what you think an inventor should be, do, think, may not always be correct.
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It occurs to me that discussions in abstract game forums are probably much more dramatic than the vast majority of people uninterested in abstract games would expect...

Richard Hutnik sometimes champions the idea of popularizing abstract games by getting abstract games televised like sports or poker. Maybe a "reality TV show" would be a better fit.
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russ wrote:
Richard Hutnik sometimes champions the idea of popularizing abstract games by getting abstract games televised like sports or poker. Maybe a "reality TV show" would be a better fit.


I think the televised sporting analogy is correct, that is, if you consider professional wrestling a sport.

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mocko wrote:

and indeed I was taken to task not long ago, in a private message on Little Golem, by a gentleman who considered my one-track playing record there to be socially unsound.


What's it to do with him/her? Play what interests you. By sticking to a single game you can explore in more depth and it's only natural to explore your own creation. Plus Morelli seems rich in tactical and strategic depth and highly original.

Quote:


But when we’re alerted to a game of allegedly transcendent quality, and actually provided with material with which to test that claim, then we should bloody well investigate – either that, or stop flattering ourselves that we exist as a community for any higher purpose than compiling endless Geeklists of games played on the sub-grid of a torus with icehouse pieces and a ko-, pie- or slide-rule.



Predictably enough I disagree with this. Just because a game gets good reviews doesn't mean anyone should bloody well investigate if they are not interested in doing so.

CoreyClark wrote:


Look Rich, nobody needs to know how the hotdogs are made. Having it confirmed that "the rainbow game with all kinds of rules, tenuously held together in service of a novel objective" was invented by someone with little familiarity with -or indeed any apparent respect for- abstract games as a whole is hardly a shocker; least of all to me


I disagree on this. Morelli has been well received by the abstract community and feels to me like a game designed by someone who understands the genre very well. Albeit that it's a game I admire more than enjoy. The number of options can be a bit overwhelming at times and I find that it takes more than a casual glance to see what squares I need to aim for to complete my patterns. I think it would be better suited to live play than turn-based. On little golem I find myself having to rethink my way into the game each move.
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Buckersuk wrote:
CoreyClark wrote:


Look Rich, nobody needs to know how the hotdogs are made. Having it confirmed that "the rainbow game with all kinds of rules, tenuously held together in service of a novel objective" was invented by someone with little familiarity with -or indeed any apparent respect for- abstract games as a whole is hardly a shocker; least of all to me


I disagree on this. Morelli has been well received by the abstract community and feels to me like a game designed by someone who understands the genre very well. Albeit that it's a game I admire more than enjoy. The number of options can be a bit overwhelming at times and I find that it takes more than a casual glance to see what squares I need to aim for to complete my patterns. I think it would be better suited to live play than turn-based. On little golem I find myself having to rethink my way into the game each move.

I agree to the extent that I've explored numerous options to lose and their number is indeed overwhelming. Obviously the number of options to win is rather more limited (their lack bordering on 'overwhelming' at times).
 
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