Adam mines old LiveJournal posts about Game State

So back in 2008, I was thinking about this same stuff. Unfortunately, LJ has eaten the diagram and I don't have it anywhere else and I don't remember a lot of what was in it. I find it fascinating to revisit this. So much of my ideas were already there.

Here's a bit from the text though:
Third, TBM doesn't model individual imaginations. When I say imagination, I mean each player's understanding of the fiction or "shared imaginary space" (SIS) as TBM calls it. The fact is, the thing called the SIS barely exists and no one can put their finger on it. It's like this: We're playing D&D. I describe my character to the other players. Now you have an idea in your head of what I look like, and it's different than mine, guaranteed. But somehow we manage to play together. Sometimes we have to stop and clarify our understanding. There's this idealized fiction that no one can see, but we all agree exists, and we all try to get our own personal fictions to agree with the idealized fiction, but it never happens.
That is, I didn't believe in the SIS then either. I talked about "imagination" (PIS now) and referred to "the idealized fiction" (the game state), which I later renamed to "State of Play."
The Fiction itself is divided into two sections. Personal Fiction contains each player's individual mental model of play. Idealized Fiction is the shared model that no one can see or touch, but generally people bump into it indirectly.
I'm digging these out again because I still agree with these parts, and I said things in a different way 12 years ago and maybe that will help people understand where I'm coming from.

I don't still agree with much of what I wrote then, though. Or I agree, sorta, but think my 2008 self was naive and missing some important things about how gaming works and overemphasizing certain techniques (e.g., IIEE) over others--and all Techniques just fit nicely into the same place in my new model.

In comments on a followup discussion with Bruce Baugh:
I think both our terms, "Fantasy" and "Fiction," are inferior to The Big Model's term, "Shared Imaginary Space" (SIS). SIS is a great term because it includes a spot for where play contacts system and stores state of play. That's why I am leaning towards "State of Play" in newer versions of my model. Fiction is still there, but State of Play has a special meaning. I think of State of Play as the RAM of Play.

I realize I'm not explaining this well. Let me try a different way. The state of play necessarily includes more than just fictional elements. It has to maintain state of procedural stuff. It includes stuff like, "You rolled a natural 20!" and "the wizard we met is at least 5th level because he cast fireball." That stuff is not part of the fiction, per se, but is definitely part of the game state, the non-diegetic information about play.
Or this comment:
One way to look at my model is as a computer.

You have users (Players), and a computer (Social Contract). The computer takes inputs (Goals of Play) from the users through various channels (Techniques) and then performs an action on it. This action changes the state of its memory (State of Play) a few bits at a time (Ephemera) and is output to the users along various output devices, each of which might change the output a little; thus, each user gets a slightly different result (Personal Fiction).

Comments


  • In a theory thread on Resolution:
    Resolution

    Here's how a role-playing game works. Each player does this at the same time that every other player does it. Every play group works out a Procedure to synchronize these steps (and hopefully the System provides one to eliminate clashes).

    Prioritization: You formulate goals of play and prioritize them (often not consciously).Visualization: You imagine your Personal Fiction.Planning: You consider Techniques (elements of System or Procedure) that allow you to further your goals.Intent: You "record" your intent to use a Technique. In every RPG I have ever read, this almost always involves communication with other players, but this is not a requirement.Initiation: You start to use a Technique to further your goals.Execution: You apply the Technique. You figure out what change will actually occur in the Idealized Fiction.Effect: You change the Idealized Fiction. In a virtual sense, the change is copied to the State of Play.Translation: You interpret the change into your own Personal Fiction. Each other player interprets the change into his or her Personal Fiction.Judgment: Unconsciously, you measure the change against your goals of play. This elicits an emotional response. Achieving goals of play is fun. Not achieving goals is boring, frustrating, or not fun.Cycle: Go back to step 1.
    I think there's some gold there.
  • Anyway, maybe these give some more insight into where my head is at. I picked excerpts that I still find interesting and useful. The originals contain some stuff that I feel is less useful, but still interesting.

    For more like that, click on any article and find the theory category tag and click that to see more like it.
  • Interesting, Adam! I’ll have to get back to my list in the other thread and your responses.

    One question:

    I agree that the SIS is kind of a muddled abstraction of what actually happens. But isn’t the idea of a “game state” an even MORE muddled abstraction?

    If not, why not?
  • SIS in Forge terms is muddled because it's really unclear how much is truly shared and what kind of shared (shared-2, shared-4?). It's unclear because it's a "near or total synonym" of Exploration--while SIS is a "space" and Exploration is a process.

    Game State in my model is very clearly defined. A lot of people here don't like the definition, but it's not at all muddled, is it?
  • edited July 22
    Hello,
    SIS in Forge terms is muddled because it's really unclear how much is truly shared and what kind of shared (shared-2, shared-4?)
    I'm not seeing any functional problem with the phrase Shared Imagined Space.

    SIS = The mutual understanding of communicated imaginings.

    Shared-2 and shared-4. The idea of trying to pull the idea apart into two separate identities is a false dichotomy. That which is mutual must be shared. That which is shared must be mutual. One cannot exist or function without the other. To me it's much like arguing what is more important - the brain or the heart. Neither can long exist without the other. Both are present as part of a greater whole rather than the sum of the parts.

    Not that confusing. Game State requires metaphysics and all sort of philosophical twisting to make it function. As I see it. But then it's likely that I'm just that thick. Which is probably closer to the mark.

    Best,

    Jay

    Edited to add - the notion that SIS is a "near or total synonym" for Exploration was an idea that never got much traction and was pretty roundly dismissed or left to die a lonely death. The definition was always confusing and controversial. It does not carry much credibility. To keep referencing it as a foundation for an argument is akin to tilting at windmills.
  • the notion that SIS is a "near or total synonym" for Exploration was an idea that never got much traction and was pretty roundly dismissed or left to die a lonely death. The definition was always confusing and controversial. It does not carry much credibility. To keep referencing it as a foundation for an argument is akin to tilting at windmills.
    I'm curious about where the idea even comes from. Assuming it's true, that would mean that the SIS contains System (being an object of Exploration) as well, which would just completely obliterate any understanding I thought I had of what the SIS is. My understanding of System is that it's basically the rules by which things are added to the SIS; it may make sense to say that it recursively exists inside the SIS for some examples ("physics engine" models, for example), but I can't see how it could encompass any non-diegetically motivated choices by players except through sketchy post-hoc justification (the "cleric who worships the PCs as gods" idea writ large, perhaps).
  • Silmenume is making sense to me here.

    Adam, have you written up a clear definition of game state at some point? I can’t find one at the moment.

    Game State in my model is very clearly defined. A lot of people here don't like the definition, but it's not at all muddled, is it?
  • Some things I can find:
    Game State = facts that you don't know yet + facts that you do know already - facts that don't belong in here at all


    2. There's this gaming thing out there that isn't in anyone's heads, full of everything true about the game. I want to call that the Game State.

    [...]

    The Game State contains all of the truth of System, Setting, Character, Situation, and Color as data that can be altered by Techniques.
    Are any of these right/close?

    So far, I find this pretty muddled, yes.

  • One thing I do find a bit muddled in the big model.

    The components of exploration are: System, Setting, Character, Situation, and Color

    The divisions of authority are: Content, Situational, Outcome, Narration

    I don’t see how these fit together. In practice this doesn’t matter because I almost never think about the components of exploration but I think about the division of authority quite a bit.
  • @AlexanderWhite, I'm not sure whether your question is related to Adam's theory of the Game State, but I'll answer briefly just in case it is:

    I don't think they're meant to "fit together" in any particular way. I mean, Content authority often means you're determining facts about the Setting, Narration authority often has to do with Colour, and Situational authority is clearly pretty analogous to Situation. But I don't see any reason why they have to line up in any particular way; fundamentally, "divisions of authority" are all a question of System, anyway (who gets to say what, and when).

    Actually, maybe that's the answer to what you're asking? Divisions of authority are all part of your System - your System determines how you establish things like Setting, Character, Colour, but also who gets to frame a scene (Situational authority) or to describe it in detail in play (Narrational authority).

    So:

    How does this affect our view of the Game State?
  • Game State is the set of all true facts of the five components of Exploration (System, Setting, Character, Situation, and Character), known by players, or unknown by players.
  • Hello,

    There are two major functional flaws with this definition.

    1. Who determines "Truth"?

    2. The amount of facts that are unknown to players can approach the infinite rendering the definition non-functional.

    A lesser matter of clarification, is the GM included in the definition of player?

    Best,

    Jay
  • 1. If you believe there's a Truth, whatever it is, then the game state holds it, even if you don't know it.

    2. The Game State holds all those facts. It's like the Gloracle, with its ability to produce infinite amazingness.

    Yes, the GM, too.
  • Is this game state accessible at all to any of the players involved, or influences in any way their mental image of the game?
    My concern is that, if it is unaccessible at all to any of the players involved, how is it useful as a concept?
    I'd rather work with a concept of game state less metaphysical and more instrumental to analyzing the act of play and design possibilities. Perhaps an example of a fragment of play that can be accurately described by this definition of game state (and no other) would be useful.
  • @Paul_T I was getting a bit muddled up.

    The five components of exploration are categories of statements. The act of roleplaying is the act of talking to each other about situation, system, color, character, setting.

    Where I was tripping myself up, was not seeing how system fits in. Then I got it.

    GM: The path goes through a forest.
    Player: I walk away from the path and into the forest
    GM: An orc jumps out and attacks you for 4 points of damage
    Player: I spend an author point to reduce it to 1 point and then I spend a director point to instant kill the orc
    GM: no description?
    Player: Fine. I spinning kick it’s head off and get covered with green gore.

    It’s really obvious in hindsight.

    Or.

    Player: I swing on the chandelier
    GM: Wait what, there’s no chandelier
    Player: who says?
    GM: The system gives me content authority in this game
    Player: Oh ok, no chandelier then.

    @Adam_Dray mentions in the quote that he had a similar issue with the SiS concept. My problem stemmed from using it interchangeably with 'the fiction' but it's really talking about the fiction and the system.


    I realize I'm not explaining this well. Let me try a different way. The state of play necessarily includes more than just fictional elements. It has to maintain state of procedural stuff. It includes stuff like, "You rolled a natural 20!" and "the wizard we met is at least 5th level because he cast fireball." That stuff is not part of the fiction, per se, but is definitely part of the game state, the non-diegetic information about play.

  • Oof! That sounds even more muddled than I thought.

    Can the Game State hold contradictory facts?
  • Game State is the set of all true facts of the five components of Exploration (System, Setting, Character, Situation, and Character), known by players, or unknown by players.
    To me, this is quite clear. Are you intentionally disregarding colour, here?


    To verify my understanding: Suppose half the group believes Elmo has blue eyes and the other half that they have brown eyes. There exists a monster who only kills people with blue eyes, though the never, in the cause of the game, happen to meet Elmo or otherwise interact. The issue of differing notions about the eye colour never comes up, or is otherwise never resolved.

    The game state still contains the true eye colour, even though nobody knows what it is.

    If the group later continues to play, they might notice and resolve the eye colour conflict. We can not, a priori, know how they resolve it (without further information about authority and such), but still, in this model of platonic game state, they are trying to discover the eye colour in the game state. Maybe they later observe that they were, in fact, wrong, and they re-evaluate their judgment.

    This is the process of trying to discover the platonic game state.
  • So, for example, let's say a WoD group is playing Vampire. They want to stay true to the current state of the masquerade metaplot, so they read the novels, supplements, etc. Yet there's a single novel they haven't read or know of, where an important NPC dies. This doesn't happen in their campaign.

    Does their platonian game state hold all the updated information for the setting ever published?

    If another GM ever comes up with the idea of playing in Forgotten Realms, even though he knows barely the minimum about the setting, is the game state generated with all the information ever published about FR?
  • Game State is the set of all true facts of the five components of Exploration (System, Setting, Character, Situation, and Character), known by players, or unknown by players.
    To me, this is quite clear. Are you intentionally disregarding colour, here?
    No, just mixed up my C's and wrote Character twice.

  • To verify my understanding: Suppose half the group believes Elmo has blue eyes and the other half that they have brown eyes. There exists a monster who only kills people with blue eyes, though the never, in the cause of the game, happen to meet Elmo or otherwise interact. The issue of differing notions about the eye colour never comes up, or is otherwise never resolved.

    The game state still contains the true eye colour, even though nobody knows what it is.

    If the group later continues to play, they might notice and resolve the eye colour conflict. We can not, a priori, know how they resolve it (without further information about authority and such), but still, in this model of platonic game state, they are trying to discover the eye colour in the game state. Maybe they later observe that they were, in fact, wrong, and they re-evaluate their judgment.

    This is the process of trying to discover the platonic game state.
    Yes.

    It's absolutely fine that there are contradictory facts in people's heads, in their PIS, but the truth is somewhere (in a platonic ideal sense) and for my model, that's the game state.
  • So, for example, let's say a WoD group is playing Vampire. They want to stay true to the current state of the masquerade metaplot, so they read the novels, supplements, etc. Yet there's a single novel they haven't read or know of, where an important NPC dies. This doesn't happen in their campaign.

    Does their platonian game state hold all the updated information for the setting ever published?

    If another GM ever comes up with the idea of playing in Forgotten Realms, even though he knows barely the minimum about the setting, is the game state generated with all the information ever published about FR?
    The game state is only true for your group. All that canon information in books are tools that your group might use, through Exploration, to discover its existence in their game.

    If the group learns that the important NPC died in some book, but the NPC is alive in their game, they have to make a decision which way to go. Whichever way they go, that is the truth of the game state. And for the purposes of the game state, it was always that way.

    Even if they retcon the living NPC and make them dead, the game state works by assuming/pretending that it was always true. They roll back all facts that are invalidated by the living NPC now being dead, and pretend it was always that way for the purposes of play. Of course, everyone at the table knows about the retcon, and I'd even argue that the retcon itself (as the ephemera of running a procedure) enters the game state as well.
  • edited July 23
    Back in the old days, a lot of gamers thought of roleplaying as pretending to enter an imaginary world, and the Ultimate RPG was one which was closest to a virtual reality simulation.

    To what extent is the Game State different from or the same as that old idea?

    Second:

    The Game State contains the true facts of all five elements of Exploration, you say.

    Is this true of “metagame” facts? What happens when our rule use clashes with the “imaginary world”?

    For example, if a character is being threatened with death, and that’s part of our vivid imagined play, we’re all *feeling* it, it feels real, etc... but some quirk of the rules actually means that it’s impossible for death to occur (let’s say there’s a design issue with the rules someone overlooked - you’re supposed to remove one die from a certain roll, but doing so makes it impossible to hit the hero, perhaps). In this case, what’s in the Game State?

    And what happens when we get a rule wrong but we’re really into the results? In that case, what’s in the Game State? (Let’s say a GM fudges a die roll, for example.)

    We’re playing Witch: the Road to Lindisfarne. We narrate a scene where the Witch escapes from her cage and returns home to her family. Then we get to the final scene, and we realize we screwed up: she’s supposed to be here, still. Oops!

    We start arguing. Everyone loves the way the story has gone, and they say we should abandon the script and just play out the final scene without the Witch, because the consistency of the fictional world is more important to us than what the designers wrote.

    However, we’re at Jerry’s house, and he lays down the law: “this is MY house, I taught you all to roleplay, and I want to finish this game by the book!” Jerry lays down his tyrannical social authority. It’s arguably part of our System: even though it’s a GMless game, we know that if we don’t agree with Jerry he won’t invite us back, and we won’t be able to play anymore.

    It’s a regular part of our System that Jerry gets to overrule things; he’s always the GM and the organizer and his word always goes - we’ve played this way for years and it’s part of how we play.

    In this case, what’s in the Game State?

    How can “it was true all along” AND the reality of a retcon (as you write, above) be “in the Game State” at the same time?

    After all, System includes so many things...

    Does the Game State “know” which player is the GM, for instance? And why is it useful to think of an imaginary thing which “knows” that as well as fictional facts about an imaginary place?

  • The game state is only true for your group. All that canon information in books are tools that your group might use, through Exploration, to discover its existence in their game.

    If the group learns that the important NPC died in some book, but the NPC is alive in their game, they have to make a decision which way to go. Whichever way they go, that is the truth of the game state. And for the purposes of the game state, it was always that way.

    Even if they retcon the living NPC and make them dead, the game state works by assuming/pretending that it was always true. They roll back all facts that are invalidated by the living NPC now being dead, and pretend it was always that way for the purposes of play. Of course, everyone at the table knows about the retcon, and I'd even argue that the retcon itself (as the ephemera of running a procedure) enters the game state as well.
    So game state is by your definition at least in part tied to group consensus and definitions about the game.

    I have another example. Recently I GMed for the first time Firefly rpg, though it was a bit improvised because I hadn't much time to plan the session. My original idea was to GM the adventure the book contains, from which I only read the introduction. As soon as we started, I found out that not having read it before would slow down the game too much, as I stopped to read every bit of text about the scenario. So I pretty much improvised everything, based on the introduction of the adventure.

    In that case, the game state held the unread mission in the book, the adventure I actually GMed, or something else?

  • So game state is by your definition at least in part tied to group consensus and definitions about the game.
    Group consensus is a tool people use to determine the truth of the game state, yes.

    I have another example. Recently I GMed for the first time Firefly rpg, though it was a bit improvised because I hadn't much time to plan the session. My original idea was to GM the adventure the book contains, from which I only read the introduction. As soon as we started, I found out that not having read it before would slow down the game too much, as I stopped to read every bit of text about the scenario. So I pretty much improvised everything, based on the introduction of the adventure.

    In that case, the game state held the unread mission in the book, the adventure I actually GMed, or something else?
    What was ultimately true for your game? What was in the book or what you made up?

    That's the game state.

    You might have thought that the game state was what was in the book when you started play, but by the time the game was over, you knew that the truth was the stuff you made up.
  • What I made up was the truth, I guess, other than one or two NPC statblocks. It was known to my players, since pretty much at the beginning I closed the book and started improvising, and afterwards I told them but it wasn't really a surprise.
    My doubt was that this situation seemed a bit hybrid, so I didn't know where was the game state according to your definition of it.
  • Back in the old days, a lot of gamers thought of roleplaying as pretending to enter an imaginary world, and the Ultimate RPG was one which was closest to a virtual reality simulation.

    To what extent is the Game State different from or the same as that old idea?
    I certainly don't share many goals with the proponents of that virtual reality idea, if that's what you mean. I'm not trying to say the game state is the ultimate simulation.

    I'm saying, when people play, it's a useful idea to think that there's a wellspring of truth about the game.


    Second:

    The Game State contains the true facts of all five elements of Exploration, you say.

    Is this true of “metagame” facts? What happens when our rule use clashes with the “imaginary world”?
    I think you need to define "metagame" and "metagame fact" before I can really answer. Your example doesn't really show me any metagame fact, by my definition.

    Meta ("outside") + game = outside the game. Is a metagame fact part of the facts of the game state? I'd say no, because they're not part of the game. But which facts are really outside the game?

    We're playing D&D. Fact: "Trump is president." Definitely not part of the game, therefore metagame.

    We're playing D&D. Fact: "Paul is upset about Adam cheating on dice rolls." Part of the game, though probably at the Social Contract level. Still part of the game state, I think, because of its saliency, in the sense that Sandra uses it.

    For example, if a character is being threatened with death, and that’s part of our vivid imagined play, we’re all *feeling* it, it feels real, etc... but some quirk of the rules actually means that it’s impossible for death to occur (let’s say there’s a design issue with the rules someone overlooked - you’re supposed to remove one die from a certain roll, but doing so makes it impossible to hit the hero, perhaps). In this case, what’s in the Game State?
    I can't parse that example into facts. Can you give me a list of the predicates (statements that can be either true or false), and I can take a shot at telling you if they're in or out of the game state?

    And what happens when we get a rule wrong but we’re really into the results? In that case, what’s in the Game State? (Let’s say a GM fudges a die roll, for example.)
    Presumably, y'all come to some agreement about the resolution, no?
    Whatever you agree on, that's the game state.

    I'm frustrated, because I know I've given examples like this over and over and said the same thing.

    We’re playing Witch: the Road to Lindisfarne. We narrate a scene where the Witch escapes from her cage and returns home to her family. Then we get to the final scene, and we realize we screwed up: she’s supposed to be here, still. Oops!

    We start arguing. Everyone loves the way the story has gone, and they say we should abandon the script and just play out the final scene without the Witch, because the consistency of the fictional world is more important to us than what the designers wrote.

    [[Jerry is a monster]]

    In this case, what’s in the Game State?
    Okay, there are two possibilities of truth here:

    A. Witch escaped the cage and returned home to her family.
    B. Witch is stuck in her cage.

    One of them is true. During the first part of the game, you and some other players thought A was true. When you started arguing, it's because some think A is true and Jerry thinks B is true. They cannot both be true.

    Ultimately, there is a truth. It's in the game state.

    How do you determine it? Someone decides, right? We use words like "Use techniques" or "GM fiat" or "take a vote" or "start hitting Jerry until he agrees," and those are all Techniques and System, but ultimately, group consensus. Social Contract wins over all.

    That process of determining the truth is called Exploration in the Big Model.

    How can “it was true all along” AND the reality of a retcon (as you write, above) be “in the Game State” at the same time?
    The definition of retcon is basically "It was true all along," no?

    Let's say Jerry wins, because Jerry is a monster and he scares you. What is the truth of your game? Is the witch in the cage or is she with her family? Sure, you role-played the latter for an hour, but what is ultimately true now that Jerry has laid down the law?

    Did she return to her family? No. She was in the cage the entire time.

    You can't rewind players' memories. They remember both "truths." But once they accept Jerry's ruling, they know, in their heads, that they were "wrong" about the witch being out of the cage. That's what accepting Jerry's ruling means! It means that, in their heads, in their PIS, they had "Witch escaped the cage and returned home to her family" (true) as a predicate, and now they have to write "(false)" after that.

    The retcon also probably invalidates player belief in a lot of other stuff in the game state, too, since many other things depended on her return. For example:

    C. When the witch returned to her family, Ham died trying to stop her.

    Well, if the witch is still in the cage, then Ham is still alive. That's the retroactive continuity (retcon) in action. The retcon doesn't change the game state though. The game state is just an idea collection of the actual truth. The retcon therefore changes each player's understanding of the game state. "Ahhhh, for the last hour, we believed the witch escaped and Ham died, but now we know that isn't true."

    Does the Game State “know” which player is the GM, for instance? And why is it useful to think of an imaginary thing which “knows” that as well as fictional facts about an imaginary place?
    "Adam is the GM" is part of the game state because there are rules that work differently for the GM, so everyone has to know who the GM is. "You can't decide that; you're not the GM!" is a valid test of that bit of the game state.

    You could narrow "game state" down to just imaginary stuff and not rules-oriented stuff, but it's useful because "Elminster has 100 hit points" is a useful fact of the game. Putting rules into the game state lets you treat rules as data (not just code) and allow Techniques to add and modify and delete rules from the game state during play.

    For example, Sandra's Blorb rule to patch missing rules requires rules to be part of the game state. Technique: "Look for a table to determine and roll on it. If I don't have a table in the game state, look for another (weaker) technique, but add a table for it to the game state as soon as possible."
  • edited July 23
    That’s helpful, Adam!

    I’m struggling a bit with the idea that the Game State can contain facts about the “imaginary world” AS WELL as the mechanics to uncover those facts (which, as Vincent points out, can even be intentionally designed to produce contradictions). That seems head-breakingly muddled. Why do you feel all this stuff belongs in there?

    Second, I’m struggling with the idea that it’s somehow accurate or useful to say that a predicate “is true, and has always been true”, even in cases where it easily gets changed later, and we remember several differently versions of that predicate.

    In the case of a game with a retcon, the Game State theory would want us to label a pre-retcon fact as “true and has always been true” at one time, and then “false, and has never been true” at a later time.

    How is that useful or accurate?

    If we’re just talking about a sort of collective delusion about the reality of the game’s fiction, I suppose that’s OK (though I don’t know why we need such fancy or confusing language for it), but then why and how does System get involved?

    When I say “metagame”, I’m using it in the (rather controversial and strange, but I didn’t have a better word to reach for) sense that describes anything unrelated to the fictional content of the Game world.

    For instance, you’re saying that “Adam is the GM” is a fact of the Game State. But starting next week, maybe Sandra is the GM. Doesn’t your Game State theory suggest that, according to the Game State, we must now accept that Sandra has always been the GM all along, and we just didn’t realize it until this week?

    That’s what you’ve said in response to my questions about errors in fiction as well as errors in rules (like the various hit point examples or the Witch example, which, while having fictional representation, is still dealing with a rule of the game that goes beyond just the fiction, but describes how we l, as players, agree to create the fiction.)

    It seems to me that such confusion is a natural conclusion of the Game State theory you’re describing so far, and that’s mind-bogglingly bizarre.

    That’s why I’m lost!

    Further, in my experience, that’s pretty much always the consequence of accepting theory that’s intentionally misleading about the nature of reality. So I’m pretty leery of such things!

    I hope that helps clarify a little where my concerns are coming from.
  • Because "game state" isn't the same as "the fiction."

    If this was chess, with zero fiction, you'd have no problem having non-imaginary game state stuff, like "you touched a piece without moving it" in there.

    Or if you play Magic: The Gathering, the idea that as cards come out and introduce new rules to the table, the game state is literally changing before your eyes.
    Second, I’m struggling with the idea that it’s somehow accurate or useful to say that a predicate “is true, and has always been true”, even in cases where it easily gets changed later, and we remember several differently versions of that predicate.

    How is that useful or accurate?
    It's true in the game fiction and has always been true in the game fiction. I don't think that's particularly controversial, so I suspect just adding "in the game fiction" will make it all better for you?

    You can remember a bunch of different versions of the truth, but there's only one truth. If you change what the truth is in the game state -- in the fiction -- then did the truth change in the fiction or was it always just one way?

    Was the witch out of the cage, then she was back in the cage, or was she just always in the cage?
  • I suspect just adding "in the game fiction" will make it all better for you
    Almost entirely, yes!

    The chess analogy is actually pretty good. I’ll try to get back to that when I have time to type some more! Remind me if I forget. Thanks!

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