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24 January 2002 @ 04:14 am
Magister Ludi Infinitus  

Nobody has responded with the final part of the current game yet. For those of you reading this who are playing the game, you'll get a clue into the whole enchilada. For those of you who have no idea what I'm talking about, The Story Collage Game, in brief detail:

  • Phase 0: Construct a mix CD or tape of your choosing. For those constructing their own games, choose evocative songs that suggest action or drama- if you choose lyrical (in the oetic sense) songs, the game will be much harder to play later. Make a dozen (or so) copies of said CD/tape. Choose equally evocative album name and/or artwork. (Artwork optional)
  • Phase 1a: Give a copy of the mix to each of the participants. At your whim, supply them with a track listing of said mix (I've only done it without a track list, YMMV). If you don't give them one, sometimes it's fun to see what people think a song is.
  • Phase 1b: Each participant must construct a platonically ideal track list. This sounds a lot more complicated than it is: if we know November Rain by Guns and Roses, and we can both agree in our heart of hearts that November Rain is one of the shittiest names for that song, and that Guns and Roses isn't that great a name for a band, then- in a perfect world, where the essence of meaning is actually captured by language- what is the name of the song, when it stands alone and sings to you?
  • Phase 2: This is the part of the Story Collage game that becomes interesting. Now, the only instructions left for each of the participants is that they must try to determine what story the mix is trying to tell, given everything that they know about the album as a whole (album title, platonically ideal track list, lyrics, tempo, dynamics, style, album artwork, etc.). If you want to give limits or structure to the form of the story, be my guest- if they have to write a sestina, they'll hate you forever, and these people are presumably your friends.

Then, share the stories. Learn about the other people. This is why we have games.

And by the way, James P. Carse is wrong when he says that there is only one infinite game. Heh heh heh. (Okay, so he's right- who cares?)

I came up with the idea for this game on my own after reading aforementioned life-changing book (Finite and Infinite Games), and if you decide to play it (it really takes a long time) and it goes well (or doesn't), if you think it's a good idea (or it sucks) let me know. E-mail (which should be possible for humans that understand spam-proofing) and comments welcome. And for all of the address-harvesters out there, someday you'll be capable of cognition, and then you too can send me an e-mail. Until then, you have no idea what I just said.