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On this page: {Intro} {Games} {A quick Catalog} {A few Aesthetics} A tool is something that you use to do something else. As i heard it, Einstein found a mangled paper clip and he decided to straigten it out. In order to do so, he made several tools out of paper clips. And in creating those tools, ended up mangling several other paper clips. One of Murphy's Laws (we take ALL of Murphy's Laws to be AXIOMS) states: In order to clean something, something else must get dirty. The test of course comes in the idea of how usefull the tool is, and how many times it "pays for itself". So, if the tools that Uncle Al made can be used to straighten MORE paper clips than he mangled to make the tools, we would call them "efficient". For the most part this "efficiency" is something that artists (of all kinds) are sadly ignorant of. It's as if the artist themself was a substance being used to create a tool (called art) that in turn could be used to lend some sort of understanding to the world at large. BUt, what then ARE these tools then? We know that we can use the iconosphere for this: Key "Reality Structure 3" Features ab = absurdist Ab Fr Parital resolution of Quantum Indecidability ar = artist \ / Non-resolution of Chance vs Necessity fr = fractalist +----------------+ Pervassive/Permissive Self-Referential Ability fu = futurist /| /| Fuzzy Logic/Gophers hu = humanist / | / | Lossless/Lossy Theoretical Structures jz = jazzist / | / | Alterity Structures allowed thru Non-Causal Narrative sc = scientist Fu / | / | Fanatical Ultra-truth Sacrifice Possible (not recommended) sp = spiritualist \ / | / | (provided for U-p2/3 compatability) +----------------+--Hu | Auto-extensibility z = imagination | | "RS-3" | | Supports both rational/irrational dichotomy conflict | Jz--+----------|-----+ (resolution not guaranteed in closed form) | / | / \ Self-volumising Content | / | / Sc Clean Ergonomic Design | / | / Clean Well-lit Restrooms | / | / Open Source Multi-user InterFace |/ |/ +----------------+ / \ Sp Ar "Reality Structure 3" (mark II) Go ahead, try it. I'll be here when you get back. (browses thru music list and decides on some "Dark Star" while waiting)...


In this section: {
A quick Catalog} {Game Concepts/Comments} {Aesthetics{

Games: A quick catalog

In this section, i consdier some of the aesthetics of game and game play. Unfortunately, on the Planet Earth (that is, it is unfortunate that game play on the planet earth, not the bit about the unfortunate fate of the planet earth at the hands of those that should know better; really, i have no sympathy for them at all!!). START AGAIN In the text "Games that People Play" (one of the best selling and most successful books of the TCE:01960-01979 era) indicted that (for adults) games were a substitue for sex (refer to the H2G2), but we take a more universal approach and simply state that games are that which occupy our mind(s) while we are waiting; ie, ostensibly waiting for Godot, the Return of the Great Prophet Zarquon, or the odd bus not during so-called rush hour. Regardless, one of the most popular games for one person are crossword puzzles (invented on Earth sometime in the early 1900c), as well as similar diversions. These include Sudkuko, Word Jumble, Anagrams, etc. Next up are games of patience - usually refered to as "solitare" card games. There are three major ones, including the popular one "Klondike" which is commonly known as "just solitare". The 4-square uese a bit more of the maths area of the brain, so i occassionally partake of that one. Next up are games for two. The most popular card games include Rummy and Gin Rummy (slightly different variants), Poker (see below), Cribbage (which requires a "scoring board" - which is part of its charm). and Pinocle (which requires a special deck of cards). Of these Pinocle comes closest to bridge and/or spades. A rather interesting set of games can be played on a Pool Table (aka a "Billiards Table" after the game of the same name). These require a working knowledge of geometry and physics, and are far from random. Other such specialised games include horse shoes, darts, badminton, etc. I would mention tennis, baseball (sandlot), vollyball, and tag football - but they have become such comercialised and thinly veiled representations of the mass spectator sports that i will say they are well and good when not played so seriously; ie, in one theory of human determinancy/ontology game playing is supposed to be "fun" - unfortuantely, as with many games this ceases to be the case and game play begins to mimic evolutionary survival "play" invovled in the standard competitive model which of course is merely the primry manifestation of the destructive gene-pool competion normally called "war" which involve living/breeding room competition most commonly found in "lower" forms of life. Note that it has yet to proved (even using Bistro Maths) tht humans are not in this category as well. For three or more players (more often 3 is better), there is no better game of chance and bluff than poker. It is an art form in and of itself, and bears further investigation by the bored. A good group of poker players is exactly in competitive sympatico in exactly the way that bridge players are not. Bridge is a more advanced (evolved variant) of Whist. And while mentally challenging (only Chess comes close), it often devovles into terrible competitive problems (recriminations such as "you roughed the dummy, when you should have led clubs", or "you trumped my ace!", etc - all meaningless to the un-initiated). Spades, Crazy Eights, Old Maid, Go Fish, and Orangatang are simler variants of Bridge and Poker of an easier nature and usually more social in general (much more so than Bridge). Other card games include "I doubt it" (aka "BS"), war, Mille Borne and Slotto (both requirin special decks). Finally, "board games" include Dominoes and Majong (wherein the board is a set of special tiles in special arrangments (several levels of play are possible), Parchisi, Sorry, Schutes and Ladders, Scrabble, Pequacky (a delightful game that has all but disappeared), Boggle and Yatzee (along with Perquacky all three are based on dice) and of course Monopoly, etc. Other dice games include Craps and ??name?? (by far the most popular) And then group play including the most popular: Bingo. Many games require no equipment and these include things like "Peek a boo", "hide and seek", "kick the can", "geography", "listen and repeat", etc. Despite these games' obvious benfits both mentally and cardiovascularly, they are rarely played by adults. In terms of video/computer games, almost any normal game can be "computerised" with varying degrees of success. As well, computers allow for more complicated game play as well as scoring. Notable in games that have judges (other than sports, which are all together somethng entirely different - mainly for the money involved. Note that other than bingo and poker, most games are not played for money) are Dungeons and Dragons and similr RPG's (Role Playing Games). As mentioned before, most sports are in fact mere subjugation of the "normal" human activities of competition for living/breeding space, property, etc. In general, humans (see map) don't really seem to be able to have fun - often confusing the acquisition of "things" as a substitute for the pursuit of happiness. And more often than not, such a diffused activity deprives many othes of the possiblity of happiness (or at least its unfettered pursuid), as well as even the most meager supply of sustanence - let alone untlimited (or even any) rice pudding.

Games: Concepts/Ideas

Games are most often based on a milder version of reward/punishment than the "normal" competitve model (often mistaken for the evolutionary model in general form).

Card Games

The lowest level of play is the concept of "rank". In the simple game of War, the higher card wins. Note that this order is altered in games like blackjack where the Ace can be high and low; similarly for Gin/Gin Rummy, and poker. Further note than in some games (eg, Old Maid) a certain card/cards are given particular significance and thus break up the inherrent order in the deck of cards; esp in poker play with "wild cards". The next basic structure of a game is the re-ordering activity. Thus, a given random deck of cards (shuffled to create randomness) is then ordered into patterns of particular meanning in the play. Note that in things like Fish, Poker, Pinoccle the patterns include two of a kind (eg, "two tens"), and as the play becomes more complex (we take it as read that "fish" is the base level of pattern matching). Thus, in many "static hand" games sequences are built up and then the hands are compared. In "dynamic hand" card games (bridge, spades) play proceeds where by a player "takes" a hand by having the properly most powerful card. Note that again, the concept of Trump over-rides the normal ordering of the deck.


The lowest form of chess is of course draughts (checkers). In formal play, the game has very few possibilities; ie, with the enforced rule that jumps MUST be taken. But, as a kids game with this rule relaxed, it is of course and excellent eye/hand co-ordination game, as well as a some what mentally challenging game. This is especially true of the "king" actions which open the multiple directions play option. Chess and Go are probably the most challenging board games, often requiring a considerable time to even begin to master slightly. Note that these and other board games (eg, BatttleShip, Stratego, Risk, and board-based war games) involve capture/conversion of pieces. Contrast this to Dominoes and Majong. It should be noted that Majong resembles the game play in Bridge as well. Further the dominoe variant "42" is actually a variant on Bridge (but with rank being doubles - many variants).


A special case is pool (billiards, eight ball, etc). While technically a sport (involving physical prowess), since it is based on hard physics and softer geometry (due to the physicallity of the game) - it is often a kind of game more similar to bridge or poker than anything else; ie, it may haver partners as well as invidvidual players.