“I believe” in psychicosity.
So, you’re psychic … or not. Is it better to be not psychic, little bit psychic, or very psychic? And, what does this have to do with gaming, gaming analysis, or whatever?
What is the attraction of gaming? There’s a contest, a challenge, obstacles to overcome. Doesn’t being psychic take away from the challenge?
“You aren’t psychic.” – David Cherryholmes (possibly a paraphrase, I don’t remember). The idea is that a game like V:TES cannot be predicted accurately at early stages. Not that this necessarily has anything to do with being psychic, but let’s say psychicness substitutes for superior analysis and you do know how things are going to turn out. Is the game worth playing at that point? Is it worth knowing whether you were right? Does the game change because you predict the outcome in a certain way to where the results don’t match expectations? Let’s ignore situations where you just observe (and ignore that observing something affects it).
Which is more fun? Less? Not being psychic seems reasonable in that the result is unknown. Even analysis that suggests an outcome is different from knowing an outcome. But, is there something lacking when the psychic sensitivity is lacking? A connection that transcends just doing?
Being very psychic seems terrible. Really, who actually wants to know the future? For me, a sign of a bad game is one in which it’s easy to work out who is going to win long before the game ends. Magic has this problem (much of the time). As great as it is in so many ways, it falls down as a game because it’s not fluid enough often enough.
So, what about a little bit psychic? How many times have you seen someone playing the Bene Gesserit in the Dune boardgame (probably more than one but gamers probably have an idea which I’m referring to) predict the winner? For me, every single time. But, then, I had logic behind my guess.
Does having special insight into what’s going to go on have any benefit? If you aren’t consistently psychic than you probably don’t know when you are being psychic which means you can’t be sure of outcomes. Is the game of seeing whether the game turns out the way you expect a fun one?
Which is more valid: The horror RPG philosophy that it’s better to know the truth even if the truth is awful? Or, ignorance is bliss-ish?
One may wonder why I’m rambling on about psychic ability. The connection with Pisces is obvious, but why does it matter? From a game player’s standpoint, there’s a question as to how much you want to be able to predict outcomes seeing as how playing games is kind of/sort of supposed to be recreational, though I suppose there are quite a few out there who care far more about the results than people such as myself. Is it ironic that I don’t get the sense that those people who care about results predict results or is it appropriate that the doing and the thinking are two different ways to approach games?
Then, on a very separate note, from a character standpoint, because how can I not talk about RPGs in one of my astrology posts, what does it really mean to be psychic, i.e. what are the implications for different levels of psychic awareness? Frequently, in entertainment, there are extremes – either it’s wonderful to be able to pick winning lottery numbers or it’s horrible to know the terrible ways people will die. Many RPGs have some sort of (vague) mechanic for prophetic dreams/insights. L5R and Conan both have Divination, in the former as a skill, in the latter as a sorcery style. How does a GM handle these abilities? Does it benefit the player (not the character) to have these abilities? I usually see people, myself included, eschew these abilities, though, I did enjoy the Serenade in Immortal: The Invisible War that allowed one to see the future. So, maybe being psychic gets a bad rap.
And, so I come to the end of my series. I predict not starting up Zodiac II any time soon. As much as anything can inspire ideas, forced inspiration isn’t all that inspiring.