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Old 12-20-2006, 03:19 AM   #72
Simo Sakari Aaltonen
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Join Date: Mar 2004
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MoriartyL wrote:

When two fields are completely unrelated, combining the two will not give you truth- rather, it will give you an incorrect perspective.
In my view, quantum physics and ordinary physics are not completely unrelated. It is not two different realities, it is a system within a system, just as atoms make up molecules and molecules make up bodies. Nor am I looking for truth with any of this, only inspiration. An incorrect perspective emerges only if one draws false conclusions. In my view, the universe is one large system where everything affects everything. I am not asking anyone else to agree with this view, but I am entitled to it. I make no claim to eternal truth or even consistency.

For instance, if I were to apply a lesson of physics -"A body in motion continues to move in a straight line with a constant speed unless and until an external unbalanced force acts upon it"- to the stock market, I'd be a poor man.
No, you would simply be making a poor choice of what to apply and how. Take inertia instead and you're in business. Everyone working in stocks knows that stocks have inertia much like physical objects do. There are useful analogies to be drawn, you only have to be smart about drawing them.

Or if I made the superficial connection in my head between human memory and computer memory, I might be led to believe that computers are likely to lose any data which is not used.
I believe there is evidence to support the belief that, generally speaking, accessing data on an information-storage system, whether brain, VHS cassette, or hard drive, helps maintain the integrity of the data.

The principles of one field are not likely applicable in another, unless that field is closely related.
Where do you get this idea? I am honestly curious, because I see no self-evident basis for that claim. In fact, it seems that in this case you are applying a principle of mathematics or geography, namely distance, to a field I believe you have no reason to suppose closely related, namely information theory.

One can make an analogy between them, to be sure, but that analogy is just a way of simplifying an issue to better understand it, not in itself truth.
Your conception of analogy differs from mine, which is of course fine. I can see that someone would use analogy as a heuristic tool, an aid to understanding something else. But it can be more than that. It can be a way of looking at a familiar field from a fresh angle, which is very useful to prevent inbreeding. I argue for a multiplicity of perspectives, not sterile, binary truths.

To think otherwise is a mildly amusing type of foolishness that leads to incorrect perspectives.
Only if one fails to see how the different perspectives are useful in respect of each other.

The way quantum physics deals with causality is limited to a quantum level. It has no meaning on any other level.
It does in many people's views. Causality breaks down or, better said, acts non-linearly on other levels as well, and quantum processes (or what current science terms quantum processes; the theory will likely be revised at some point) are going on in everything around us, and inside us. I have no problem with your apparent belief that what happens on the quantum level exists in a different reality unconnected with macrocosmic existence. I only believe differently: heat wood, and motion accelerates on the atomic level, leading to motion and physical manifestations on the suratomic level.

The "breaking of causality" you mention is an entirely different issue, which you don't see because of this incorrect perspective of yours.
I see how your interpretation of my views would lead you to think that they are based on unclear thinking. But I must point out that your interpretation of these views is itself incorrect, invaliding that conclusion. We are not arguing about provable logical points, but about worldviews.

In fact, the example you gave did not break causality at all- it just put a puzzle in between your input and the game's output. In that section, causality remains intact; it's just the rules which have changed. And the player solves the puzzle not by abandoning causality, but by figuring out what the new rules are. This is not an idea which has much potential beyond that specific puzzle- use it too much, and it's overkill.
Now this is a fair criticism of the examples I thought up. You are right, they did not illustrate the points I was trying to make. One thing though: I am not suggesting abandoning causality as that would only lead to nonsensical results where meaningful gameplay is concerned. I believe instead in broadening our conception of causality beyond the simple A-leads-to-B type (usually in adventure games causality works on a one-to-one basis, not very true to reality: a single act affects a single variable; one-dimensional, or single-axis, thinking).

At this point I am dropping the quantum analogy. What I advocate is nothing more controversial than making the gaming world more of an interconnected place. The simplest I can phrase it is to have more actions available, and have more actions affect more variables. Or to be reductionist, simply have more flags. We are back at the basics of good storytelling, creativity and variety.

But isn't it pretty useless to talk about these things, some might ask? Surely everyone in the business is already being as creative as they can be? But are they? I mean, are they doing the hard work to follow through on their ideas, and are they exploring fertile enough areas?

Simo Sakari Aaltonen

Last edited by Simo Sakari Aaltonen; 12-20-2006 at 03:43 AM. Reason: Clarity.
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