I want to begin this post with an extended quotation from Rob Wittig's book _INVISIBLE Rendezvous_, about IN.S.OMNIA, or Invisible Seattle, as it was earlier called, a literary circle centred in my fair city and inspired somewhat by the Oulipo (them again?): ***** "...If I'm not to be a genius, then what is my role in the world? "A realistic examination of the roles available in the genius system shows that they are few and unequal. There is the _Genius_ and its future and past forms: the _Wannabe_ and the _Hasbeen_. All that's left is the _Courtier_, that necessary concomitant, that Enabler, that Codependent who allows it all to happen by being the editor, the publisher, the reviewer, the biographer, the long-suffering spouse or lover. As in.s.omniac Ruebrick puts it, 'Isn't a genius like a Japanese Bunraku puppet? Behind the brightly illuminated, lifelike, wonderful figure is a team of puppeteers, dressed in black, hooded in black, who make it all happen. The human being who shares name and face with the puppet genius may indeed be the chief puppeteer, the one who controls the figure's head, the right hand. But the others are necessary for the whole trick to work.' (IN.S.OMNIA 1990) "Sadly, the genius system is often charged with fear, haunted by the notion that there is only a fixed, small amount of room in the spotlight at any one time. Those in the dark are desperately jealous of those who occupy the light and are miserable even once they reach the glare, afraid of the younger ones to follow. This is the haunted, aristocratic sleep of the sovereign who reigns, terrified, in the sacred grove, waiting for the successor whose first act must be assassination. "For in.s.omniacs, relief from this gloomy prospect lies in having discovered a multitude of other roles a writer can slip into depending on the moment's chemistry of passion, personality, and available time." (p. 140) ***** _INVISIBLE Rendezvous_ then goes on to detail the various roles that IN.S.OMNIA/Invisible Seattle discovered or invented: Literary Contractor, System Operator, Room Coordinator, Lead Writer, Improvisator, Impersonator, Heckler, Scholar, Skeet Puller, Listener, Designer, Compositor. Kennexions too has a multitude of classes of _lusores_ (players). To aid in their taxonomy, I have borrowed the terms *object*, *object class*, and *object instance* from object-oriented programming -- one might say that Kennexions is an object-oriented game. Just as kenning expressions, calligraphic representations, the game language, and so on are considered game object classes and instances, so are the lusores. The author (_auctor_) of the kennexion is as much a game object as the kennexion itself. This allows the game script (another object) to include stage directions for the liturgical celebration of the game, considered to be *operations upon* the game object of the performer. Even the audience members (communicants) are considered to be game objects, special types of lusores. This permits operations upon the audience, meditation instructions for them, say, in the manner of contemporary peformance art or the Castalian game. Incidentally, there are at least two kennexions in the above passage: Genius : Courtiers :: bunraku puppet : puppeteer team Genius : rival celebrity :: reigning sacred king : assassin-king Is Kennexions, as Hesse said the Castalian Game was at one point, discovering a sense of itself? This bears on the question we have discussed before on Magister-L of whether or not a game can be conscious.... ***** LUSOR OBJECT CLASSES: --------------------------- Gamemaster - the designer of the gameform in question. For Kennexions, the current Gamemaster is Ronald Hale-Evans. Other Gamemasters for Kennexions may join later, and of course each gameform included in the _supergame_ has its own Gamemaster. Auctor - the author or composer of the central kennexion or kennexions, the chief basis for the game instance. Compilator - a scholar in charge of tracking down sources for objectivated materials used within the game. Commentator - someone who adds commentary in the form of footnotes or hypertext links to the game, explaining the game as it unfolds. Critic - similar to a commentator, but more or less independently comments on the quality of the game as well as the reasons for the aesthetic choices therein. Graphic Artist - produces graphic art of some kind linked with the game, particularly the *pictura* or *icon* of the emblem (q.v.) Scriptor - a graphic artist who specialises in producing a calligraphic representation of the central part of the game (the kennexion or *inscriptio* of the emblem) in BELL (q.v.) Source - the creator of the art, science, philosophy, religious work, etc., from which a kennings or other game object is drawn. Also, the work itself. "To s." means to footnote the game with a reference to the s.. Composer - the creator of the *emblematic music*. May be a *source* or a c. who assists in creating the game instance. Musician - a performer of the emblematic music. Programmer - creator of the computer programs necessary to perform or support the game (for instance, a dictionary program which returns a BELLE (q.v.) when an alphanumeric Lojban string is entered -- planned). Celebrant - the principal performer of the game. Analogous to a priest performing a Mass, a band leader, or a conductor. Often the same as the auctor and/or scriptor. Communicant - a member of the audience. The word "communicant" is used rather than "audience member" because participation of a ceremonial sort is required. In most games, as mentioned, there are meditation instructions and other operations upon (instructions to) the communicants and other lusores. Collaborator - None of the above roles need be performed by a single lusor, but may be performed by any number of lusores in concert, in which case they are known as co-auctors, co-scriptors, etc.. ***** For reference: NON-LUSOR OBJECT CLASSES: ------------------------------ BELL - Bliss-Encoded Logical Language, the glyphic conlang used in Kennexions in emulation of the Castalian Game. It consists of grammatical Blissymbolics/Semantography expressions representing _gismu_ (root words) in Lojban, enclosed in cartouches and combined in special ways. BELLE - BELL Expression, a "phrase" or "sentence" of BELL. emblem - This was formerly called the "telesmatic presentation", but as there is a precedent for it in alchemical "emblem books", I chose to rename it with this term. An *emblem* consists of several parts, which follow: *inscriptio* or *lemma* - the kenning expression (kennexion) or expressions used as the main part of the game. *pictura* or *icon* (was "telesmatic image") - a representational graphic element that symbolically embodies the subject of the *inscriptio*. *subscriptio* or *epigram* (was "telesmatic lyric") - a brief poem that clarifies and explains the *pictura*. I know of at least one Renaissance emblem-book, _Atalanta Fugiens_, which includes short musical scores for each emblem as well as inscriptio, pictura, and subscriptio, making a true multimedia presentation! In fact, one can now buy a translation of the book with a cassette tape of the music. Kennexions also incorporates music: *emblematic music* (for want of a better term; was "telesmatic music") - music accompanying the other parts of the emblem. supergame - a game instance of the GBGBG (Great Big GBG) which includes linked games in other gameforms. *** FIN *** More soon! Comments eagerly requested...
Founder, Center for Ludic Synergy
Charter Member, Bamboo Garden of Seattle