Monday, January 4, 2010


That's Kazekami Kyoko Kills Kublai Khan, not Kabbalistic Kleptomaniacs Kidnap Ku Klux Klansmen, or anything else.

I'm playing it with a friend on wave, and enjoying the heck out of it all over again. Playing Kyoko instead of the Khan is making me appreciate games with different rules for different character types, and the whole structure of the game, which feels like a kind of shadow-boxing or Capoeira display, is making me thing about Mo's "Push and Pull" in a way that makes it super relevant to game design.

I keep thinking that the game shouldn't work, that there's nothing to push against, that I'll fall over, and yet it keeps working, just fine. As a rule, I dislike games that are just free creation of fiction, without tension or consequences. And yet the game has subtleties that make it work, that provide friction and consequence.

Too much out-of-play discussion would collapse the game, I think, turning it into just another creative writing exercise. But the uncertainty of expectations, the tension between your desires for the story, the other player's desires, and then the sexual nature of the content, preserves a feeling that each statement is a concrete "move" in a game where something real is at stake.

Alien World discovered in Math