The Inexact, the Multivalent

The game of the inexact is free-play. The user is given free license to interpret the elements on the user's terms. This allows the user to explore those ideas that are the most relevant to them, to "connect" with the elements because the elements allow them to resolve issues in the user's greater environment. The creator accomplishes this by taking ideas out of focus, by removing or adding details to allow the pattern of the elements to match more than one possible element.

The multivalent state is where an element is equally well resolved to multiple meanings (as opposed to having a single, "right" meaning). Multivalence is also known as indeterminacy, and is a common attribute of "ampersand" games.

Users will often need to rely on intuitive leaps to understand the nature of ambiguous environments, so multivalent environments tend to be associated with ideas of the "artistic" and "emotional." Users who prefer rational, constrained solutions will often become frustrated in a multivalent environment. All users become uncomfortable if they cannot understand a multivalent environment in some way.

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Copyright (c) 1997 -- Mike Fletcher
Reproduction for other than personal use prohibited without express written permission from the author.