On Magic and Models 2

[Part 1]

Fragments from imaginary dialogues

Models Thinking (or Modelling) is like Magic the Gathering.”


“I’ve connected the two systems of meaning, thus creating an emergent system. I’ve turned Magic (viewed with a game-designer’s eyes) into a complex mental model which I use to enrich my Models Thinking and create new models.”

“Magic the Modelling?”

“You could say that.

The unit of Magic is the card.
The unit of Modelling is the model.

Just like cards in Magic can be combined to create a synergistic emergent effect, the same with models.

Just like in Magic,
some models work well on their own,
some models work better in combination with others,
some models work only in combination with others.

The beauty of it is that it allows for the transfer of Magic design concepts and principles.

For instance a useful concept from Magic design is that of variance. One aspect of it is connectivity, which in the context of Magic is a card’s interaction possibility-space, the potential number of cards it can interact with, which can be high or low.

In Magic, a card with a clone-type effect like Evil Twin has a high variance because it can interact with all cards of the ‘creature’ type.

In the same way, we can speak of high/low variance models.

For instance, there’s a type of models which I call modifier-models. Like Meta.



Meta is a high-variance model.”

“Looks like you’ve tapped into a rich design space there.”

“I’m thrilled at the prospect of exploring it further.”


About Dani Trusca

Life-Artist, Thinker, Mover (Traceur)

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