Fragments from imaginary dialogues
“How come you no longer play Magic the Gathering?“
“I discovered the principles that underlie what I love about Magic: Modularity and Synergy.
I call Modularity the principle behind Magic’s Lego-like structure, the property of the pieces that make up the game to combine in myriad ways. In the words of Mark Rosewater, Magic’s head designer:
Magic is really not one game but a series of different games connected by a shared rule set and game pieces.
I call Synergy the principle behind what in Magic (and other similar card games) is called a combo. The pieces that make up the game can combine to produce an emergent effect more powerful than the individual pieces.
Understanding the principles allowed me to transcend the game. I’m now playing a meta-game.“
“The meta-game of Language and Meaning. It’s a game with extraordinary practical application, governed by the same principles as Magic: Modularity and Synergy. Units of language and meaning are modular elements. They can be combined to form new emergent structures. Think of all the two-word concepts I’ve been creating. Those are synergistic structures – combos.
Magic will always be a part of me. I’m now playing Magic even while not playing Magic.”