1. first well-evidenced discovery: Nomic games tend to be more appealing to Graves levels 6 and 7 than non-nomic games. For L7, because the complexity combined with the transience of actual game components lets 7’s be 7’s — and do what they do best. For L6, because it lets them stretch their “muscles” and build the chops necessary to make the shift to L7 at some point in the future. It also lets them hold onto the “any rule/ruleset can get you to the end” that comes naturally to them.
2. after 3-4 hrs of discussion with the local game store owner/game master, the utility of Magic The Gathering as a learning metaphor comes more into question. Turns out, MTG was invented by a Ph.D. mathamatician — and the blue cards (L7) are actually meta to the rest of the game. So much so that Mr. Shopkeeper says he personally will not play against a blue deck. Why? Because all things being equal, a blue deck will always win. Sure — a superior player, a superior luck of the draw, or a superior assortment of cards from which to build a deck can make that “always” into a an “almost always” — but the statment holds. I said, “okay — if I now know that blue will always win, and you know that blue will always win — why are all these people playing this game?”
He said, “That’s always been my question.”
So if there are 4 colors — levels 3, 4, 5, and 6 — who are evenly matched, and L7 is meta to all of those — that is, it is actually the nomic operator, and as such controls the rules, the turns, the structure of play, and even the “win” cards and moves — then why would any player choose to play anything but blue, or choose to play any other color against blue?
Stepping outside the game, this gives me 2 new questions: in a world where L3 terrorism has already been seated at the table and is a major player, what deck(s)/color(s)/level(s) are the best to oppose them? and, WHY, of course.
Yes, I am looking for input. Here or in private messages.
And two last bits to chew on: Magic has been in existence for 15 years. For all of that time, blue-L7 has been the “deck that always wins” with the possible 3 exceptions of the “Red Wins” deck, the “Black Summer” deck, and the “Power-Nine” deck — all decks constructed using cards so powerful that they have been banned from tournement play. (In otherwords, the game-makers didn’t predict some of the uses players would come up with for those ultra-power cards — and so re-classified their use as cheating.) Given that — and the comparable meta-position of L7 to lower levels, and Blue to other colors — Why would anybody choose to play in such a “fixed” game?
AND — is it possible that WINNING is the wrong goal? What other possible goals are there?