Ludology Lessons

One of the best explanations of the relations between narration and narrated (I avoid the term "narrative" which in some usage conflates or overlooks the distinction between the telling and the told.) is to be found in Edmund White's biography of Jean Genet.

The usual form/content dichotomy for analyzing fiction is not very useful then, since the formal excitement is induced precisely by our shifting sympathies for Genet as narrator and for Genet's ideas and characters. But the distinction between 'story' and 'plot' might serve us better. The 'story' is the simplest, most straightforward reconstruction of the unadorned events, told chronologically; the story as you might recount to a friend after you read the book. The 'plot', on the other hand, is the author's often indirect and non-sequential method of presenting the narrative, his way of distorting chronology or moulding sympathies or even deliberately misleading the reader for strictly artistic reasons. Genet's 'story' is often confused, even effaced, but his 'plot' is an efficient machine for manipulating the reader's responses.

By analogy I like to argue that ludology can learn from narratology that to play a match is not necessarily to know a game.

And so for day 218