here it comes...
What does Mimesis mean?
Sorry if this is a newbie question, but I am Dutch and have never
heard this word before, except in some discussions here.
as far as I can tell it relates to 'game realism' or something?
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>here it comes...
>What does Mimesis mean?
>Sorry if this is a newbie question, but I am Dutch and have never
>heard this word before, except in some discussions here. as far as I
>can tell it relates to 'game realism' or something?
There are two literal definitions, one literary and one biological.
In the literary sense, it refers to the imitation or reproduction of
another author's style. In the biological sense, it refers to animals
looking like something else: stick insects, for example, or harmless
snakes with the same markings as venomous ones. It comes from the
Greek word for "imitation."
None of that, unfortunately, has anything to do with r*if usage.
Years ago, Roger Giner-Sorolla wrote an essay called "Crimes Against
Mimesis," using "mimesis" in a metaphorical way to refer to the way
the game environment should "imitate" real life. He might have used
"realism" or "verisimilitude" instead, but why quibble at this late
Roger's posts were generally well received and led to many interesting
discussions. It also led to jokes to the effect that "mimesis" is a
kind of plant (a pun on "mimosa") and ultimately to Adam Thornton's
game "Sins Against Mimesis" wherein (amongst a lot of other r*if
in-jokery) you have to commit the seven deadly sins with a "mimesis"
Anyway, the upshot of all this is that, on r*if, "mimesis" has become
a synonym for "verisimilitude" or, as you say, "game realism."
Generally it's used in the negative sense -- games or bits of games
that feel artificial or make the player feel that he's struggling with
the game itself rather than interacting with the fictional world the
game presents are said to "break mimesis." In this sense, perhaps,
we're using "mimesis" to substitute for a phrase beloved of science
fiction and fantasy fans: "suspension of disbelief."
You can read the original essay at:
This is covered in the rec.arts.int-fiction FAQ:
2.7: What is mimesis?
mimesis (mi-me'sis, mi-) n. 1. The imitation or representation of
aspects of the sensible world, especially human actions, in
literature and art.
[the following is stolen from a post to raif by Adam Cadre]
In brief, there are generally two different things people on this
group use the word "mimesis" to refer to:
(1) The extent to which the player feels like she's experiencing
what the game tells her she is, rather than experiencing the
sensation of typing on a keyboard and watching words scroll by on a
(2) The extent to which stuff in the game seems to work the way
things work in real life, or at least the extent to which it
maintains a degree of internal consistency.
The idea of mimesis with regard to IF was started by Roger
Giner-Sorolla in his "Crimes Against Mimesis" postings some time back
on raif. You can find a copy of it at
Adam Cadre, Sammamish, WA
web site: http://adamcadre.ac
Thank you very much... It cleared a lot of discussions up for me... I
could gathers some of what you explained from the context of the
postings, but it is nice to know this bit of r*if history and context.
>> What does Mimesis mean?
>This is covered in the rec.arts.int-fiction FAQ:
<snip helfull stuff>
Just to make it clear: I normally consult a newsgroup faq before
asking questions about stuff that seems obvious to the 'in crowd', but
this time I thought it was just my lacking vocabulary.
So sorry if I was newbie-ing.
I'm afraid that's just not good enough. Your question has caused too much
suffering to be overlooked. Remain where you are. RAIF zone troopers have
been alerted and are on their way. Resistance is silly.
-MattF (glorious dictator of the city state of ***cough, cough,