Friday, March 1, 2013

What is a well rounded character in RL?

A well rounded character has methods that prevent getting killed, because in RL not all battles are to be fought with weapons - you have diplomacy, logistics, and deception at your disposal. Typically a well balanced character has "Violence", "Social", "Intelligence" (the data meaning of intelligence) and "Operational"abilities. 

The easy way to visualize or simplify these concepts is to imagine Conflict and what happens behind the scenes. Conflict happens in Social and Violence Arena. Social which is one step away from being killed, while in Violence you are in the front line, and at the risk of getting killed. 

Intelligence and Ops is what happens behind the scenes; with intelligence gathering in a greater position of danger the more accurate, reliable and up-to-date the intel. Ops is when we move around resources towards a goal - ops is typically logistics and relatively low risk activities. Just because Ops is several steps away for lethal danger, doesnt make danger not a part of it. Infact people are at their greatest cognitive dissonance when they are several steps removed from danger. 

If you get the 4 spheres Violence, Social, Intel, and Ops you have 4 ways a character can attempt at a problem. A group ideally has specialists in these 4 spheres. You try to solve problems in the ff order: Intel, Ops, Social and violence. Intel being the most basic and rudimentary of solving any problem. 

Intel is not just scouting skills, its the ability to sort noise from relevant data, as well as being able to intuitively note a break in the overall pattern that may lead to a more serious problem. Suffice to say, Intel requires interpretive skills like Analysis or Expertise in the Context or what I call Context Analysis Skill. Like when you use your expertise in Gaming to analyze the strengths, weaknesses, and purpose of a game system (your gaming skill provides context for analysis). 

Next is Ops, you divert resources through management, delegation, bribes, paying for services, etc... to do what needs to be done. Mastery of Ops is doing this as cost-efficiently as possible. The Quartermaster makes sure the army runs, the General is behind the wheel but the Quartermaster makes sure the engine is working, there is a constant supply of gas, and all the parts have still miles to go before wear and tear. You can solve a lot of problems in the Ops level, and in adventures you build yourself up to be able to deal with Bigger problem with Ops (since ops channels resources to allow you or the general to get where you are going). 

Next is Social, but treat social like Trials - they are risky. Ops has the ability to change direction and to divert resource as it adapts to Intel, but Social once actions are set in motion things begin to take a life of its own. There is a trial of public opinion and political perception, and when social conflicts escalate to such "trials" or conflicts you are at a situation pretty much like battle.

Last is Violence, which everyone knows about.... there are also preventative skillsets. I should talk more about the same layers of skills and options for combat but that is best for another post or to reference another expert on the matter who will likely do a much better job than me. 

I use the Intel, Ops, and Soc more often in real life. My hobbies pretty much help in the violence part. 

I'll probably go into what Ops and Intel is in a future post. I can talk about Soc as to how I have gameified my experience at work, but I'm just the average watching masters at work and not an expert.

Note this is a "Well Rounded" character in the context of competence and professional ability. As a well rounded human - with art, philosophy, hobbies, etc... um thats a philosophical discussion that is mostly arbitrary. 
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