Jiro Yoshihara and their The Gutai Manifesto (1956) is the closest description I have for ttrpg’s as art. It soars really high in conceptual thought, but I pulled some ideas from the essay to hang my loose argument for ttrpg as a serious medium.
Particularly “The two artists grapple with the material in a way which is completely appropriate to it and which they have discovered tie to their talents. This even gives the impression that they serve the material. Differentiation and integration create mysterious effects.”
I do not pretend to know much about Gutai, but Yoshihara’s descriptive language touches on my most abstract thoughts on role playing. Specifically, differentiation and integration, but I feel it expresses my feelings for what I do at the game table.
Here is it explained,
As integration and differentiation are just the inverse of each other, the integration may provide the original function if derivative is known. It is also described as the fundamental theorem of calculus. Differentials is all about differences and divisions, whereas integration is all about addition and averaging.
See, the definition, or its use in real language did not help me understand any better so I will have to apply my own definition and use. But it is done much better further on by Yoshihara.
“In those days we thought, and indeed still do think today, that the most important merits of abstract art lie in the fact that it has opened up the possibility to create a new, subjective shape of space one which really deserves the name creation.”
The interaction of a shared subjective space with each other resulting in a shared creation is an additional step which broadens performative art into a higher degree of intimacy. Intimacy in the most mutually supported play as evidenced by the group. So I guess this is where I end up. I need to think about this more…