An explanation of ZyZyGy Game Terms
This manual uses a variety of Game terms to capture the essence of Zyzygy. An explanation of each term is provided below.
An Argot is a concise summation of the contents/conclusions of a particular Chapter or an Entire Game. When formulating an Argot, practicing a combination of syncretistic thinking [merging of different ideas] and heuristic thinking [encouraging discovery of solutions] is an ideal approach. An Argot is required when a Player uses the their Saturn Bead or may also be offered spontaneously by a Player or required by the Master. After the Argot is presented, it is up to the other Players, and ultimately the Game Master, to determine whether the Argot is accepted; if it is, an Argot Class Credit is given.
Beads allow Masters/Players to make moves and interact with the Game. Each bead has its own talents, opening new topics for discussion and driving Game play. When it is their turn, each player chooses a Bead and places it on the Theme/Symbol of his/her choice. Which Bead is chosen and which symbol is opened will be driven by the idea or feeling the player wants to present at that stage of the Game. See the section on Beads in How to Play for an introduction to their properties.
The Board, created before the Game begins, encapsulates the Game’s Chapters (Domain, Theme, and Explanation), and provides a place for the player to interact with them by playing Beads. While every Game’s Board will follow the same base Template, the combination of ingredients and the individuality of the Players will assure that each Game will be unique.
The Bead Chalice refers to the home of each Player’s Beads while they have not been played.
The Three Chapters of a Game are the Explanation, Domain, and Theme, and they are related to each other in a logical pattern. Thus, anyone who plays this Game is practicing the useful discipline of logical thinking.
The Explanation is both the answer to and the idea that inspired the Game. It is established before Game Play and serves as a beacon guiding the conversation during Game play. The Explanation may exist in the form of a symbol, statement, mathematical formula, musical composition or other form. Regardless of the form it takes, it should remain central to Game play, since the Game ends with Players justifying the Explanation. The Explanation remains the same for all Triads in a Trilathon.
The Domain is home base. It contains the concepts/percepts that are discovered/developed in a Triad, defining a limited purview of knowledge within which the game will take place. The Domain may be presented in the form of a video, statement, picture or Symbol. It shall be viewed/discussed and understood before the chapters of the Themes and Explanation are opened for play. Like the Explanation, the Domain remains the same for all Triads in a Trilathon.
This is the lenses through which each player explores the Domain and Explanation. When choosing a Theme, there are four choices based on the great human accomplishments: Art, Science, Religion, and Society. One, two, three or all of the THEMES may be utilized during Game Play. Additionally, subsects of any of these themes may be defined and chosen as well if greater specificity is desired. They impose conditions of minimality (focus) and thus allow detailed exploration of the DOMAIN. Ideally, the goal is to utilize multiple ways of thinking to enable critical thinking to weave the DOMAIN, THEME, and EXPLANATION together. In this chapter, the Beads and Symbols are most active. Unlike the Domain or Explanation, the Theme can change with each Triad.
A Credit is a tool of redemption to retrieve a Bead from Limbo or resolve some serious/unpleasant Game situations. It provides an opportunity for practicing magnanimity by freely giving them away when needed by a fellow Player.
In this Instar, Credits are earned in four ways:
- writing an acceptable Argot = Argot Class Credit
- correctly identifying Anomalies within the Game = Class Credit
- correctly answering a question from Password Chaos = Class Credit
- making a particularly Brilliant move, acknowledged by the Master of the Game = Argot Class Credit
Two Class credits = 1 Argot Class Credit.
A Trilathon is a full Game of Zyzygy: the name is the same as that which describes the basic 3 stone construction of Stonehenge in England. It is comprised of three individual but related Triads labeled the ZY, zy, and GY Triads. Once a Trilathon is begun, it must be completed in 1 lunar phase cycle of 29.5 days.
Triads are the heart of ZyZYGy, with each Triad forming 1/3 of a Trilathon. They are mutually interconnected through synapses of commonality [common concepts], with all three Triads in a given Trilathon retaining the same Explanation and Domain; however, other elements of the Triads such as their Theme, Symbols, or Thinking Modes might vary. A Triad is concluded when the Saturn Bead is played and the Realizing Doors have been navigated.
The term comes from zoology, referring to the increasing complexity of the phases of development of insects from egg to adult, metaphorically depicting the stages of development for the Player of the Game and for the Game itself! Depending on the level of the Instar, different talents and sophistication will be required. All Instars have basically the same format and rules, with limited exceptions.
After certain Beads are played, they go to Limbo, removing them from play during that Triad. When a Bead enters Limbo, the Game Master reads/displays a Limbo Fact for all Players to comprehend and retain.
Whenever a Player places a Bead on a symbol, Magic Theatre opens. Upon its stage, the Player then presents the intention of their move, which may take a variety of forms from providing a verbal description to showing a picture or video. Regardless of its form, the Player shall present a line of reasoning for the validity of the move and its relationship to the Explanation.
Whenever a Player uses the Moon Bead, it has the chance to initiate Password Chaos for all Players, as determined by the Game Master. In Password Chaos, the Game Master selects a premade question or writes one designed to test whether the Players understood the previously presented Limbo fact. Once the question has been presented, all players will get a chance to answer. If the player of the moon bead answers correctly they receive an Argot Class Credit. Additionally, if any other player answers correctly, they receive a regular Credit. It is ultimately up to the Game Master to determine if a given answer is correct or incorrect.
Each Player could have a Personal Journey Board that serves to keep track of current and past Game experiences, and add to it through subsequent Games.
The Realizing Doors are the final element of any Game and are how a Game concludes once Players have satisfactorily resolved the Explanation. Each Player reflects upon the process/mode of thinking they engaged in throughout the Game, emphasizing how they thought as opposed to what they thought. Then two statements, one for each door, are constructed, one by the Master and the other by one of the Players. They are meant to inspire introspection among the other Players. All Players then take turns agreeing or disagreeing with the statements with an explanation. There are four possible choices to choose from:
The Game Master determines whether or not a given Player has engaged in the appropriate degree of introspection required to pass successfully through the Realizing Doors. If allowed to pass, all of the Player’s Beads are returned back from Limbo; if not successful, then the Player’s Beads remain in Limbo until redeemed by a Credit or the Master’s Sun Bead.
A collection of Symbols is provided for each of the four Themes. When a Player places a Bead on one of these Symbols, it is up to that Player to explain what they are trying to accomplish with their move. It is up to the Game Master to ultimately rule whether that move makes sense, given the Bead and Symbol chosen, the Magic Theater which is opened, and the relationship formed to the Explanation. Refer to the section on symbols in How to Play for a selection of sample symbols.
The Thinking Mode is the way through which Players will engage with the Game. It determines the driving force behind each move, since each move should be justifiable in relation to the Thinking Mode being utilized.
In this Instar, there are five primary Thinking Modes:
- Deductive reasoning is top-down logic moving from generalized principles to specific conclusions.
- Inductive reasoning is bottom-up logic moving from a specific instance to a generalized conclusion.
- Emotional Intelligence is the ability to recognize and understand one’s emotions and those of others, to decide which to use to guide your thinking and behavior to successfully adapt to situations and achieve your goals.
- Abductive reasoning is logical inference moving from an observation to the simplest explanation.
- Critical Thinking is the desirable end point of all these Thinking Modes. While deductive reasoning is most commonly attributed to Critical Thinking, the other thinking types also contribute additional insights and still result in Critical Thinking.
A Game may have more than one Thinking Mode: to be chosen before the Game begins.
Behold the first practice of thinking in ZYZYGY: utilizing various thinking styles.
ZYZYGY—the game title—is derived from the Ancient Greek word syzygy, meaning “yoked together.” Our spellings are different; however, the meaning and intent of the words are identical. The Game Zyzygy is intended to discover the degree of alignment and the nature of the interconnectedness among ourselves and the natural and human world.