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Group Reads Discussions 2011 > Consider Phlebas - 7. A Game of Damage *no spoilers*

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message 1: by Brad (new)

Brad (judekyle) | 1637 comments I am back from my mini-break, so the chapter discussions will be coming on time again.

message 2: by Jon (new)

Jon (jonmoss) | 894 comments Just finished this chapter a few minutes ago. The Damage game was a bit of a let down. Chasing Kraiklyn started to remind me of the Megaship fiasco, so I had a hard time staying focused. I may have to re-read the section describing the GSV, as I need to absorb information about Culture 'culture' and tech.

message 3: by Michelle (last edited Jun 15, 2011 06:29PM) (new)

Michelle (fireweaver) | 331 comments the world-weary boredom is starting to get to me... the acrobatic animals listlessly killing each other while no one bothers to watch, the dead-eyed prisoners & religious kooks dying for a card game. in answer to your question last chapter, Brad, I debate whether Banks is deliberately challenging us, or if he's just being as sensationally juvenile as possible (see also: shit eating, etc).

the more I think about it, what was the point of the human lives in damage? they're strangers, bought and paid for like poker chips. the players have no connection to them other than a bit of a zing when one dies off, and the crowd seems pretty indifferent to them as well. why not have the players pay for the loss of "life" with money outright (rather than money-by-proxy with the lives), or in electroshocks or blood or something to make it more immediately and personally a contest of nerve and stamina?

it's funny how while I'm reading, it's a whole lot of twisted fun, but as soon as I take a step back and think about it, I'm hyper-critical of the missteps...

message 4: by Brad (new)

Brad (judekyle) | 1637 comments The whole use of human lives in Damage feels right to me, considering the nihilistic madness of teh players who would be drawn to the end of a world or Orbital. While those other things would definitely make more sense in terms of game play, I don't feel like they would be as genuine to the spirit of what's happening, which is tied into the way the people ignored the animals killing themselves, I think. I always get the sense that Banks finds himself doing what his characters or societies need, going with what feels right instead of what makes sense. Now that I write that I wonder if that is a strength or a weakness. Hmmm ... thinking, thinking ....

message 5: by [deleted user] (new)

I expected something more along the lines of a giant texas hold-em game with deadly consequences.

I was dissapoint.

message 6: by Brad (new)

Brad (judekyle) | 1637 comments Have you read Player of Games, Ala? That's more focused on the game and gaming themselves. This chapter was too focused on Horza's pursuit of Kraiklyn to give us the real dirt on the game, which could have been a lot of fun if we'd seen more of it.

message 7: by [deleted user] (new)

Nope, this was my first foray into Banks. I may pick that up at some point in the future though.

message 8: by Brad (new)

Brad (judekyle) | 1637 comments I think you will like it much more.

message 9: by Michelle (last edited Jun 16, 2011 03:57PM) (new)

Michelle (fireweaver) | 331 comments I think I'm saying the same thing as Ala, that I expected the consequences of the game to impact the people playing the game, not just the breathing poker chips at their backs.

the animal fighting could just be annoying the hell out of me because I'm a veterinarian, and sometimes you can't effectively divorce your personal biases enough to live with fiction :/

I was skimming some other reviews of his stuff, and 'player of games' & 'use of weapons' seem to be faves.

message 10: by Brad (new)

Brad (judekyle) | 1637 comments The former is my favourite and the latter is the best (though less entertaining).

message 11: by stormhawk (new)

stormhawk | 424 comments I suppose there is meant to be some psychic backlash on the player when a Life dies, but the more experienced and hardened the player the less the effect. Maybe if the Lives weren't drugged to the gills and had some personal connection to the player?

I also was expecting more drastic gameplay.

and for a sneak around and kill people kind of guy, Horza sure sucks at it.

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