History Literature / ThePlayerOfGames

2nd Aug '16 8:21:29 PM Discar
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* PlotHole: Of a very minor kind. The Culture's Ambassador to Azad tries to convince Gurgeh to score with him with a pair of Azadian women, which he apparently succeeds at in Gurgeh's absence. The issue here being that Azadian women are explicitly stated to to not have vaginas (which the Apexes have, owing to Azadian BizarreAlienReproduction).
** To put it politely: There are many different and varied ways in which to have sex.
15th Jul '16 1:33:01 PM TedlyAnderson
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* ExplainExplainOhCrap: an internal monologue version. As Gurgeh is leaving one of his games, victorious, he notices that the terrain around him seems similar to an Azad board ... and if it ''were'' an Azad board, then one of his pieces would be in danger of a sneak attack ... and that piece would be ''himself'' ... and he dodges the assassins just in time.
23rd Apr '16 11:03:19 PM GhostLad
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* LanguageEqualsThought: The Culture language, Marain, is a constructed language designed to be as expressive as possible. The Empire language, Eachic, evolved naturally and contains underlying assumptions and a more aggressive attitude. After Gurgeh has spent some time speaking only Eachic, Flere-Imsaho observes he has started playing more like "one of those carnivores he'd been listening to".
** There's also Gurgeh's ability to treat games themselves as languages.
22nd Apr '16 1:39:07 PM GhostLad
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** Subverted for Gurgeh. As a guest of the Empire, he can't win any rank, and castration is meaningless since it'll just grow back. In fact, he seriously considers forfeiting to protect his opponent from a permanent castration. The final match with the Emperor, it's basically just an exhibition game - [[spoiler:[[DoubleSubverted except that]] Flere-Imsaho has re-raised the stakes by telling the Emperor that if Gurgeh wins, the Culture is invading.]]

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** Subverted for Gurgeh. As a guest of the Empire, he can't win any rank, and castration is meaningless since it'll just grow back. In fact, he seriously considers forfeiting to protect his opponent from a permanent castration. The final match with the Emperor, it's Emperor is basically just an exhibition game - [[spoiler:[[DoubleSubverted except that]] Flere-Imsaho has re-raised the stakes by telling the Emperor that if Gurgeh wins, the Culture is invading.]]
22nd Apr '16 1:38:19 PM GhostLad
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* [[HumanResources Humanoid Resources]]. Near the end of the book, Gurgeh listens to a large band perform. Then one of the Azadians explains how the instruments were made.

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* [[HumanResources Humanoid Resources]]. Near the end of the book, Gurgeh listens to a large band perform. Then one of the Azadians explains how the instruments were made.made...
22nd Apr '16 1:36:37 PM GhostLad
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* BewareTheNiceOnes: As always, the Culture's [[PlanetOfhats hat]], and in this book, it's indicated by a scene at the end where Gurgeh realizes he plays like he's the Culture. As opposed to his opponent who plays like he's the Azadian Empire. While his Azadian opponent is consistently ruthless in his playing, Gurgeh's style involves a generally less aggressive attitude, but when he comes up against an opponent that's too smart to play him on his own terms, he has to play as the Culture ''Militant''; geared up for war and ready to kick ass in the name of the greater good, with occasional bursts of ruthless sacrifice of his own pieces and relentlessly violent moves against his opponent. This is pretty much how the Culture (or at least Special Circumstances) acts toward its own people and other civilizations respectively

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** Subverted for Gurgeh. As a guest of the Empire, he can't win any rank, and castration is meaningless since it'll just grow back. In fact, he seriously considers forfeiting to protect his opponent from a permanent castration. The final match with the Emperor, it's basically just an exhibition game - [[spoiler:[[DoubleSubverted except that]] Flere-Imsaho has re-raised the stakes by telling the Emperor that if Gurgeh wins, the Culture is invading.]]
* BewareTheNiceOnes: As always, the Culture's [[PlanetOfhats hat]], and in this book, it's indicated by a scene at the end where Gurgeh realizes he plays like he's the Culture. As opposed to his opponent who plays like he's the Azadian Empire. While his Azadian opponent is consistently ruthless in his playing, Gurgeh's style involves a generally less aggressive attitude, but when he comes up against an opponent that's too smart to play him on his own terms, he has to play as the Culture ''Militant''; geared up for war and ready to kick ass in the name of the greater good, with occasional bursts of ruthless sacrifice of his own pieces and relentlessly violent moves against his opponent. This is pretty much how the Culture (or at least Special Circumstances) acts toward its own people and other civilizations respectivelyrespectively.


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* [[HumanResources Humanoid Resources]]. Near the end of the book, Gurgeh listens to a large band perform. Then one of the Azadians explains how the instruments were made.


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* NothingIsScarier: Of the scrambled channels, the first level is porn and the second is {{Gorn}}. We see nothing of the third level, only Gurgeh's reaction.


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* SecretPolice: The Empire has them. Gurgeh, despite being brilliant at games of bluffing and deception, is confused about how these might be useful. [[spoiler:Which is probably why he didn't realize the Culture might have its own undercover operatives.]]
31st Oct '15 3:53:59 PM thatsnumberwang
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** To put it politely: There are many different and varied ways in which to have sex.
12th Sep '15 4:48:48 AM moloch
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* DoubleMeaningTitle: As is frequently the case with Culture novels. The ''Player Of Games'' is of course Gurgeh (it's literally the meaning of his self-chosen middle name), but unsurprisingly, by the end it's pretty clear [[spoiler: that Special Circumstances might be the ultimate game-player - using Gurgeh as a piece.]]
12th Sep '15 4:42:12 AM moloch
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** It's easy to miss, but Gurgeh makes a comment on how the professor he knows is twice his age, and he refers to her as being into her second century, meaning that he is between fifty and [[ReallySevenHundredYearsOld a century old himself]]. While presumably, Gurgeh has developed his masterful game-playing skills in that time, he's really callow in other respects and is about as mature as his young body would suggest.

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** It's easy to miss, but Gurgeh makes a comment on how the professor he knows is twice his age, and he refers to her as being into her second century, meaning that he is between fifty and [[ReallySevenHundredYearsOld a century old himself]].himself]] (in the final pages, we find out he's 60). While presumably, Gurgeh has developed his masterful game-playing skills in that time, he's really callow in other respects and is about as mature as his young body would suggest.
12th Sep '15 4:19:53 AM moloch
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'''''The Player of Games''''' is the second [[Literature/TheCulture Culture]] novel by [[Creator/IainBanks Iain M. Banks]] and the one that's generally considered the best introduction to the series[[note]] Its predecessor, ''Literature/ConsiderPhlebas'', is excellent, but doesn't so much as "introduce" you to ''The Culture'' as throw you at it.[[/note]]. It tells the story of Jernau Morat Gurgeh, an expert game player, who is recruited/blackmailed by Special Circumstances into going to the Empire of Azad to play the game of Azad.

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'''''The Player of Games''''' is the second [[Literature/TheCulture Culture]] novel by [[Creator/IainBanks Iain M. Banks]] and the one that's generally considered the best introduction to the series[[note]] Its predecessor, ''Literature/ConsiderPhlebas'', is excellent, but doesn't so much as "introduce" you to ''The Culture'' as throw you at it.[[/note]].it[[/note]]. It tells the story of Jernau Morat Gurgeh, an expert game player, who is recruited/blackmailed by Special Circumstances into going to the Empire of Azad to play the game of Azad.
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