Communities we want to have

October 23, 2009

Along the lines of Willow’s “Conversations I want to have”…

For some time now, I’ve been thinking the biggest issue for roleplaying comes down to functional play culture and social contract. I see three steps to building that.

Base Expectation: Civilized Behavior

Yeah, I’m re-appropriating “civilized”. A culture, or subculture that casually rolls with hate isn’t civilized. The fact that this even needs to be listed is both sad and a damning point of itself. (ETA: This interview with Ashok Banker seems timely and parallels the situation exactly.)

On the real tip – creating this is actually the hardest and requires the most control of space and filtering processes to keep people from disrupting the space.

Low Pressure Environment and Experimentation

Encourage people to play a lot of different games with a lot of different people. This really lets people see the variety of options, and find something they like. It also reduces the fragility of the overall network and gives everyone more options for putting together groups or joining pre-existing ones. Not to mention avoiding a lot of the social dysfunction of high pressure/high commitment groups.

Encourage New Groups

Encourage folks to go and build their own networks. This makes sense both whether they’re in line with the above or not. If they’re with it, it expands the hobby and sets up an alternate set of play networks. If they’re against it, they’re totally cool to go do things the way they want to- plus it also draws away people who weren’t really interested in the same social structure anyway.

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