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Fun Now Manifesto (Reposting)

March 1, 2012

Just read a bunch of forum threads online that make it clear to me this needs to be reposted:

The Fun Now Manifesto

  1. Not everyone likes the same thing
  2. Play with people you like
  3. Play with rules you like
  4. Everyone is a player
  5. Talking is good
  6. Trust, not fear or power
  7. It’s a game, not a marriage
  8. Fun stuff at least every 10 minutes
  9. Fix problems, don’t endure them

I wrote this sometime back in 2005 -2006 and at the time, it caused a shitstorm, which only highlights how toxic the expectations are in our hobby  (See also: Roots of the Big Problems and A Way Out).

While I think it’s getting out there that there is no ONE right way to have fun,  I think that particular idea has been misappropriated to avoid actually engaging with play.

If you’re spending several hours hanging out with people you don’t like in a small group setting for recreation?  If you can’t honestly talk about how you feel or what you want out of your games?  That’s not badwrongfun, that’s just wrong.  (I’m sure there will be yet another ensuing shitstorm. “Fuck you man! Playing with people I can’t stand or talk honestly to is AWESOME!” Huh. Ok.)

This ties back to the core issues I wrote about in those links above about bad design, dysfunctional passive aggressive social techniques, and the propaganda which puts the onus on the game group – transforming a reasonable question, “Did you have fun?” into an unreasonable one, “Are you a good person?”

Instead of being able to talk about what folks can do to have fun in those different ways, the conversation gets shut down because people imagine they’re being questioned/judged about their value as people.

Once you lack the space to say, “Well, this thing wasn’t as fun…” as the first step to figuring out what you’d rather do instead, you basically have lost the ability to have any meaningful conversation about play or design at all.

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