>From: Ed Heil <edheil@...>
>Common with Universalis, where people seem sometimes to vie with each other
>to see how wacky they can get with the gameworld concept. (In the case of
>Uni, this might be encouraged by the example setting ["the high tech bird
>riding lizard fighting lilliputians"] , which is so arbitrarily bizarre I
>would never have been able to suspend disbelief concerning it.)
Thing is, in Universalis, if you don't want wacky, or if you don't like an
element, or if something snaps your disbelief suspenders, you just challenge
it out. Usually doesn't cost anything either. You just say, "hey, that
doesn't seem right, how about if instead..." and the game alters to become
what you want. It works as well as it does in part because there are "teeth"
behind the rules if one needs to resort to that to "prove" that they are
The people playing that sample game, hypothetical though it was, would have
made it via consensus. So nobody would be having problems with suspension
disbelief. The only time I've seen what you describe happen (actually the
only time I've even heard of it) in Universalis was with the Wiki game, and
in that case some of the players were apparently not up to speed with the
rules enough to understand that they should be challenging.
OTOH, I think that to an extent the media might be to blame. Since it takes
effort to make your will known in this media, something that's
trivial to accomplish in FTF gaming, I think people let things slide
more..until they find that they aren't really interested in what's going on.
That all said, I think the promary problem is simply that people aren't
posting. Sounds sorta circular, but people post in response to things. In
FTF Universalis, you can pass your turn, but the fact that you're there
presumably to play the game means that you'll participate sooner or later.
And that'll encourage the other players to participate. So a "critical mass"
of play is occuring to interest people in contributing. With the online play
if/when a lull occurs, you lose that critical mass. So like Nev noted, it's
either feast or famine.
The only way out of a lull is to post your way out. Look at the other Topoi,
and cater to them. Presumably if you do so, you'll prompt others to post in
response. I can't think of another solution.
I'm posting a new post to the list. So we'll see if that does anything.
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