Contagious Tales/FRRPG

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Contagious Tales/FRRPG

From ICWiki

‘This is an old description of the game, which was written when the plan was to actually try to develop the on-line computer game. The currently less ambitious plan is to write a chapter in the Contagious Tales wiki-book which describes the game, including problems (addiction, life distortion) as well as positive features. This section needs to be changed into story format.

What is an RRP? A reality role-playing game (RRP) is an on-line, multiple user, fantasy gaming environment which includes real world altruistic work as part of players success requirements. Players work with game staff to determine what types positive things they want to accomplish in the world and game staff work as a combination of local organizers and life coaches to insure that these things happen.

What is the purpose of the game? The game is a memetic construct that fosters altruistic behavior through personal interaction with players and facilitated appreciation. Ideally, the game should grow in both players and staff while having an increasing positive effect on the world. The purpose of the game is not to make money for the game staff. Rather it is designed to encourage non-monetary interactions (gifting and barter). In it’s purest form, the game staff would all be volunteers who are compensated for their work thru game facilitated appreciation’s.

What are the game staff roles? Currently there are 4 principal game staff roles. These are:

  • Identity Crafter (IC)
  • Games Master (GM)
  • Appreciation Facilitators (AF)
  • Local Organizers (LO):

Brief job descriptions for various game staff:

Identity Crafters are responsible for working with the player to design fantasy world characters who they are excited about playing and attached to emotionally as well as discovering what passions players have for real world progress. Identity Crafters are part life couches, part partners in fantasy development and a players first experience with the game staff.

Unlike many popular online games (like Everquest and World of Warcraft, the Hall of Heroes FRRPG relies on human Games Masters conducting, integrating and amplifying player experiences. (This hails from the old style Dungeons & Dragons model). The Games Masters (GM) is responsible for developing both the individual (often secret) quests for each player and the over arching mission for the entire group of characters playing together. There may well be automated players and certainly automated secondary player characters. Games Masters have a responsibility to communicate critical game inflection points to the Local Organizers.

Local Organizers use information about the players real life identity and desires which is harvested from the Identity Crafters and develops real world micro-quests for the player, which are consistent with the things which the player has told the IC are part of their positive image for themselves in the world. The Local Organizers (LOs) work to find and facilitate local projects which mess with the skills and desires of the player. LOs get queues from GMs as to when they can link an important piece of game progress to a real world accomplishment. These accomplishments (both created game assets and real world work) are posted in the hall of heroes. As well as the players appreciation portfolio, so those who find their efforts worthy of compensating know what it is they should offer as appreciation.

Appreciation Facilitators (AFs) are responsible for insuring that no good deed goes unappreciated, even if it is a small one. AFs work with players to create and update their Appreciation Portfolios. Appreciation Portfolios (APs) are lists of different ways that players can be appreciated by other players or outsiders who find the real world work they have completed (or attempted) to be of value. APs are a stratified “wish list” which include highly accessible items (for example an appreciative phone call or e-mail) as well as items which require more time or resources.

Brief Description of the Hall of Heroes

A Fantasy/Reality Role Playing Game

Hall of Heroes is a hybrid fantasy/reality role playing game – players get characters crafted for them based on their actual identity strength (which are amplified) and their faults (which are the keys to finding who they should work with in the virtual world). Part of the memetic hook is that unlike most FRP games, their is a mapping of your actual identity (strengths and struggles) to your virtual identity – so you are playing something which is more like you. So you play your virtual game (which is facilitated by a games master (GM), played on-line and probably form most folx happens at a set weekly time) and then part of accomplishing your game world work is doing things which you have defined (in your interview with the identity crafters) as things that you want to do in your life. From as small as cleaning the garage to as large as collapsing global capitalism. The GMs role is identify real world actions which are both small/accessible enuf so that they player can do them between game sessions and significant enuf so the player feels good about them (which since the player has specified them, should be the easy part).

Another key is appreciations – players have clans (which you are dropped into in the identity crafting based on what your larger real world political aspirations are – so the Grendale clan might be those folx who are interested in ecological sustainability, for example). If you perform a real world task (say cleaning all the bird baths at the local park) the Appreciation Facilitators (AP – another game staff position) will find folx in your clan to appreciate you – this could be a simple call on your cell phone or other appreciations (which you have given to the Identity Crafters (ICs) as part of your intro interview) could be a chocolate bar, the Ani DiFranco CD or tickets to Burning Man (or what ever), sent to you by someone who appreciates what you are doing. When someone calls with an appreciation, they will either be in character or their real identity, depending on the preferences of the players involved.

The trick is to map the players desired fantasy objectives to their real world desires. Part of this is establishing a Willingness Quotient (WQ) which is an indication for the GM of how mush real world to game world work players are willing to do. If your WQ is low, then you will spend more time playing in the virtual world, than working in the real world. If your WQ is high, you will get more real world “home work” between game sessions. If you do something in the real world, the GM creates a virtual world representation of it. So for our friend cleaning bird baths in the park, the GM might build an aviary for teradactiles in the fantasy world. Our player gets status for having done this work and enters into the Hall of Heroes.

Ride sharing is another key aspect – the GMs and ICs will also be gathering info about your life including travel plans. Players of similar desires will be encouraged to travel together and be given both game and real world tasks to work on together while traveling. After the ride the GMs will evaluate the ride, was it successful in game terms, was it successful in real world terms, would you ride with this person again, etc.

Money comes from a few places. Players themselves are occasionally asked for money (the request amount is based on the ICs best guess as to what is affordable) players can always opt to continue to play for free (and if they do subsequent requests for money are likely to be reduced and delayed). But there is another place where money can come in. Let say Joe Sixpack is a player and in his conversations with the ICs he indicates that the most important person in his life is his wife Josephine Sixpack and the thing which she would most appreciate him doing is cleaning the garage which he has been promising for years. Joe is happily playing along, gets involved in an intense on line adventure which is important o him and then at the end of the session, when major obsticles are in front of him the GM sez, so between the next game and now, you clean the garage AND you leave a love letter for Josephine – which includes a reference back to the game site. Josephine checks out the site (because she is thrilled about the garage and curious as hell as to how a game got Joe to do this thing she has been nagging him to do for years) she finds out a bit about the quest (which is likely not interesting to her) and she is give the option to gift the game system – she can do this with money, or with appreciations (which go to players who have done real world things which she cares about and can be verbal or written or gifts or what ever) and she can also volunteer time to support some game activity (which could be promoting the game, could be a real world progressive project she likes, could be any of a bunch of things).

Reporting of completed real world tasks is the responsibility of the player and lying about it is grounds for expulsion or character death.

As characters develop and a list of your accomplishments (both real world and game world) gets added onto your hall of heroes listing, the GMs will look for players who you can cooperate with both in game space and in the real world to make shared objectives happen. Again because the self identified skills and weakness are amplified in your character, it should be the case that teams which work well together in the virtual world can also have complimentary capacities in the real world. Again after the real world work is done, there is compatibility surveys by the GMs to establish if these people should work together again.

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