Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Social Networking

Social networking has been "the thing" for the last decade. As Seth Priebatsch showed us, it's time for us to step up and start using the foundations of social networking for benefit. Since we're LARPers, we'll assume benefit means spreading the word of LARPs and getting more people to attend.

But Bill, I've got a facebook page and everything. That's enough, right?

No way, Josè (or whatever your name is).

We need to start to use these social networking tools to affect the game. Draw more attention to the game. Make it look like everyone is having fun, and that it's easy to get into.

There was once a game called "The Dreaming," created by Dan Comstock. It was totally awesome. Some of you have played it or heard of it. I know Tim ran it for a group of us, and it was totally fun.

But the big part of the game was that you post all the information up onto one main site, where everyone can see it. That way, you can effectively interact with everyone in the game, regardless of where they're playing it.

More games should be like this. We've always had people who submitted things for plot credit or for character background, but they never got anything out of it (except for rare cases where people payed money). What a waste!

Imagine, if you allowed players to write up stories, poems, and backgrounds based in the game world, and you gave them IG credit for it! Obviously, you'd run into issues like having someone review everything for continuity sake (avoid god-moding and poor writing) and capping the amount one person can earn from this over a time period (to prevent players with more free time from getting an edge on busy individuals). And then you made it public knowledge, and posted it for everyone.

You've just built your world, without actually doing anything other than awarding imaginary points for an imaginary character.

Can you think of any other ways to make social networking work for your game?

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