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Old 02-07-2011, 05:28 PM   #127
Feanor of the Peredhil
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I like the concept of a back up game owner. Having played in a game where the owner bailed, as did half of the writers, I can say from experience that leaving the responsibility to players who signed up to be players, not Big Decision Makers, is neither fair nor kind. After all, if you love the characters that have been deserted, you want to do them justice. Also, you wonder, what happens if the game owner comes back and hates what you've done, and what gives you the right to take charge anyway, and etcetera. I think that the mindset of a game as a small business is hurting us.

Here's what I mean by that: the game is an entrepreneur. S/he has this wonderful idea, and gets together a crew of people to staff the enterprise. They get a solid thing going, and then one of the staffers is offered a better job elsewhere. Maybe you hire on a new employee, maybe you just all do a bit more work to make up the difference. You're still pretty okay, though, because it's all the kind of work you feel qualified to do, even if it's a bit more than you originally signed up for.

Say your small business owner trips on a puppy and somehow incapacitates his or herself entirely. They're in a puppy induced coma. Can't make decisions, can't come to work, can't do anything. They're gone.

You're left with premises populated with people who are really good at their jobs, but definitely didn't sign up to become responsible for paying rent, back taxes, employee health insurance. They signed up as writers, not managers, and there's a huge difference between being in those positions.

With the concept that a game has an owner, we either need to ensure that there's a second in command with the ability to take over as needed, or we need to frame games more efficiently as a collective, belonging equally to all of the players.

Granted, I'm a hippie. I believe in gardening, and goats, and community living with shared chores and cabinets stocked with miso and tea. So the concept of a collectively owned story wherein every player has equal ownership and equal responsibility appeals to me. In the case that the game leader (a bit more democratic of a position than game owner or game authoritarian, don't you think?) needs to step down, the players can choose who will be the boss from amongst themselves.

Bwahaha, I've just realized what I'm proposing.

Shire: a benevolent dictatorship. Games are structured by owners, with predetermined seconds-in-command. The structure of these games provide a basic framework for the writers to work within, giving them a firm but generous place to write. The games are owned, more or less, by one person that makes key decisions, and the players are obligated to work within the game owner's constraints.

Rohan: hippie commune nation of love and voting and sharing. Games are proposed, players sign up, and responsibility is shared. Decisions regarding plot, time lines, and any other game related issues are made by everyone, who will have equal stakes. It's more work for everyone involved, but also provides a greater since of investment, since it becomes OUR game instead of His or Her game.

Regarding Pio's question, if we worked in this manner, the role of forum mod would possibly be unaltered.

With regard to my proposed Shire plan (guiding the players by the hand), we already have it set up so that game owners write out proposals for the admin. That would not change, except maybe it should be required instead of suggested that a rough outline (weekly? biweekly? monthly?) of how much should be accomplished in certain increments of time should be sketched in. The work for the game owner would go up, but the work for the forum moderator would remain about the same.

For the Rohan plan (players guiding themselves), the forum moderator's work would possibly decrease, because players would be taking more responsibility onto themselves. Perhaps the basic premise would be proposed, but the details would be hammered out by the players themselves?
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