Gdocs vs MUSH/MOO

General discussions of games, players, ideas, and Pern canon.
RightMeow
Posts: 20
Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2015 8:24 am
Location: HT

Gdocs vs MUSH/MOO

Postby RightMeow » Tue Feb 17, 2015 5:38 pm

I saw playing on Gdocs mentioned in another thread and rather than derail that one I decided to just pop my own open over here. I personally feel that they're detrimental to the MUSH/MOO environment. I have a kid, job, husband and a cat. I understand that sometimes there just aren't enough hours in the day. I've been a part of this niche in Pern fandom for ten years. It's important for me to maintain it even as it seems to be going extinct. I carve the time out at night, mostly.

When I see people saying "oh I don't have enough time to RP on game, so I did gdocs" I feel a little sad. Because that's a scene happening off the game. That's activity happening off of the game. And while it may feel like contributing, it's not. Because when those warm bodies aren't logged onto the server, the game looks less full. Maybe it's not affecting their activity on the game overall, I feel like it must be but I could be wrong. So if there are big fans of the gdoc out there, I'd like to hear your side. But more than just "i don't have time so I gdoc but pretend I MUSH/MOO". Because honestly to me it feels like those people should be doing forum RP or PBEM.

Aya
Site Admin
Posts: 120
Joined: Sat Jun 07, 2008 9:33 am

Re: Gdocs vs MUSH/MOO

Postby Aya » Tue Feb 17, 2015 5:41 pm

I agree.

There are forums and pbems for a reason that would suit gdocs nicely I feel.

I don't play often, and I totally understand the need to finish off scenes in gdocs given I also have a high maintenance child, family, and busy life that makes it hard to find the time.

But MUSHing's charm was the live aspect of it. The spontaneous magic of creating stories together in real time without thinking. Posing that gut instinct sort of thing.

But yeah, I agree. ._.

Xan
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Apr 03, 2011 1:42 pm

Re: Gdocs vs MUSH/MOO

Postby Xan » Tue Feb 17, 2015 5:43 pm

It also just feels so... exclusive.

There's no chance for anyone else to join in. You're off in your own little world, doing your own little thing.

And especially when it's the same couple of players playing gdoc scene after gdoc scene.

poppet
Posts: 13
Joined: Wed Dec 24, 2014 2:17 pm
Location: NorCon

Re: Gdocs vs MUSH/MOO

Postby poppet » Tue Feb 17, 2015 5:45 pm

I feel like Gdocs should be supplemental to game time. It is going to happen sometimes that players have completely different availabilities. I am an early afternoon/evening player, and I'm sorry but I'm not going to stay up until 2 am to match a night time player. I value my sleep too much. But, our characters might need that interaction, for plot purposes or character development, whatever the case may be. That would be the time to use Gdocs.

Using it simply because you don't want to log on game... maybe not.

So, supplemental. Occasional but not often. To me, that's okay.

Fallen Caryatid
Posts: 17
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2015 7:22 am
Location: HT

Re: Gdocs vs MUSH/MOO

Postby Fallen Caryatid » Tue Feb 17, 2015 5:49 pm

When I first started playing, logs were not a thing. Then LiveJournal came along and people started posting them. Then wikis came along and fancy character pages became a thing, and suddenly it was required that logs be posted to account for activity.

Meanwhile, all of us are feeling the time crunch.

Docs are just another tool that can be used to maintain activity. Whether they should go towards a player's activity requirements is an individual opinion. I've seen it done where a game has a Docs Folder to which all game members are offered access, so docs scenes can be done in the public eye and are an accepted part of the community. I think this is neat, myself, but like all new tools, I think it can be misused or overused too.

Gdocs let me play with people in different timezones. Gdocs allow me to do scenes that I know will take far more time than I have on grid (and I will often shift paused scenes to gdocs to complete). Gdocs allow me to experiment with a less blocky and dense writing style without the need for holding everyone up by fiddling with code. I can do proper paragraphs and dialogue, and action can move along in a much more organic and snappy way. I can do indents and inserts. I can actually in real time have my character interrupt someone else's character at a realistic point instead of having to backtrack through their pose in mine to mark this. Poses can fold in with poses and instead of walls o' text (some of which might not be accurate or could stand to be tweaked to account for something that comes after), suddenly there's a living, breathing piece o' prose to enjoy.

I think as a tool there is a lot of potential there for use and I personally enjoy a mix of both on-grid and gdoc scenes.
Geek Social Fallacy #1: Ostracizers Are Evil
Geek Social Fallacy #2: Friends Accept Me As I Am
Geek Social Fallacy #3: Friendship Before All
Geek Social Fallacy #4: Friendship Is Transitive
Geek Social Fallacy #5: Friends Do Everything Together

beepbeep
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2014 5:57 pm

Re: Gdocs vs MUSH/MOO

Postby beepbeep » Tue Feb 17, 2015 5:51 pm

I think gdocs is an interesting conundrum.

Full disclosure: I use gdocs a lot. I really like them. They allow a style and length of scene that is utterly different (not better, not worse) from what a MOO can offer. They help me to RP with players in different timezones from my own, widening my pool of RP partners (a scene with one player in South Africa, one in the UK and one on the West Coast? Suddenly feasible!) They allow me to bump my activity up from already over my reqs to significantly more. For me, gdocs don't take me away from a game; they allow me to contribute more to it.

That said: I am a huge believer in on-game activity reqs, especially for IC and OOC rankers. As you say, players online keep a game looking busy which attracts new alts. Being on the MOO/MUSH make players easier to reach for scenes. I'm very laissez-faire on what non-ranked characters do for RP. But those with rank should, I believe, have a requirement to contribute to MOO/MUSH play as well.

But -- once a player has met on-game activity reqs, I don't see the harm in gdocs in addition. For me the option isn't fewer gdoc scenes and more game scenes. I can play X amount of game scenes a week, and I do. I would love to do more! But just like you RightMeow -- I have the rest of my life going on. The only question is -- can I also do Y amount of gdoc scenes in addition to my on-game time? For me, the answer is yes. I feel that contributes more to the game than I would otherwise be able to, and I'm happy to do it. I don't pretend to play a MOO/MUSH: I actually do! I just also use gdocs, and for me it works.

RightMeow
Posts: 20
Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2015 8:24 am
Location: HT

Re: Gdocs vs MUSH/MOO

Postby RightMeow » Wed Feb 18, 2015 8:23 pm

It also just feels so... exclusive.


That's a feeling that I get as well. And when I have this conversation with friends, I often get a similar sentiment conveyed to me.


Gdocs let me play with people in different timezones. Gdocs allow me to do scenes that I know will take far more time than I have on grid (and I will often shift paused scenes to gdocs to complete). Gdocs allow me to experiment with a less blocky and dense writing style without the need for holding everyone up by fiddling with code. I can do proper paragraphs and dialogue, and action can move along in a much more organic and snappy way. I can do indents and inserts. I can actually in real time have my character interrupt someone else's character at a realistic point instead of having to backtrack through their pose in mine to mark this. Poses can fold in with poses and instead of walls o' text (some of which might not be accurate or could stand to be tweaked to account for something that comes after), suddenly there's a living, breathing piece o' prose to enjoy.


Don't you think you'd be better off playing PBEM? Or forums? Because what you're conveying here sounds as if that's what you'd enjoy a lot more. I'm not trying to drive anyone out of this genre of RP, just trying to get sense. It appears that you like this better, so why are you MUSH/MOOing instead? Or why don't you make a gdoc based game?

ETA: I have no objection to using it occasionally to finish paused scenes or to catch up with a person you have to catch up with that's in an unfavorable time zone.

Fallen Caryatid
Posts: 17
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2015 7:22 am
Location: HT

Re: Gdocs vs MUSH/MOO

Postby Fallen Caryatid » Wed Feb 18, 2015 8:57 pm

I don't enjoy gdocs more than I enjoy mu*ing, though? I like both. I enjoy using it as a supplementary tool to allow for more RP and to allow for playing with different styles. After so long in the hobby, I find it fun to try new things. Otherwise it would get stale and dull. I also like the instant gratification and quicker pace of on-grid scenes.

It feels more exclusionary, to me, to suggest that those like me might not belong for enjoying using another tool in the toolkit that allows people to RP. :/
Geek Social Fallacy #1: Ostracizers Are Evil
Geek Social Fallacy #2: Friends Accept Me As I Am
Geek Social Fallacy #3: Friendship Before All
Geek Social Fallacy #4: Friendship Is Transitive
Geek Social Fallacy #5: Friends Do Everything Together

RightMeow
Posts: 20
Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2015 8:24 am
Location: HT

Re: Gdocs vs MUSH/MOO

Postby RightMeow » Wed Feb 18, 2015 9:04 pm

It feels more exclusionary, to me, to suggest that those like me might not belong for enjoying using another tool in the toolkit that allows people to RP. :/


I think that I quite clearly stated I wasn't attempting to drive anyone out, I'm sorry that you feel that way. However I think there is an undercurrent where other people feel that those gdoc-ing are being secretive or are creating some inner circle of RP that others are not allowed to join. If you're meeting up with X-player to do a scene on gdocs and not on the game, that's viewed as a scene that no one else was allowed to join.

Is it fair? Does fair matter all the time? I'm not sure. Whether or not the above is all true, I don't know. It occurs to me that in a sense it's not much different from people who RP exclusively in their private rooms on their own time table. But those people often face similar criticisms.

Meg
Posts: 13
Joined: Mon May 26, 2014 6:08 pm

Re: Gdocs vs MUSH/MOO

Postby Meg » Wed Feb 18, 2015 9:49 pm

For myself, I worry that I am missing people that want me for a scene but can't match my schedule. Gdocs themselves aren't my favorite things. Reasons have already been stated: it loses something from the real-time aspect of the MU*, it tends to drag on, they are easy to forget, etc etc. But if someone needed my character for a scene, I wouldn't mind.

Really, I think we all probably agree on the basics. No, not all scenes should be done in gdocs. No not all scenes should be done in private rooms. But having some done in gdocs when the player can't play on the actual game is probably not exclusionary or horrible /if/ the player is also doing scenes publicly on the game. Just like having some private scenes in your room isn't horrible.

I will be the first to admit that a long time of my MU* career (? hobby? lifetime? idk) was spent on a game where it wasn't really culture to step into a scene in any MU* room, public or not, without paging to see if they wanted another. And most RP was asked for and arranged on an RP channel, not by sitting out in public. So feel free to disregard my opinion.

scarlett
Posts: 12
Joined: Sun Jun 08, 2008 9:29 pm

Re: Gdocs vs MUSH/MOO

Postby scarlett » Wed Feb 18, 2015 11:43 pm

As someone who has a tendency to play really long scenes, I like that gdocs lets me do that while also putting myself out in public for lighter, shorter things. That said, it is somewhat exclusive. It does feel kind of lousy when someone you want to play with is posting loads of off-game scenes.

In some ways, I kind of miss the days when logs weren't obligatory. I liked the mystery of not really knowing all about all the characters I interacted with, that there was room for privacy in the life of a character. Of course, I also enjoy the voyeurism.

Anyway, I also like that gdocs are handy when I'm away from a regular internet connection -- they're easier to do via a phone than any of the mushing apps I've tried to use.

beepbeep
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2014 5:57 pm

Re: Gdocs vs MUSH/MOO

Postby beepbeep » Thu Feb 19, 2015 5:08 am

Because that's a scene happening off the game. That's activity happening off of the game. And while it may feel like contributing, it's not.


I don't enjoy gdocs more than I enjoy mu*ing, though? I like both. I enjoy using it as a supplementary tool to allow for more RP and to allow for playing with different styles. After so long in the hobby, I find it fun to try new things. Otherwise it would get stale and dull. I also like the instant gratification and quicker pace of on-grid scenes.


This to me comes down to a crucial question, I think, of how important the medium we play in is. I love M*s. They’re important to me. I contribute where I play, and I take it seriously because I care about my community. I’d miss the M* format if it died, and I think it serves important purposes.

That said, I don’t play these games primarily for the sake of the format. I play these games because I love the creative excitement of collaborating in a shared world, and I find a M* to offer unique ways of doing that -- as a tool rather than the be-all and end-all. Not having the M* as the single most important feature of this hobby for me means that, in my view, all creative work done in the community is valuable and interesting. For me a M* is the hub of a game rather than the whole thing. Even back when I first started playing in the early 2000s characters had livejournals etc. I’m sure some scenes happened via email.

Again, I want to stress: I love the game I play on. I'm logged on a lot. I chat, I RP. I don't want to give the format up (hence why I'm not on a PbeM or forum game). Not finding the format the be-all and end-all of the game doesn't mean that I think the M* is unimportant, or has no unique value, or that I wouldn’t be really sad to see that medium go. I love my live scenes, open RP requests and the ease of meeting new people. But for me it seems counterproductive to say that the only creativity which counts/is socially acceptable is that which is on-game. Gdocs are different. They allow novel experiments in form and content. It’s like chocolate cake and strawberry ice cream -- why not both?! I love live scenes, so I play on a M*. I also enjoy gdocs, so I do that as well. I don't think the two are mutually exclusive. Watch me eat all of the delicious desserts!

However I think there is an undercurrent where other people feel that those gdoc-ing are being secretive or are creating some inner circle of RP that others are not allowed to join. If you're meeting up with X-player to do a scene on gdocs and not on the game, that's viewed as a scene that no one else was allowed to join. [...]

It occurs to me that in a sense it's not much different from people who RP exclusively in their private rooms on their own time table. But those people often face similar criticisms.


I agree that there are similarities between gdoc scenes and private room scenes. I suppose for me what it comes down to is -- if players are having fun, why stop them? If Player Jill and Player Jack want to have all their scenes in a private room, or via gdoc… how does that harm me? No one is obliged to play with me, not unless they have IC/OOC rank that requires it.

There are so many things on Pern M* that aren’t to my personal taste. There are things that drive me around the freaking bend. Some tropes make me want to put a shoebox on my head and cry hot, sweet tears of frustration. I’m sure everyone has a detailed list of RP topics, character traits and behaviours they’d like never to see again. I’m also sure we all have different lists ;) So it seems to me that the key point is: are the players having fun? If they are, then for me I would need a very good reason to stop them or tell them their fun is ‘less good’ or ‘wrong’. In my opinion, the only reason to stop people enjoying themselves, or to tell them that their fun is bad, is the utilitarian calculation that their version of fun is outweighed by a negative impact on the game as a whole. I think that examples of this would be ranking characters not being available for their activity reqs, or having 100% of their scenes with their ICSO, or the creation of a TP that ignores established game theme and canon. But Apprentice Bob is someone’s minor alt and only scenes with one other person? Wingsecond Wanda makes her activity reqs and then does more scenes off-game? Cool! No skin off my back, and I hope they have fun.

At least where I play, we don’t say to potential players “you can only scene twice a month, therefore you aren’t welcome here in any capacity”. So why should it be different for gdocs? As long as a player makes their on-game activity reqs, I couldn’t care less if they also write 17 vigs, create an audio diary for their alt and post the transcript of a scene played via wax tablets and carrier pigeon. It doesn’t mean I’d necessarily like or enjoy these things. But, as I said above, if the games were based on what just one particular player likes they’d be very different ;) Anyhow -- I can exert my prerogative as an adult to simply not read them, and go about my day as usual.

Of course if a majority of the players where I’m based decided gdocs were detrimental enough to the M* as a whole that they outweighed the fun people had with them, then I’d accept that choice. I would also probably leave -- partly due to timezones that make it pretty tough for non-US players to get all the scenes they want on-game, and partly because I’m uncomfy with un-funning. But the majority of a game's playerbase has the right to decide what they see as unacceptably detrimental to their community, and I'm down with that.

lovely
Posts: 22
Joined: Mon Jul 21, 2014 7:34 am

Re: Gdocs vs MUSH/MOO

Postby lovely » Thu Feb 19, 2015 8:58 am

Xan wrote:It also just feels so... exclusive.

There's no chance for anyone else to join in. You're off in your own little world, doing your own little thing.

And especially when it's the same couple of players playing gdoc scene after gdoc scene.


This quote, I think, really defines the differentiation between the two overall factions on the gdoc argument.

Let me preface this by saying: I personally suck at gdocs. Everyone who has tried to play a gdoc with me can confirm this. This doesn't mean that I can't see the value of it as a tool, or that I haven't played gdoc scenes. Plus -- different strokes for different folks, you know? So with that general statement of personal neutrality on the topic, I have to admit I've also heard a LOT of static in the airwaves from other players on how it is intrinsically exclusive. I think there has been an uptick of usage on it, and because of that, I think there's been more conversation by players who are more-or-less put out on seeing these awesome, amazing scenes get cranked out that they could have never been part of, even if it was in an area/place (and even time) where their characters could have joined in.

There have been many comments above that basically say this in more stark language, which is: if you are in a gdoc, that is a party-by-invitation. A secret party by invitation, because people only know it's been done if it's been posted. I can only imagine the amount of gdoc scenes that have gone unposted and unremarked upon. The difference is that -- we are human. We get envious. We want to feel included. We want to feel as though we have options to interact with people, especially people we classify as 'cool' or 'talented'. And for players that are cranking out over 50% of their scenes in gdocs, it may create a sense of resentment in the populace. Which faction has the right of it? I don't know.

In kind of a related thought-space, I also saw a situation recently where two characters were in a private room for a couple of hours (in a pairing that isn't common to see in a private room on the game in question), and when the log was posted an hour after they broke, it was listed as being played in a public room. I don't necessarily have a problem with that as an outlier, but I think it just speaks of the two large factions that are kind of speaking on this issue: Group A, who want more control over who is going to join their scenes, and Group B, who want access to any public scene.

I don't have any answers. But I will say that personally? I think that if you are using gdocs for more than 50% of your scenes, you are missing out on a lot of great organic opportunities -- if you play on a game where joining public scenes is encouraged, which should be a culture espoused by all of gaming by now.

aliform
Posts: 11
Joined: Tue Jul 06, 2010 6:18 am

Re: Gdocs vs MUSH/MOO

Postby aliform » Thu Feb 19, 2015 9:09 am

lovely has said essentially 100% of what I would've said -- basically, I'm really bad at playing in gdocs and therefore am pretty much only going to do it to finish a scene (or occasionally start something that'll be picked up on-game later) as I often forget they exist and am not good at keeping up with them. And, really, everything else lovely and others who aren't enthusiastic about or wholly against said, but I couldn't resist coming out of my hole where I rarely say anything on these forums in order to respond to this:

lovely wrote:In kind of a related thought-space, I also saw a situation recently where two characters were in a private room for a couple of hours (in a pairing that isn't common to see in a private room on the game in question), and when the log was posted an hour after they broke, it was listed as being played in a public room.


There are, like, two possible situations where this is okay: one, the log was posted way after it was actually played and it was a coincidence that they'd been hanging around in a private room (unlikely since lovely seems on top of things and as these characters don't live together they probably aren't just hanging OOC in a private room) or two, this was completing a scene that had been started in a public room on a previous day, so they didn't want to crowd a public room with what was at that point a backscene. Actually, there's a third that might be okay too: people who wanted to play in that public room but weren't up for a scene with more than two people and therefore also felt bad about taking up the room in case a larger group wanted to use it, and they are either characters who don't have an activity requirement or have already met it.

So I really hope that these weren't rankers who haven't yet had a required allotment of monthly public scenes at the game in question (if it's a game that has a public scene requirement -- I hope that games that have scene requirements period universally have them be public as opposed to counting scenes in private rooms toward an activity requirement, but I'm pretty sure that's literally another thread that already exists, let alone a topic for another post). That seems about as disingenuous as doing your "public" scenes over gdocs in "public rooms".

(edited for shameful typos.)

Fallen Caryatid
Posts: 17
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2015 7:22 am
Location: HT

Re: Gdocs vs MUSH/MOO

Postby Fallen Caryatid » Thu Feb 19, 2015 9:42 am

So, if you want to police people's doc scenes, or create an environment where others can jump into doc scenes, create an email-access docs folder for your game or area. Players can access by requesting their email address be added to the share list. If they see a scene they'd like to join, they ask those already involved. If they want to do grid only, they can ignore it. There, problem solved. Tool used instead of suppressed.
Geek Social Fallacy #1: Ostracizers Are Evil
Geek Social Fallacy #2: Friends Accept Me As I Am
Geek Social Fallacy #3: Friendship Before All
Geek Social Fallacy #4: Friendship Is Transitive
Geek Social Fallacy #5: Friends Do Everything Together

lovely
Posts: 22
Joined: Mon Jul 21, 2014 7:34 am

Re: Gdocs vs MUSH/MOO

Postby lovely » Thu Feb 19, 2015 9:53 am

Fallen Caryatid wrote:So, if you want to police people's doc scenes...


I would think any staff who isn't directly involved in gdocing themselves would probably feel this is more or less unnecessary or uncomfortably like stepping into someone else's house and trying to tell them where to put the coffee table.

Why don't players who do a lot of gdocing take the initiative to do something like this? It seems as though it would be a good idea, if the people who do a lot of gdocing are good for this kind of thing. (Again, I'm not one of those people, so I'm not about to step upon people's toes to try to suddenly "police" someone else's stuff.)

Fallen Caryatid
Posts: 17
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2015 7:22 am
Location: HT

Re: Gdocs vs MUSH/MOO

Postby Fallen Caryatid » Thu Feb 19, 2015 10:22 am

Because if it isn't official and supported by staff, it is doccers being exclusionary and cliquish and controlling access to the pool.
Geek Social Fallacy #1: Ostracizers Are Evil
Geek Social Fallacy #2: Friends Accept Me As I Am
Geek Social Fallacy #3: Friendship Before All
Geek Social Fallacy #4: Friendship Is Transitive
Geek Social Fallacy #5: Friends Do Everything Together

lovely
Posts: 22
Joined: Mon Jul 21, 2014 7:34 am

Re: Gdocs vs MUSH/MOO

Postby lovely » Thu Feb 19, 2015 10:37 am

This is, again, indicative of why things fail. Let's go back and review what just happened.

1: You suggest something that sounds awesome! (But maybe you meant it passive aggressively, now that I see the wording of it in hindsight.)
2: I take it at face value and think that's awesome and say so, but I think it should come from the people who are currently doing it so it doesn't feel like a police state!
3: You get passive aggressive snarky victim mentalitied instead of taking the ball and running with it to do something that could be awesome (as you have yourself said you are fond of g'docs). (Also PS: There is no reason this couldn't originate from the people currently doccing, get a thumbs-up from staff, and be official and supported by staff.)
4: Nothing comes from this because it didn't survive first contact with something that wasn't immediately 100% agreement with the idea.

So let me give you a constructive critique, Fallen. If you would be more open to suggestion and less defensive, you could really affect a lot of positive change -- if positive change is what you are after. The way you word things, from what I have seen on the forums, makes me sometimes think you are just one of the most well-evolved trolls I've ever seen. I don't say that meanly? I say that from a state of genuine bewilderment.

poppet
Posts: 13
Joined: Wed Dec 24, 2014 2:17 pm
Location: NorCon

Re: Gdocs vs MUSH/MOO

Postby poppet » Thu Feb 19, 2015 10:41 am

Fallen Caryatid wrote:Because if it isn't official and supported by staff, it is doccers being exclusionary and cliquish and controlling access to the pool.


Edit: sorry, my b. I skimmed and didn't get the whole picture. Ignore this~

RightMeow
Posts: 20
Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2015 8:24 am
Location: HT

Re: Gdocs vs MUSH/MOO

Postby RightMeow » Thu Feb 19, 2015 10:53 am

I want to thank everyone for the thoughtful responses, especially for those of you that were far more articulate than me at expressing your feelings. There's been some great discussion of the pros and cons and I definitely walked away with some food for thought in the future and maybe even in the presence for my own RP. I do want to note that I'm disappointed this seems to be getting taken far too personally by some.


Return to “Constructive Discussion”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron