Fyren wrote:I suppose my basic, rambling point is this: HT has existed for over 21 years for two reasons: 1) It is and always will be player driver, the wizards have no intention or desire to run the RP; 2) We actively work to keep things open and fair, no cliques, no secret staffs, no inner circles.
It’s been a busy week! First off - I wanted to publicly say thank you, Fyren, for your reply and for this affirmation of what I believe of HT.
In that same vein, I want to publicly say thank you to you (and presumably game staff as a whole) for reopening *gs to player posting.
Additionally, I really appreciate that the *Admin-announcements post detailed the three game staff communication subscriptions! I was previously unaware that there was a *discussion mail list, and until I tried to contact staff in January I was unaware of *gs and *gsc. (These two are now detailed on the wiki - and I thank staff for that as well!)
Personally, I feel really positive about this step and about HT’s commitment to player-driven creativity.
RightMeow wrote:It's a MUSH (or MOO) and I think the definition is something stupid like 'multi user shared hallucination' and that's kind of important even if it's silly.
I’m not sure if I’ve ever heard that definition. I love it. I agree that it is totally important. I also think, as I’ve touched on in a previous post, that collaborating and achieving a shared hallucination is actually a really ambitious task. A worthwhile one, I think! But the hallucination we are trying to share is complex. We’re all approaching it from a different place. I feel like it is important to be gentle with ourselves, and with each other -- we are doing it for fun! But we are trying to do something that is hard. When something is hard, not every attempt is going to be perfect. And that’s okay. I feel, what’s important is to keep trying, to keep reaching for that shared part.
Now… I grabbed that discussion point from the thread about Gdocs. My outlook is that our “multi user shared hallucination” communities have been multi-media communities for a long time. These other forms of media have pros and cons. LiveJournal/Dreamwidth, gdocs, wiki. All of these are non-MU* platforms that community members have used to expand their creative efforts. Vignettes, character-focused memes, artwork, audio-work… I haven’t seen anyone post an interpretive dance on YouTube, but hey. All of these non-MU* things potentially take time away from on-MU* writing. If I’m updating my character page on wiki, I’m not writing. I’m also not writing if I’m watching the latest episode of Dr. Who.
I could even make an argument, that “watching Dr. Who” is something that has value in terms of being a part of certain of our PernMU* communities. When we write, we often short-cut to convey meaning by relying on shared cultural references. And, well -- dragon inspirations! Shall we evaluate whether those are a valid application of a community member’s time? They are a creative media all unto themselves!
Personally, I start to feel really unsettled when it seems like we’re talking about putting limits on a person’s creative expression. At the same time, I definitely support a community in deciding what feels right to the members as a whole in terms of defining what it means to be a part of that community. As a person who tries to be sensitive to whether I belong in a given community or not, what I’m looking for is for those terms to be made explicit. I realize that “what it means to be a part of the community” is as nebulous a concept as “shared hallucination”. Which is why open, free-flowing communication is so important! It is so valuable to hear “this really seems to work” and perhaps even more: “this doesn’t seem to be working.”
For example, going back to the HT reboot catalyst thread helped me better appreciate that for some people, stories about drug use really break the hallucination of Pern for them and are not fun. When it comes to a “multi user shared hallucination” there are people who do not want that to be part of the shared hallucination. So we have different areas! That is awesome! That way there is space for the people who want to share a drug-free hallucination, and also space for the people who are interested in creating stories where drug use is a fair-game element. There is no wrong side to this - only a guideline explicitly stated, so that people are aware of which shared environment they are likely to find other-user hallucinations more similar to their own.
I said in an earlier post that I have been thinking a lot about the whys that have driven my decisions when it comes to being part of a shared hallucination community. One of them is related to this. For me, the issue that has most consistently broken my hallucinations is the portrayal of youthful characters as having national-level competence and importance. Like some people feel about drug use stories, those stories are not particularly fun for me. It typically makes me feel really alienated from being affected by and affecting people’s storylines -- in these situations I often feel like I am being required to write my characters’ IC reactions in a way that is discordant with my hallucination. I definitely do appreciate the OOC factors driving the prevalence, and that a lot of people have fun telling those stories! Again - I don’t believe there is a wrong side to this. It is just another factor contributing to the state of a given shared environment, and influences the sorting of users who are looking for others who have similar hallucinations.
Anyway, I am so very appreciative of all of the different voices that have been expressing themselves on these forums. I really value hearing about what it is that makes a hallucination feel shared for you and what you are excited about sharing, and also to hear what it is that breaks the hallucination for you or makes it not-fun to share. I want to keep hearing it!