Several times a month, I will be in a store aisle reaching for something and feel a hand going up the inside of my thigh. When I turn around to find myself alone with a woman, and ask her if she would prefer me to hold still so she can get a better feel for the situation, oftentimes she will act "shocked" claiming nothing had happened, it must be somebody else...

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Listen until you cannot talk

Started by Frontside Back, May 15, 2018, 10:42:10 PM

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Quote from: Doktor Howl on May 17, 2018, 01:40:06 AM
Quote from: LMNO on May 16, 2018, 11:02:29 PM
That sort of sounds like an error in context and variables more than anything else.

"We tried X, but since more than 51% of people involved were asshats, it didn't work. Now that only 32% are asshats, it could probably work better this time."

Problem:  The number of assholes is a constant.

In an open system, or a closed system?  It seems like Cram is referring to a self-selecting closed system.


old "wisdom" needs to be checked and re-tested

people change, contexts change, what worked last year might not work this year

The part where Frontside Back mentions that it's like there's an Old Boys Cult which wants to see the replication of the Cult - that speaks to me. Old veteran larpers tend to shoot down any ideas that don't aim at recreating the thing they already know they love.

Larps are generated in splinters - big larps break off into smaller larps, and so the new england cluster of games is like a family tree... you can trace each game's lineage to the larps that came before it. So the larps running in 2018 have a lot of build up institutional knowledge - and plaque.

When you leave the region, you see that a lot of the "accepted wisdom" falls apart when you begin with different premises or assumptions.

To give an example - in new england in the 80s-90s, larps were very competitive. There would be monsters to kill, but the real fun and profit was in mercing other players. "The most dangerous game."

Over 15 years of drama, the community gradually moved away from PvP. You used to write plotlines in a way that generated drama within the playerbase. But now, all plot is now designed to encourage cooperation, the unification of community. Player vs Player murder doesn't happen much anymore, certainly not on the scale or intensity that it did when I started larping.

And so all the local game-runner wisdom discourages PvP. If you start a game that includes PvP, most new england larpers peer into the future and go "oh this is gonna be a toxic mess, will definitely fail. Just like when I was a newbie and somebody axe-murdered me for my starting gear." Consequently, the dominant game model is that players get their "content" and "plot" from interactions with NPCs--interacting with other players is not seen as the core part of the game, it's incidental to the "scripted" plot.

But then I take a road trip to Jersey or Pennsylvania, where they don't have that history... and find myself in a world where there is PvP, but it's not toxic. And it's like this whole new atmosphere! Everybody in new england insists it could never work. But they think that because of some anecdotes and subjective experiences that people have passed on as general truths.

I can think of a million places where this happens.

I went to a larp in NJ once... at the beginning of the game, there's a Weapon Safety Check. You hand your weapon to a "safety marshal" and they inspect it to make sure it's safe to whack people with. The safety criteria appear to be based on some empirical data, but in reality, it's just anecdotes shared by community leaders.

The safety marshal failed my polearm because I didn't have tape on the grip. He was like "the fiberglass core could splinter and a fragment could enter your bloodstream and you'd die, immediately." I looked around, like, am I surrounded by crazy people here? At my home game, exposed weapon cores are NORMAL, and nobody has ever died, or even been injured by splintering fiberglass.

"Damn, do people really die from that?" I asked, feigning being a newbie.

"Yeah, it almost happened last month," said some guy.

this is horseshit  :lol:
I was like, "Damn, I had no idea larping was so dangerous!" (it isn't) But anything I said to suggest that this issue isn't a problem.. only contributed to the impression that I was some naieve newbie. After all, they know. I don't.

In order to become a 'safety marshal' you have to internalize all the community-wisdom that's floating around. Including the plaque. So the people who are the most informed are also the people with the most misinformation.

Doktor Howl

Quote from: Frontside Back on May 17, 2018, 06:58:40 AM
What if we put all the non-assholes in a cage? Would the cage-people develop their own asshole population?

This has in fact been done, and the assholes developed immediately.
Molon Lube