IC/OOC confusion: how to deal with it? (OOC)

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IC/OOC confusion: how to deal with it? (OOC)

Post by Dot » Tue Feb 16, 2010 9:52 pm

Restored post: Myst/Uru-Style Story • IC/OOC confusion: how to deal with it? (OOC)
Hypergrid 11.2.2010 um 14:31 Dot


The purpose of this thread is to look at how we might resolve some of the difficulties that arise through a mixture of IC (in character) and OOC (out of character) styles of play -- a mix that often arises in Myst/Uru-style games.

Through looking at specific examples, and trying to understand the conflict and upset that might have arisen from different points of view, I'm hoping that together we might come up with ways of handling such difficulties in the future, both as individuals and as part of whatever groups we belong to.

I'll start the ball rolling. This is a vivid instance that happened among hood members, about the time Cate was suggesting putting adverts in the Cavern. This IC event was commonly interpreted in an OOC way as the game company needing extra funds. Both IC and OOC players have an OOC love for the company concerned, and would want to help if they could.

One very caring and kind individual, strongly OOC, was trying to find out more about the OOC background from a DRC person visiting the City. There were other strongly IC players wanting to discuss the developing story.

The result was a unpleasant shouting match. The OOC individual was extremely upset by being told repeatedly to shut up by the others, who were similarly upset/irritated no doubt by the persistence of OOC questions being asked.

Afterwards in the hood, we tried to comfort the person concerned, and to explain that the advert idea was a story, that it didn't mean that the game company was looking for extra revenue in RL. I'm not sure we got very far -- but we tried.

How should such incidents be handled (a) as they happen, (b) afterwards among friends?

===
By the way, in this section, should a similar situation arise where someone asks an OOC question in a mainly IC thread, the thread participants will be expected to respond helpfully in an OOC way, to clear up any possible confusion immediately. Respect for others is key.

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Re: IC/OOC confusion: how to deal with it? (OOC)

Post by Mac_Fife » Tue Feb 16, 2010 9:55 pm

Restored post: Myst/Uru-Style Story • Re: IC/OOC confusion: how to deal with it? (OOC)
Hypergrid 11.2.2010 um 16:50 Mac_Fife


It's obviously quite difficult for some people, especially someone new to games like Uru, to appreciate how strongly some people can feel about maintaining the IC suspension of reality, or even to understand that the IC mindset exists at all. I think that IC immersion may be more intense in Uru because of the depth of "history" that goes with the game; the established timeline, the "Canon", etc., and the efforts that have been made to maintain consistency in all things - I don't believe many other game designs are so well thought through in that respect (acknowledging that that there are a few "holes" ;) ).

Outside of the game (e.g. on website and forums) it is comparatively easy to create demarcations between areas that are IC and those that are OOC, although supposedly IC only sites like DRC site had to concede and provide an OOC forum. That is probably necessary because there will always be the "uninitiated" who will need to have things explained to them in real world language.

In-game, things become even harder to deal with. Some people will have been around Uru in it's various forms for maybe 8 years. I suppose it becomes easy to forget that others may never have experienced Uru. Others will just not be able to, or will simply be uncomfortable with, treating a computer game as if it were "real". In my own case, I do have some difficulty with the suspension of belief: I'm an engineer, so if I see something that doesn't work or doesn't look plausible then my mind naturally tries to find the "real world" explanation of things - I don't immediately try to contrive in IC explanation (I've probably ruined quite a few movies for my wife because of making comments like "No, electricity wouldn't do that - it would have gone to earth through that pipe over there").

Some hoods may (try to) be exclusivley IC. That may not be apparent to less seasoned players, and someone trying to find all the stained glass window variants in the 'hoods can easily find themseleves in a situation such as Dot describes. Tagging a 'hood name with "(IC only)" won't necessarily help and rather ruins the "IC-ness" for those who follow that path.

It's problem that requires a bit of give and take. Unfortunately, there are those who will readily "take" but are disinclined to "give". An OOC player who knows about the IC mindset, but persists in forcing OOC discussion in IC situations is just as bad the IC player who refuses to break from IC to help someone innocently requesting help. Deliberately baiting others by exploiting the OOC/IC paradox is also a possibility and may not always be easy to detect.

The greatest potential for trouble would seem to be where an OOC players encounter an IC situation; I don't see as much of an issue the other way round. In those cases one of the IC players ought to be able drop to OOC in order to explain the situation and/or render some assistance to the wayward player. PMs can useful here to minimise the disruption to others. Some IC players seem to be reluctant to do that, and it may be a case of "but it'll ruin my chatlog".

The case where an "in-game A-list celebrity" appears presents a particular problem, and it rather depends on who that person is: In many cases, like Yeesha or a DRC character appearing, then the context suggests that it is an IC situation. If RAWA appears rather than Dr. Watson then it becomes an OOC situation (if you're seasoned enough to understand the significance), but in the particular case that Dot describes, the Cate Alexander character was IC but carried a large amount of OOC baggage. We probably won't see that kind of circumstance arise again in MOUL, at least in the forseeable future.

If someone is being badly treated (in any way) we'll no longer have a resource like the ResEngs to call to settle things down (and a lot of people didn't know they could do that anyway) and I don't think Cyan are keen to see a band of "Cavern Vigilantes" setting themselves up to fill that void (although it might be good name for a rock group ;) ), so it'll be down to ourselves to manage our own behaviour, and that won't always work. I really don't know what can be done in the aftermath of an incident either. There are no "Cavern Counsellors" either (Guild of Therapists, anyone?). There is a saying that "Football isn't a matter of life and death - it's more serious than that" and many treat Uru the same way, but I would like to think that most people can remember that at the end of the day "it is just a game". Your real-life family and friends are still there whether your computer is on or off.
Last edited by Mac_Fife on Wed Feb 17, 2010 8:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Repaired DRC site link
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Re: IC/OOC confusion: how to deal with it? (OOC)

Post by Mac_Fife » Tue Feb 16, 2010 10:02 pm

Restored post: Myst/Uru-Style Story • Re: IC/OOC confusion: how to deal with it? (OOC)
Hypergrid 11.2.2010 um 21:17 Mac_Fife

Nalates wrote:I forget how mute works in MOULa. But telling them they are being muted then muting them is about the only real action one has open as an individual. If one then starts a movement to have others mute them, it can have a significant impact. Shunning has long been used by pacifists' communities to enforce their rules.
I think you're referring to:
/ignore playername
/unignore playername
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Re: Purpose of Myst/Uru-Style Story Section -- discussion (OOC)

Post by Nalates » Tue Feb 16, 2010 10:08 pm

Restored post: Myst/Uru-Style Story • Re: Purpose of Myst/Uru-Style Story Section -- discussion (OOC)
Hypergrid 12.2.2010 um 01:26 Nalates


May be IC shirts? OOC shirts? :?

Mod Note: By way of explanation: This post was in response to an earlier post (now lost) by JWPlatt, which mentioned a proposal that IC characters (like the Cate Alexander character) could be accompanied by an "OOC Translator", who would field the OOC questions, but whose existence would not be acknowledged by their IC counterpart.
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Re: IC/OOC confusion: how to deal with it? (OOC)

Post by Nalates » Tue Feb 16, 2010 10:09 pm

Restored post: Myst/Uru-Style Story • Re: IC/OOC confusion: how to deal with it? (OOC)
Hypergrid 12.2.2010 um 01:27 Nalates


yes... Does that turn them off completely? No voice, no chat... even if in hood?
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Re: IC/OOC confusion: how to deal with it? (OOC)

Post by Mac_Fife » Tue Feb 16, 2010 10:19 pm

Restored post: Myst/Uru-Style Story • Re: IC/OOC confusion: how to deal with it? (OOC)
Hypergrid 12.2.2010 um 08:46 Mac_Fife


:? mmmm... Dunno - I've never actually had to ignore anyone :)

I think ignore takes precedence over things like age and buddy lists, so you can ignore someone temporarily without taking them off your buddy list. Whether it also works with voice chat is also an unknown to me.

There are some people who'll use an alternative voice chat system like TeamSpeak instead of the built-in voice facility. The game obviously has no control over that, but generally that'll be a group of friends who've set something up for themselves and is less likely to be a source of problems.

And BTW: I saw a ResEng in-cavern last night!
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Re: Purpose of Myst/Uru-Style Story Section -- discussion (OOC)

Post by Mac_Fife » Tue Feb 16, 2010 10:22 pm

Restored post: Myst/Uru-Style Story • Re: Purpose of Myst/Uru-Style Story Section -- discussion (OOC)
Hypergrid 12.2.2010 um 09:22 Mac_Fife


:D An OOSIC (out-of-sight-in-cavern) character? 8-)

I like the idea of an interpreter, but we do still have the problem of IC and OOC chat streams getting intermixed. It's not something that we're likely to see short-term (or maybe even medium-term) but the option to set a chat "mode" for your avvie might be useful. something like:

/chatall - Default; you can receive chat from all players that are on your age/buddy/hood lists
/chatic - You only recieve chat from players who also have /chatic set
/chatooc - You only receive chat from players who also have /chatooc set

That's a first thought and there'll be problems with the mechanics of it, like a default player arriving in an IC hood and not being able to communicate. Maybe the thought can be developed into something more workable, or shot down in flames.
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Re: Purpose of Myst/Uru-Style Story Section -- discussion (OOC)

Post by Dot » Tue Feb 16, 2010 10:23 pm

Restored post: Myst/Uru-Style Story • Re: Purpose of Myst/Uru-Style Story Section -- discussion (OOC)
Hypergrid 12.2.2010 um 11:40 Dot


All this discussion from JW's response down would probably be better in the IC/OOC confusion thread, since it is dealing practically with in-game issues rather than the purpose of this forum section.

Mod Note: Amended post link, after recovery. Posts merged, as suggested above.

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