Parts I and II cover the confusion regarding IC and OOC guilds in Myst-Uru fandom. Part II covers the challenges in changing IC guilds. Here I am considering the politics of changing the OOC guilds. If you have note read Parts I and II you may want to do so. (See the April Archive for the complete set of posts)
All of the IC and OOC is just people doing things in specific ways with certain mental constructs as models for what they are going to ‘say’. It is in the OOC guilds and RL that we can remove a layer of abstraction and get more done. When one is IC and talking about contacting Douglas Shaper (a special IC character in Uru) who are they really talking about meeting or is that just something said to shape the IC story development? It is difficult to tell. Moving to OOC eliminates some of that confusion.
Because the fans forming clubs chose to adopt guilds as the way to describe their groups a mix of IC story elements was mixed in with RL fan activities. Since Uru had ARG aspects and the game was conceived as an RL person playing an IC replica of their self in a virtual world (called you-are-you – and that is an aspect of the game name Uru), it became almost impossible to separate IC and OOC. The fan guilds were assumed by many to be run by Cyan or at least sanctioned by Cyan. Many saw no difference between the IC and OOC guilds.
To try and impose a storyline on an OOC guild is not likely workable. If fans wanted to do IC in the guild forums it would get way confusing. It seems most prefer their IC, if any, in-game. Even there IC role play is optional. In forum there is some IC talk but most are careful to make it clear when they are playing at IC roles. Forums are more of an OOC experience where people are looking for information and help with aspects of the game. Now that open source is coming they are discussing what the game might be.
In that mix is discussion on how to improve the guilds. By the nature of the discussion I take it they mean a way to restructure OOC guilds for in-game use. Those in the guilds know what they are about. The guild leaders seem adept at navigating the IC and OOC aspects of the guilds. Over a span of about 4 years these guilds have worked out what works for them, them being all those evolved in a given guild. Proposed changes have to support what the guild’s members are interested in doing. Adding new tasks is not usually a winning idea within guild memberships, especially if it adds in-game duties.
Understanding which guild, IC or OOC, one is trying to change is a prerequisite for making a successful change. Understanding the leadership and membership of guilds and the reason they formed is next.
The guilds tend to have a philosophy of; if you see a need, fill it. Otherwise, thank you very much. Now go away, so I can return to my play time. If you need help, they will generally be gald to stop their play and help or at least do something they think is fun, like make a tutorial, to help. But change…
Two Paths to Guild Change is Part-IV. See: Myst-Uru Guilds IC and OOC Part-IV