Group dynamics and relationship trouble


Two links have crossed my feed in the last couple of days which looked interesting:

  • A NELCO 2015 roundtable on “group dynamics in larp”. It goes to a lot of places, but about 20 minutes in touches on some of the issues discussed here about player-list transparency. Interestingly, they approach this from the other direction - the question is “who do you want to play with”, which creates its own issues around cliques. They also mention the prospect of players using the “who don’t you want to play with” question for gamist reasons, to veto being paired with antagonists they think can beat them. I’ve never seen that sort of thing here, and people doing that undermines its very serious use for safety and getting-a-working-game reasons.
  • A piece from Norper about “relationship trouble”, aka the problem of having to constantly recast games with high trust requirements (and consequent player consent required for every significant IC relationship) due to high rates of player dropouts. Unfortunately, this is something I think you just have to live with if you’re going to design that sort of game: players are going to drop out, usually at the worst possible time, for perfectly good reasons. So, either the GM does a lot of work and stress trying to match people up, or players just have to be less picky if they want to be in the game, because its may be very difficult finding a replacement matching specific requirements when someone drops a week out because of 'flu.