The downside of downtime?

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Another interesting post from The Space between The Stories, this time on the downsides of downtime:

We’ve seen some of these negative dynamics around in the NZ larp community, and some campaigns have adopted a “no downtime, the game happens at the game” position as a result. At the same time, I can certainly see the attraction of giving the characters levers on the world, which let them create and drive their own plots. But can they do that in-game rather than outside of it?


I feel a lot of contradictory things about this.

Participants should be given a chance for their choices between games to have meaning, especially in a situation where there are super clear “things we’d be doing between the game sessions” but also nobody should feel like they have to spend time “working” at the game.
Participants should be able to build relationships whatever way they like, but nobody should be disadvantaged from not being able to sink time into it.
Freeform is hard to give the appearance of being fair, structured is hard to engage in and is intimidating.
Only playing the game at the game makes it most accessible, but that restricts some stories which a) make sense b) are fun and c) people really care about.