Lexicon: What came after August 9, 2012 9:42 AM   Subscribe

Starting a Lexicon game in September, looking for interested players.

Hey folks, I'm getting a MediaWiki platform up and running to host the game and am recruiting players far and wide. (So far that's been my friends, an open call to MeFightClub and an open call to MetaChat.)

Lexicon, for folks not familiar with it, is a written role playing game where you play the part of a scholar who is working with other snarky, opinionated scholars/players to build an encyclopedia about a fictional or fictionalized world. The game follows a simple set of rules that actively encourages every player/character to work on and within the same world. At the end of the game not only do you get, as cortex brilliantly suggested on MeFightClub, a trophy in your head, but you get the experience of having collaboratively built a world with other smart and creative people.

I have experience playing through about half of one game of Lexicon and it was a heck of a lot of fun. It cultivated some really brilliant writing from players who were diversely professional writers, hobbyists, folks who have aspirations to be writers but are professionally not, and folks who were there simply for the game. It was a fantastic experience that I can't wait to be a part of again.

So far I have about 8 interested players and I'm looking for 20. If there's more interest than that, I'm happy to set up a waiting list (or possibly get more GMs involved to support a really big player base). First come, first served.

Framework of the planned game:
- Start September 2012
- Weekly turns
- 1 letter per turn
- Theme: "What came after
- Target article length: 100 - 200 words

Players need to know basic MediaWiki editing, need to know the general Lexicon rules, the house rules and need to be able to keep up with a game coordination discussion list as well as meet game turn deadlines.

You can see the start of the Wiki here. This includes Lexicon rules, Groundrules, general procedures and expectations.

An example of a Lexicon game that went 2 rounds through the alphabet is Ghyll.

If you are interested in joining up, please be aware that I will need to be able to contact you by e-mail but I don't need the e-mail to be identifiable as long as you are responsive. You will also need to be able to participate in an off-wiki discussion group along with the play on the wiki.

Also, please don't let your inability to commit to 6 months of weekly gameplay keep you from signing up. It's not a horrible thing for a game of Lexicon to lose some players and gain some players mid-game. The only hardship really is for the players coming on - they need to do some extra reading/exploring to get up to speed with there the world is at. And really, is that hardship for geeks like us?
posted by kalessin to MetaFilter-Related at 9:42 AM (55 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

How do I sign up?
posted by eugenen at 10:18 AM on August 9, 2012


You just did! Please send me (at malcolm.gin@gmail.com) what e-mail address you'd like me to use to contact you with.
posted by kalessin at 10:19 AM on August 9, 2012


Oh yes.
posted by davidjmcgee at 10:21 AM on August 9, 2012


So it's basically Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius?
posted by Eideteker at 10:28 AM on August 9, 2012 [4 favorites]


Er, it could be. We have license to create what we want here. It could be (and I hope it is) dark and mysterious and crazy and weird and lovely and brilliant. Also it's written collaboratively so you really don't know what you'll get beyond what you cultivate with your fellow players.

But yeah, you could totally get that out of a Lexicon game.
posted by kalessin at 10:41 AM on August 9, 2012


Sign me up as hard and as fast as possible. My email address is in my profile.
posted by Rock Steady at 10:43 AM on August 9, 2012


Sign me up! Email on its way.
posted by Wordwoman at 10:44 AM on August 9, 2012


This sounds like a wonderful game. I'd love to play.
(email on its way...)
posted by metaBugs at 10:45 AM on August 9, 2012


I want in!
posted by 168 at 11:02 AM on August 9, 2012


Yes please!
Email sent...
posted by Adridne at 11:05 AM on August 9, 2012


The Microscope RPG is a similar concept.
posted by grobstein at 11:24 AM on August 9, 2012


I am so totally in! I've tried twice now to finish a game--the first time the server died and we lost everything and the second time... I guess people just lost interest?

I'll send you my email address. It is lexicon@sixbynine.com.
posted by Squid Voltaire at 11:30 AM on August 9, 2012


Oh, man, I want in on this.
posted by adamdschneider at 11:31 AM on August 9, 2012


Yes, please. Email emailed to you.
posted by donnagirl at 11:43 AM on August 9, 2012


Probably stupid question: Will our email be a primary identifier for the game community? Or will we be able to create our own usernames? Just wondering because I'd prefer to not use my email for open communication because it's my full name.
posted by Think_Long at 12:01 PM on August 9, 2012


I have an email address in my profile, as well. But I would also prefer it not become publicly visible.
posted by Eideteker at 12:33 PM on August 9, 2012


The Wiki has its own username associated with each account (like mine, for the game).

You may, if you choose to, associate your e-mail address with that account (as I have done), but you may also play semi-anonymously.

If there's a desire (it sounds like there is), I can set our off-wiki but private-to-players discussion group to be as anonymous as possible as well, but beware that as play progresses the e-mail address you use in the discussion group will probably be compromised at least to other players. I may also set up an announce-only list which will be anonymous, depending on how many players we end up having.

During play, I plan to have our Lexicon Wiki internet-readable, though it will never be anonymously editable. You'll have to be a player and/or a GM in order to edit articles on the Wiki. At the end of the play, the Wiki content will be (unless you specify otherwise on your user page) licensed Creative Commons non-commercial, attribution, derivatives okay. I will never publish the proceeds from the discussion group without everyone's permission. And I will not assume that the permission is given. That would be, if it ever came up, opt in only.
posted by kalessin at 12:55 PM on August 9, 2012


Think Long, are you signing up?

Eideteker, I already have you down as signed up. Is that correct?
posted by kalessin at 12:56 PM on August 9, 2012


Yeah, I'll send you my email.
posted by Think_Long at 1:05 PM on August 9, 2012


Oh, I should also note that the Wiki has inter-account e-mail and other outgoing e-mail based alerting available, but as far as I know that's anonymized. Also per Wikipedia convention, you can also talk to each other on the discussion page of each account's user page.
posted by kalessin at 1:09 PM on August 9, 2012


I am signing up.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 1:13 PM on August 9, 2012


"Eideteker, I already have you down as signed up. Is that correct?"

It is until someone writes me out of existence. =(
posted by Eideteker at 1:14 PM on August 9, 2012


I would gladly partake in this tomfoolery. Email in profile.
posted by daniel_charms at 1:47 PM on August 9, 2012


Okay, sure.
posted by theodolite at 1:48 PM on August 9, 2012


It is until someone writes me out of existence. =(
posted by _____ at 1:14 PM on August 9 [+] [!]

posted by Think_Long at 2:13 PM on August 9, 2012


Just a clarification of the House Rules for Lexicon, to see if I understand properly:

First turn, first player has a letter, say A, and he writes an A article that links to 2 phantoms. So, he can't write those phantoms. Got that.

Now, if one of the phantoms is a B, that phantom has to be defined before moving on to the Article for letter B, right?

Is that phantom a collaborative effort, or assigned, or does the person who will be doing the B article automatically do the phantom for that article, as well?

That's the only issue that I found confusing.
posted by misha at 2:17 PM on August 9, 2012


Oh, sorry. I'll go back over the rules to try to clarify. The phantoms are the articles in the proceeding turns that MUST be written.

So say after turn A there are 8 phantoms that start with the letter B (other Turn A players linked to articles that start with other letters). At the start of Turn B, the active players must write the 8 preexisting B phantom articles BEFORE they make any new articles starting with B up.

So they have to dibs those articles firsts. Once those articles are all dibbed, additional players may make up their own articles that start with the letter B.
posted by kalessin at 2:27 PM on August 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Sounds, [dramitic pause] interesting [Who scream].

If you've got room I'd love to be in on this.
posted by theichibun at 2:42 PM on August 9, 2012


Sure. You want me to use your e-mail address on your profile or what? What character name/Wiki account name are you interested in?
posted by kalessin at 2:47 PM on August 9, 2012


kalessin: " Also, please don't let your inability to commit to 6 months of weekly gameplay keep you from signing up. It's not a horrible thing for a game of Lexicon to lose some players and gain some players mid-game. The only hardship really is for the players coming on - they need to do some extra reading/exploring to get up to speed with there the world is at. And really, is that hardship for geeks like us? "

I'm going through a lot in real life right now and would not be able to join at the beginning. If things settle down for me in say, October, would it be possible to join mid-stream, as you suggest here?
posted by zarq at 3:37 PM on August 9, 2012


Yes, I will put you on the waiting list, zarq, with a note. :)
posted by kalessin at 3:41 PM on August 9, 2012


Thank you! :)
posted by zarq at 3:45 PM on August 9, 2012


I find this terribly intriguing. Mail sent.
posted by BrashTech at 3:50 PM on August 9, 2012


You all (except zarq, BrashTech and 168) should have received a confirmation signup for an announce list for the game. Please go ahead and accept that if you haven't.
posted by kalessin at 3:56 PM on August 9, 2012


I don't quite get this:

It's an academic sin to cite yourself. Players never cite their own articles.

Does that mean you can never link to one of your own articles? Or does "cite" mean something else?
posted by eugenen at 4:05 PM on August 9, 2012


That's correct. You never link to one of your own articles (as part of the required 2 links back and 1 link forward - so you also cannot dibs the article you created by linking forward).

You could, conceivably and with narrative license, cite yourself as optional extra links, but it might compromise your reliability as a scholar. I'll leave that up to your discretion as a player/character. :)
posted by kalessin at 4:08 PM on August 9, 2012


Alert to players: gmail's spam filter caught my mailing list subscription confirmation. If you're waiting for that email, check your spam folders!
posted by BrashTech at 4:31 PM on August 9, 2012


Looks like we're in waitlist territory already, but I can wait.
posted by Kylio at 4:56 PM on August 9, 2012


Nah, we've got 30 players including me. We can start with that. There's usually at list 30% attrition in the first couple turns.

Anyone else gets the waitlist, though.
posted by kalessin at 5:33 PM on August 9, 2012


Er, at least!
posted by kalessin at 5:34 PM on August 9, 2012


Waitlist me! I'm moving in September, but would love to join up in October or so.
posted by snorkmaiden at 5:43 PM on August 9, 2012


You got it, snorkmaiden. Please point me to your best e-mail address for an October rendezvous. It's totally okay if that's in your profile, just let me know. You can also e-mail me at malcolm.gin@gmail.com.
posted by kalessin at 5:53 PM on August 9, 2012


Please put me on the waitlist -- email in profile. Didn't want to sign up as a sure thing because I'm not sure I will have time, but I have less compunction about signing up as an alternate.
posted by grobstein at 6:19 PM on August 9, 2012


Yeah, profile email would be best. I'm perfectly fine with using everything as I have it here. I have nothing to hide even though the wife says I really need to install a filter.
posted by theichibun at 6:27 PM on August 9, 2012


In order not to spam the thread, I'm responding to new signups in e-mail or MeMail. Thanks all for signing up. I'm thrilled that I probably won't run out of players in mid-game! :)
posted by kalessin at 6:40 PM on August 9, 2012


I just emailed you.
posted by unknowncommand at 8:29 PM on August 9, 2012


Is there any room in something like this for someone who has never played before but finds the idea fascinating?

You will not hurt my itty-bitty feelings if you say "no, we'd rather have experienced players".
posted by DWRoelands at 6:00 AM on August 10, 2012


I'm in.
posted by empath at 6:06 AM on August 10, 2012


I'd be in for this. I've never played before either.

I believe my email address is in my profile.
posted by jeather at 7:01 AM on August 10, 2012


I would just love to be waitlisted on this thing, it sounds really neat. Email in my profile works fine.
posted by Doleful Creature at 7:26 AM on August 10, 2012


DWRoelands, As far as I know, there is one other player who's played Lexicon before. Out of 30, so n00bs are totally cool in my book. It's more important to me, honestly that you:
- Know or can learn the MediaWiki syntax basics.
- Will be happy letting your role playing fly and really have fun with it.

Also, empath and DWRoelands, please specify a contact e-mail so I can get in touch with you so that when the first (weak) players drop out, I can REPLACE THEM. :) (I'm totally joking - I know we all have life issues that keep us from doing things we really want to do and that that'll just happen in this game like any other no matter how hard we try to make it not do so.)
posted by kalessin at 8:59 AM on August 10, 2012


I'm so up for this. Email already PMed.
posted by Grimp0teuthis at 6:27 PM on August 10, 2012


Ooooooh I really want to play. Put me on the waitlist, I guess!
posted by threeants at 11:08 PM on August 10, 2012


wooooo
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:52 AM on August 13, 2012


In one game of Lexicon I played, we started with players distributed over the alphabet, so that, say Player Four began on letter H, Player Five on letter J. It gave a more even population of articles, but I'm not sure that it did anything more than that.
posted by Prince_of_Cups at 9:43 AM on August 13, 2012


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