A Storyist Manifesto Prologue This is a Storyist Manifesto. Notice, it is a Storyist Manifesto, not the Storyist Manifesto. I make no claim to represent all Storyists or its positions. Some Storyists will find what I say useful, others will anathematize it. In addition, it can be characterized as a Storyist Manifesto for NESing in the particular, not NESing in general. In other words, this manifesto does not seek to mandate its content on anyone, and recognizes that other people may have fun running and playing in a NES in a different manner. For more information on the different NESing philosophies other than Storyist see an overview of all the philosophies and a Simulationist Manifesto. Purpose What then is the purpose of this manifesto? Why spend time thinking, writing, reading and debating the ideas presented? Wouldnt ones time be better spent writing stories or orders for an actual NES? The overriding purpose of this manifesto is to provide a framework for players, moderators (both potential and actual), and interested parties to improve in their playing, moderating, rule creation, and other NESing related activities. Without said framework, one cannot measure improvement or success. It is also designed to mobilize interested members into carrying out a program which will ensure the betterment of Storyist ideals, allowing Storyist minded players and moderators to develop and play in NESes that they will find more enjoyable. Definition The definition of a Storyist, as used in this Manifesto, is one who seeks to immerse themselves fully in the world of the NES and thereby accurately roleplay their chosen vessel(s) through stories, orders, graphics, and other means. Various Roles Rules: Rules exist to enhance the immersion experience for both player and moderator, thereby allowing for more faithful and consistent roleplaying. Players: Players exist to roleplay their chosen vessel(s) in such a manner as to enhance the depth of immersion into the fictionalized world for both themselves and other players. Moderators: Moderators exist to enhance the immersion factor for their players by using the powers they have reserved for themselves prior to the start of the NES, or the powers they decide are necessary for the successful maintenance of the game once it starts. Stories: Stories are any public medium (including but not limited to diplomacy, graphics, and traditional storytelling) or secret, non-orders medium, which fleshes out the fictionalized world of the NES. Orders: Orders are a secret, non-public medium sent to the Moderator, which fleshes out the fictionalized world of the NES Explanation Storyists are primarily concerned with immersing themselves in the world of the NES and exploring and explaining to others the setting in which they are playing. Terms such as winning and competing are meaningless to Storyists, who prefer terms such as creating, exploring, and cooperative writing. The ideal NES, from a Storyist perspective, is one where players and moderators put together stories, orders, and other activities related to the NES in an atheistically pleasing manner, in much the same way that a mosaic is formed through varied and independent pieces. During the game the Storyist player will operate with the goal of reaching total immersion. Total immersion is the state where the Player identifies with the reality of the game. To put it another way, the Storyist will make decisions and actions using only knowledge and perceptions of their chosen vessel(s). In order to accomplish this goal, the Storyist focuses on character, setting, color, and narrative. Character, as used here, refers to the vessel(s) the Storyist is roleplaying. Depending upon the setting, the character being played can be a leader of a nation, a ruling party, a citizen of the nation, or another vessel from the world of the NES. Depending upon the NES type, the Storyist may feel free to switch character perspective often within the context of the game, writing from the perspective of a member of the army in one story, an anti-government member in another, and a ruler of a nation in a third, all within the context of one update. While doing this, however, the Storyist is not intending to garner some benefit (such as minimizing internal dissent of their nation or making a technological breakthrough). Instead, when the Storyist changes perspective, they should construct individual personalities, roleplaying them. These personalities include what make people humans, what their background is, their political leanings, their allies, their enemies, formative events in their lives, physical appearance, etc. The best characters, the ones that Storyists come back to again and again, are ones that are three dimensional, that have quirks, flaws, loves, hates, addictions, purpose, etc. Setting is the part of the story that cannot be roleplayed, but adds to the immersion of the NES. Included in this area are things like governmental structures, economics, religions, cultures, entertainment, geography, etc. This is what makes worlds feel real. Color is the frills of a story that heighten the reality of the story, and by extension, the world in which the story takes place. It is the smoke-filled bar, the winter battle, grimy streets, and men who wear too much cologne. Narrative is actions of the Characters in the setting. Put another way, it is the story or developing action within the world of the NES. It is the wars, the betrayals, the political maneuvering, and the spy games. In order for the Storyist to optimally immerse themselves within the game, these elements, especially the narrative of the NES must be internally consistent. Internal consistency is defined as the framework in which the individual actions of Players and Moderators occur.. This framework is necessary in order to achieve the Storyists goal of creating a cooperative story with the Moderator and other Players, rather than having a non-internally consistent NES, where Moderator and Player stories are disjointed and have no relation. To achieve internal consistency, players and moderators must follow certain rules regarding characters, setting, color, and narrative. For example, writing a story about dragons is internally consistent in a fantasy NES, but not in a historical NES. Because of this need for internal consistency, players dedicated to running a Storyist game cannot do whatever they please. Having a non-consistent world (or not following the alt-historical realism), destroys immersion. Even one player performing in a non alt-historical realistic fashion can interfere with the goal of immersion. It would be like seeing a historical drama movie set in the 17th century where you see planes flying overhead. Every instance of non-alt-historical realism that occurs forces the Storyist to de-immerse from the game and translate the action into the context of the game. When enough of these de-immersive events take place, the Storyist is forced into a dualistic thinking, the immersive nation that they constructed versus the de-immersive world of the NES. This dualism usually leads to isolation, both national and from the context of the story of the NES, as the Storyist cannot connect their immersive story with the larger de-immersive story of the NES. Without this skill of isolation, the de-immersive NES elements will infect the Storyists self-constructed immersive world of the nation or character they are playing, completely destroying all immersion for the Storyist, and thus causing them to fail in their playing objectives. How then do Storyists ensure that the NES they play in remains alt-historical realistic, allowing them to immerse themselves more fully into the world? The answer depends upon the type of Storyist one is: Simulation-Storyists: Storyists who believe that the most effective way to construct an internally consistent world is through the use of rules. Pure-Storyists: Storyists who believe that the most effective way to construct an internally consistent world is through group consensus of what should or should not be allowed. Arcader-Storyists: Storyists who believe that the most effective way to construct an internally consistent world is through moderator control and fiat. Anarchist-Storyist: Storyists who deny the premise that a self-consistent world is needed for immersion and hold that immersion is most effective when the individual player is allowed to do what they want. It is the position of this Manifesto that the last category of Storyists, the Anarchist-Storyist, is the most harmful to the Storyist position, as they disrupt the immersion of Storyists from other categories. An Anarchist-Storyist can only work together with other Storyists when they voluntarily submit to an outside restriction (thus violating their own believes on how to best achieve personal immersion), when other Storyists give up their goal of immersion, or when the Anarchist-Storyist is disciplined enough to want to only take actions that are consistent with other Players actions and the setting and narrative of the NES as a whole. Proposals for Future The above Manifesto having explained the goals of a particular Storyist NESer, how would one go about achieving the ideal Storyist NES and Player? 1) Improve Ones Own Knowledge: As the ideal state is accurate and immersive roleplaying, the more one knows about the world of the NES, the more successful the immersive and roleplaying actions of the Storyist will become. As many NESes are set in a historical world, or a world closely patterned after a historical world, historic knowledge in subjects as diverse as culture, dress, customs, economics, warfare, religion, etc. are needed. 2) Help with the Improved Knowledge of the Community: If the thesis of the centrality of a alt-historic realistic, self-consistent world as optimal conditions for the Storyist, the Storyist will be highly concerned to ensure that their fellow-players are just as knowledgeable as themselves. Sharing information, either as part of the current Guide projects or within the individual NES itself is essential. 3) Establish a Player-Moderator Covenant for Storyist NESes: As there is a variety, even within the Storyist camp on how NESes should be run, the presence (or absence) of rules, player and moderator freedoms, and other issues, it is recommended the Moderator draft a Player Covenant explaining the expectations and responsibilities of the involved parties. This will help all parties know what happens when two players go to war, or one claims to have discovered flight in 100 BCE, a player becomes gamey and tries to exploit the system, or the Moderator suddenly destroys a players nation, reducing arguments and tensions within the NES, allowing it to operate smoothly. 4) Seperation of Immersion and Non-Immersion factors in a NES. Though some Players can maintain immersion even in the presence of non-immersive elements, others cannot. To protect those who cannot, it is recommended that non-immersive factors in a NES be kept separate from the immersive factors, through either through a separate thread, or spoilers around non-immersive material.