Just a quick though in a particular flavor of geekiness.
In MUSHing, a lot of players are uncomfortable assuming GM authority, even for a single scene, because they are uncomfortable about the boundaries. This is rough to wrestle with, but I wonder if it might be addressed by creating a lesser, but perhap smore intuitive, level of authority: that of the protagonist.
The idea is simple: in a given room, one player is the protagonist. If this was a book, it would be about their character. If other players aren’t cool with that, they go elsewhere but otherwise, he can resolve issues and answer questions based on how it suits his story. It requires no broader knowledge of the game, nor authority beyond ht escope of regular play, it simply makes it clear where the focus of things is, and allows for that to flow.
Certainly some protagonists may be selfish, others generous, and that’s fine because it works either way. Because you’re not opting into a another player’s authority, you’re opting into their story, and that’s a very different sort of dynamic. And ideally also helps address the instinctive 14 year old in a lot of MUSHers.
Anyway, not a lot of bandwidth today, So I figured I’d share one of the weirder ones.
1 – This can even be handled with virtual spaces, as a nice compromise between all stages and fixed geography. If I want to be in a location, but I want to do it for my story, not for the guy who’s already there, then I can ‘shard’ the location, creating a new version which is “Bob’s Dark Alley”, and it’ll show up appropriately on exits and such (so people in the adjacent room might see Dark Alley, Steve’s Dark Alley and Bob’s Dark Alley and be able to at least glimpse who is in what. There’s also a lot of implicit information in this kind of sharding: you can automatically find out where scenes are happening in a location, and you can also pass through or around them if it does not interest you.