March 7, 2018 at 8:58 am #29206
Those who believe the current state of affairs appear to lack individual agency, you are welcome to join a discussion at NoBar this Sunday at 930PM.
The agenda is broad — Talking about Agency, and perhaps finding a way crowbar open door permitting agency, thinking about seeds that have been planted but missed.
Anyone is welcome, but be advised that if you believe the present state of affairs does permit agency, there may not be much conversation directed your way. 🙂
March 7, 2018 at 9:27 am #29207
Anyone is welcome, but be advised that if you believe the present state of affairs does permit agency, there may not be much conversation directed your way.
I’m going to be in Austin so won’t be able to attend anyway, but I’ll be honest: I don’t love the tenor of this comment. Any legit discussion about agency would by definition include, and be open to, people of all schools of thought. Otherwise it’s just preaching to a pre-selected choir.
March 7, 2018 at 9:31 am #29208CristenParticipant
I’ll be there, hopefully not late. And I’ll gladly direct conversation at anyone and everyone who wants me to say words at them and in turn say words at me.
Please leave actual crowbars in their designated receptacles.
March 7, 2018 at 10:23 am #29210
If someone can facetime Shitty Third Cat and myself in that would be lovely. STC is a big proponent of agency and not giving a fuck about what anyone thinks.
March 7, 2018 at 10:42 am #29212ChelseaParticipant
See you there!
March 7, 2018 at 10:51 am #29213
I’ll be there to observe and gather opinions. I’m immensely curious about knowing why others believe there is a lack of agency considering we can honestly leave anytime. 😉
March 7, 2018 at 11:03 am #29216
noun: agency; plural noun: agencies
a business or organization established to provide a particular service, typically one that involves organizing transactions between two other parties.
“an advertising agency”
synonyms: business, organization, company, firm, office, bureau
“an advertising agency”
a department or body providing a specific service for a government or similar organization.
“the Environmental Protection Agency”
the office or function of an agent.
“a contract of agency”
action or intervention, especially such as to produce a particular effect.
“canals carved by the agency of running water”
synonyms: action, activity, means, effect, influence, force, power, vehicle, medium More
a thing or person that acts to produce a particular result.
“the movies could be an agency molding the values of the public”
See definition 3.
Agency isn’t just choice and options and having them. Yes having two options – follow BOS or quit – is, well, having two options. And I think a number of us stated that we would exercise option 2. Agency is about our choices having an effect. No effect = no agency.
March 7, 2018 at 11:12 am #29218
March 7, 2018 at 11:55 am #29219Brad RuweParticipant
@chelsea Congrats, you now feel how I felt back when Lust began. I did NOT like The System. One bit. Noah pushed my buttons in not-so-fun ways. But eventually, a path opened up that I connected with, but that was a couple chapters in. Not all paths are going to open up all at once. The choice isn’t “BOS or quitting”, it’s “BOS or see if other paths open up, and only then if you really don’t connect with anything at all you can quit”.
I also will point out because it must be said, that as soon as anyone says anything about Morgan in a positive light, 3 certain individuals then flood the forums with multiple posts. THIS is why many of us on the BOS side of things are tired of the constant attacks on Morgan. Questions are fine. Steamrolling the conversation is not.
March 7, 2018 at 12:30 pm #29220
@chelsea I used the most extreme sample for a reason. We do have agency. I have consistently made the decision to be Team Me since the iConfidant days. I’ve never chosen to be Team OSDM. I’ve never chosen Team BOS. The fact of the matter is that I’ve ALWAYS had a choice. We have ALWAYS had a choice. It has not been blatantly stated that we need to choose or quit unless I’ve completely missed something, which is a possible scenario. As long as we are still capable of making our own choices, we still have agency. That’s at least my perspective on the whole situation.
#TeamMe or #TeamRonin
March 7, 2018 at 12:32 pm #29221
@coryphella I saw your dictionary statement, but I disagree with your interpretation. I think, ultimately, our decisions will have an impact one way or another. It’s just a matter of how small or big that impact is.
March 7, 2018 at 12:44 pm #29222
No, not in immersive theatre. Sorry.
Another example –
You have CHOICE in Sleep No More.
You do not have AGENCY in Sleep No More.
I mean you can disagree all you want but…ok.
None of that matters anyway. I don’t know if you know this, but the only people who are upset by any of this are BOS people. And Larry, but that’s beside the point. The rest of us, the non-followers, we are taking positive steps. There’s no “now you know how we felt” about any of it. We are moving forward, and there’s no bitterness to it.
March 7, 2018 at 12:55 pm #29223Brad RuweParticipant
No bitterness on my end at all, just pointing out that the feeling Chelsea seems to have right now is EXTREMELY similar to how I felt with the early days of The System. (And with all the ouroboros / mirror imagery it fits)
And possibly the reason BOS people are upset is because we’ve seen firsthand the crap being thrown towards someone many of us consider a great friend and hope we can actually discuss what’s going on here without both implied and direct threats of murder?
- This reply was modified 3 months, 1 week ago by Brad Ruwe.
March 7, 2018 at 1:00 pm #29225
So let’s just talk about Morgan for one second, because this is a contentious issue. And this is leaving aside any personal feelings I do or do not have with Morgan.
Morgan is a character. He crossed a line from participant to character and he did that by choice. He can’t be both, and we need to accept that. Like Stephanie and others he can be a friend OOG but IG is a different person and the responsible thing to do is for ALL of us to separate how we treat him on forums, on Slack, and otherwise “in game” from how we treat him in “real life” (don’t fucking start with me on “there is no OOG,” you know that’s not relevant right now).
Remember the death threats against Joyce and Mason? How many people went nuts over going after Joyce with a baseball bat? Or how Bryan directly threatened Mason? This is no different. There is a separation – Morgan the character, Morgan the participant. Implied and direct threats of murder – I haven’t seen these, but I believe you – take these in context with implied and direct threats of murder that other characters have received.
March 7, 2018 at 1:42 pm #29230
March 7, 2018 at 1:50 pm #29232
Thanks for posting this, @coryphella. It’s a really important distinction to make, and one that is so fucking liberating once we accept it.
So many of my most intense, mind-warping emotional moments over the past year were a direct result of embracing that distinction. Going after Noah; threatening to kill Mason; emotionally investing in Joyce (and believing her death was real).
Shit; even the call I got from Morgan after I emailed Granik about the BOS plans to disrupt the MSE. My hands weren’t shaking afterwards because the friend that introduced me to quality deviled eggs and C&D called me; they were shaking because the leader of BOS called me.
I’d go so far as to say that separating the two is perhaps the only way to really be present.
March 7, 2018 at 2:19 pm #29233
Yep. That’s what I mean by talking about the difference between characters IN HERE and people OUT THERE.
LARPs deal with this all the time. Sometimes it’s obvious because your character is a vampire or something. But sometimes it’s just YOU ‘playing’ you. Like here. And remembering the distinction can be very liberating and freeing.
I think the only reason why it doesn’t always remain that way is because here the line between reality/fantasy is intentionally unclear. Often. Constantly.
That allows it to tap much more deeply into us-but can also make it harder to keep them clear.
March 7, 2018 at 1:15 pm #29226
IMHO, since the MSE, it has been “join BoS or pound sand”. That’s not a choice. That’s not agency. And that certainly is not my _path.
I am here to take what is mine.
Nor do I consider a one sentence response to a lengthy perspective I completely disagree with “steamrolling the conversation”. With great power comes great responsibility — responsibility which I, respectfully, believe has been repeatedly shirked.
This is not said out of personal malice. On the contrary, when Morgan was savagely and needlessly attacked following the reveal, I was quick to decry it and offer support.
Power corrupts. And those that follow corrupt power are often slow to realize
That originating noble ambitions corrupt right alongside.
Perhaps if people took time answering the questions that remain unanswered, put out there weeks ago, the perspective as to what qualifies as choice and what does not would become clearer.
March 7, 2018 at 1:24 pm #29227
March 7, 2018 at 1:27 pm #29228
I find a lot of the antagonism here pretty strange, given that:
* I was never around to see Tension
* I have no experience of Morgan as “participant” vs. Morgan “IG”. I’ve only seen the latter.
* I have no experience for the early vs. later days of BOS. Again, I’ve only seen the latter.
So I feel like, sometimes, that I’m seeing all of this with less weighted bias (simply because I’ve had less time here and bias is a natural extension of interaction. You end up liking/disliking different people by simple nature.)
From where I stand, I think the accusations are somewhat overblown on both sides.
I can absolutely agree with the idea that things currently ‘feel’ like they’re “BOS or quit”. After all, although some people may not remember, @a responded to a moment when she was being questioned (and not antagonistically at that moment, IMO) with (paraphrased) “you can get off the merry-go-round. Go to the top corner and log out.”
That certainly can -read- as a “our way or the highway” moment.
Moreover, while there are a few people who seem to be getting somewhere (and more power to them!), there are some of us who have been -actively- attempting to seek out new avenues, following any and every bread crumb we can contemplate just to see if it triggers ANYTHING. And given that we’ve recently even had the interview that suggests we have always had more agency than we thought we had…it then can get very frustrating to attempt to exercise that agency and run into (worse than a wall)–nothing.
But I’m also not suggesting that any of that frustration is Morgan’s (or the BOS’s) fault. I think that there is a fair level of questioning the tactics of the BOS. I have. I will again. I believe wholeheartedly that questioning people is PART and PARCEL of this experience.
The problem is that it can go too far. I’ve watched it happen in LARPS (the original ARGs). People can get so invested in things that they begin to forget that there’s a reality BEHIND the story. That there’s what happens HERE and what happens OUT THERE–and they are often very different. When people forget to keep them separate, chaos can ensue.
At the same time, I’m not seeing the level of antagonism that others are. It may be there–there certainly can and maybe are conversations happening in DMs and elsewhere that I’m not seeing. I would be surprised if there were not. What I am seeing is a lot of people who are passionate (or whatever or no side) because they’ve invested heavily and that matters. One of the things I’ve learned from LARPs is that if you -act- like something long enough, it becomes real. The human body cannot tell the difference between -acted- and -real- emotions. So you add an experience that has:
* heavy investment
* deep emotions
* sides that potentially matter greatly
* an intentional blurring of lines between what is IN HERE and OUT THERE
And I get it. I can and do see why it happens.
That’s why I will be at the meeting on Sunday. Because I’m hoping that above all, I’ll just be able to be a voice of some level of reason–not because I’m not passionate. I damn well am. I’ve made my stance and side clear right now. But I -also- believe that if we get to the point where we’re actually devolving into full-blown antagonism, that’s the sort of thing that we may not recover from. And I feel like I’m -just- distanced enough still that I can HAVE opinions without forgetting to see the other side.
I hope that all makes sense. 🙂
March 7, 2018 at 1:31 pm #29229
March 7, 2018 at 1:42 pm #29231
@unseenpresence I agree completely.
It should be obvious that any feelings I’m expressing publicly are always IG. Indeed, when Morgan was on the receiving end of needless and savage attacks after the reveal, I immediately decried this behavior and offered my support.
OOG conflicts should always be discussed OOG, and best done in person.
My beef is as stated: the current state of Affairs does not appear to permit agency. That is something which does not interest me. Getting together with a group of people who feel the same way, to find constructive and creative solutions to create agency is something that interest me.
Also as mentioned, any criticism directed at BeOS or individuals Marianne are both IG and reflective of what I believe to be I miss guided and poorly executed philosophy.
March 7, 2018 at 2:26 pm #29234
Please bear with me… Larry and everyone else. Is the general thinking that if we all get together, we can possibly come up with a plan(s) to crowbar ourselves free of… the BOS, the OSDM? The Creators? Our current paths?
AFAIK, we seem to be able/allowed to make decisions, but are all so connected to each other that we can only move together in a “Push Me Pull You” – fashion.
If we were to freely act with agency, or even build our own, indestructible agent to act for us, what could we even “get?” I’m missing the bigger picture.
I suppose I’m not putting enough weight on the dense backstories of all parties. And those feel important and real, but I’d love to know more about what’s still at stake. Again, I guess… what can any one accomplish? I’ve surely burned out my hamster brain by spinning too much in my own plastic ball.
March 7, 2018 at 2:42 pm #29238
After re-reading my post, it’s pretty clear that at least one solution would be to “get” out of my own head, first.
March 7, 2018 at 3:31 pm #29249
March 7, 2018 at 2:49 pm #29239superstarParticipant
I’m really looking forward to this gathering. Because here’s where I’m at:
I went through Ascension on a whim. I hadn’t done anything like it before, and I didn’t know what to expect. But, I’d heard that it had a profound effect on some attendees, and I wanted to experience it for myself.
So, I went. And, it was indeed unlike anything I’d ever experienced. But, after it was all over, standing there in the parking lot having our souvenir photo taken, I thought, “That’s it?”
I don’t mean, “That’s it” as in the experience was not impressive and amazing and had many WTF?? moments. It absolutely was and did. But, I didn’t feel whatever it was that others seemed to feel. I just didn’t “get” it. I really wanted to. All the way home I kept thinking, “Did they go easy on me?”, “Did I do it wrong?”, “What am I missing?”.
Flash forward a few days. I’m driving somewhere, and out of nowhere I’m hit with a tidal wave of frustration and grief, and I begin to cry. I still couldn’t tell you exactly what happened that moment. But, I became convinced that it had something to do with Ascension, and that the moment meant something important.
I heard about The End event and tuned in to watch it live. It’s strange to think about seeing so many of you at that event. But, of course, we hadn’t met yet. I watched as you all walked through the compound, bodies laid out in the rooms I’d been in just two days prior. I watched Sabrina/Addison/Overseer leave the compound, begging us all to “let her go” this time. And, I felt… something.
I heard there was going to be a book published. I figured, if nothing else, the book would be a useful pictorial reference for me when I try to explain to friends what I’d been through at Ascension. So, I bought a copy. And, I was invited to the book release party. And, again, I saw many of you there. But, it felt like I was seeing characters in the story. It was hard for me to believe you were all real people. I wanted to say… something, I don’t know what… to DLB. But, he was swarmed and I felt awkward, so I hovered around the periphery, and wandered through the rooms alone, not really knowing why I was there, what I should be doing, and not quite clear on why I was so sad.
Some other stuff happened that night. Slapping. Phoenixes. Cheese platters (RIP). And, then, I was back out in the parking lot, again not knowing what to do. Full circle. Repetition.
I decided that maybe jumping on board earlier in the game would help me “get it”. So, I hopped on the LUST forum as soon as it opened. I’d never played an ARG before, and didn’t really know what the heck I was doing. Since then, I’ve theorized. I’ve posted. I’ve attended meetups. I’ve watched alliances form and fall. But, through most of it, I’ve felt like I was pretending.
Morgan-the-participant and I have spoken for maybe five minutes, tops. I can’t claim to have a strong bond with him. 99% of my relationship with Morgan is IG, with Morgan-the-character.
So, as far as BOS goes… That night in the parking lot on the last night of the MSE, I felt like an imposter. “Wear all black”? Why? We walked in through the front door! Only reason I could think of was to look cool. Standing around in the parking lot, talking shit, passing the bottle… it felt so contrived. If we had actually done something that night, saved someone, had a backup plan,… But, nope. After Sabrina’s reveal, we just turned and walked out. I was hoping that night would reveal my path. But, it just didn’t feel right.
What about the reveal that DLB and CS may not be on our side? Well, I’ve never met DLB or CS. Never texted with either of them. We’re not friends on Facebook. Outside of the Experience, I have zero personal connection to either of them, and I don’t have reason to expect that either of them feels a personal connection to me. So, how can I be expected to feel betrayed by them? There was no relationship to betray in the first place.
I’m not pro-OSDM, because I still don’t really understand what the OSDM is. Or, if the OSDM actually exists. Or, the Order. Or, the OOA. Or,… sigh. It just goes on and on.
Over and over that same thought…
I don’t know why I’m here, what I should be doing, or why it all makes me so sad.
I don’t know that I’ll ever “get” it. “There are no rules”, and yet, there are. “There is no OOG”, except there is. I keep trying. There have been glimmers of genuine emotion, gut response, personal relevance. But, I often feel like what I have to give is never quite enough, like I’m stuck scratching in the dirt, hopelessly searching for a seed.
March 7, 2018 at 3:04 pm #29243
OK, that kind of sums it up for me Superstar. I get that. Thank you. And I am also sure on one other thing, this experience has, so far, had me in awe. Just astounded by the genius at work from every angle. Seriously and for reals. Thank you all for letting me try to figure things out.
- This reply was modified 3 months, 1 week ago by Lauren.
March 7, 2018 at 3:02 pm #29241
@daela 😂 Yes I frequently struggle with the fact that I’m quite comfortable living in my head. I have lots of toys here.
I don’t have an answer, but it isn’t about freeing oneself from anything or being pro or con anything.
Whomever is running The Experiences has re-shaped the playing field in a way that is perplexing to some of us. They/It has/have their reasons.
Perhaps they are busy crunching the heaps
Of emotional data they’ve collected and are downshifting to refine their model.
Perhaps this takes up so many resources that agency has to be temporarily removed…unless a high yield alternative that requires minimal oversight presents itself.
That is, an offer that cannot be refused.
Something that enhances The Experiences, provides a narrative thread that is tonally and thematically consistent with what has gone before, that challenges our beliefs, and strengthens emotional connections among the community.
Agency is the first step towards that concept.
March 7, 2018 at 3:30 pm #29246
1) I’m not bitter. That requires more energy and mental fortitude than I am currently capable of.
2) I’m not pro-BOS. I’m not pro-OSDM. But that’s a drum I keep pounding repeatedly.
3) Just trying to understand where people are coming from.
@coryphella, you know I struggle with what is and isn’t normal in immersive theatre. In terms of what is and isn’t acceptable, etc. Thank you for your comments explaining what you meant. It helped provide me with clarity as to your position. @larry, I’ll iterate what I’ve said about my wanting to attend. I just want to understand. Honestly, I do these things ultimately to figure out things about life and people. Both are confusing. There is much to be learned.
Mostly I am now just confused as to what discussing the lack of agency will accomplish. Is it to find a solution to fix the problem? What if no solution is found?
March 7, 2018 at 3:50 pm #29251
@silvitni – I don’t know what you do or do not struggle with, I was only saying what agency is. That’s all.
If you don’t see that this discussion will accomplish anything, there’s no need to partake. Honestly, what I would like for this meeting is positive energy and movement forward. If you’re not interested in that, if you don’t see the point in it – and I’m not talking to you Sarah but to anyone – then please don’t go. We can recap, we can do whatever, but this is honestly because there are some of us who were on the verge of taking option 2. We are not getting together to bash BOS and bash Morgan, we are doing this to reenergize ourselves and move forward. This isn’t a bitch fest. If your path is BOS, I don’t see why you want to be there, but ok. If you are coming because you hope Noah or someone crashes, please don’t. We aren’t holding a gathering because we want a surprise guest, we are doing this for us. It might not accomplish anything more than making us feel good about continuing and that in itself is an end, feeling like there are others that are on the same train as us. Those posts that occurred right before the site went down generated a lot of good will for some and that’s what we want to have continue. If no actual “path” opens up, so be it. Discussions can still be had.
March 7, 2018 at 3:31 pm #29248John SawyerParticipant
So what I’m seeing, the general purpose of this meeting is effectively finding something to do, proactively, other than pontificate or sit and wait for instructions? And the BOS narrative, per Morgan, is effectively ‘sit and wait for instructions.’ Therefore the hardcore BOS member is not going to find this meeting fruitful? That a reasonable summary?
It’s not about declaring sides or stances, we’ve never felt like we couldn’t do that. The ‘agency’ of saying we want to burn it all down or be best friends with the snakes or whatever isn’t what’s being argued, just what you do with it when you’ve got it. It’s about it being meaningful. There’s no door to be knocking on, people to ally with and badger for information. We had @a and we’ve got @111error, but there’s no one else out there except for us. We’ve got a strong feeling there is something, but it would be nice to take this energy and do something with it.
Wish I could be there, I’ll be looking forward to the recap!
The meta discussion is incredibly compelling, and appeals immensely to the most analytical parts of my brain that I can’t turn off. The fact that we are all interacting as ourselves and not as characters, and if we run into each other on the street I’m going to expect I know you the person from our interaction here. What Megan’s saying about Morgan is absolutely true, but it’s a distinction that requires we not just have the writer/actor instinct and hold another character in our heads that comes out to play, but that the ‘other’ character is actually us, in almost every way. Some people fix that by creating a distinctly different person that interacts in the game, which is easy on the forums/slack, tougher in person. And then add in that the theme, the aspect of the actual PLOT we’re drawn into, is very strongly about ‘false people’ (whether AI, personality swaps, Actual Robots, ‘actors,’ ‘scripts,’ or a few other fun variations that we’re still playing with) – well, it’s quite the mindfk.
March 7, 2018 at 3:48 pm #29250
The reason I suggested this meeting is this is how I felt IRL over the weekend. I have about 10 projects in various forms of completion yet none of them have moved in weeks.
An object at rest tends to stay at rest, an object in motion tends to stay in motion.
So I moved. And now they are moving, and I am moving.
So let’s try it and see what happens.
Mostly I am now just confused as to what discussing the lack of agency will accomplish. Is it to find a solution to fix the problem? What if no solution is found?
What does The System teach?
Don’t just win. Change the game.
No one is going to hand you what you want.
Learn how to stop wishing and how to start taking.
Let desire unleash your freedom.
There are no rules except the ones you write every day.
I am Larry Who Fucks.
(Unless I’m home alone for long periods of time)
March 7, 2018 at 3:55 pm #29254
I should’ve have just stayed off the forums.
March 7, 2018 at 3:56 pm #29255
March 7, 2018 at 4:15 pm #29257
Based on everything I see -here-, I don’t agree you should have ‘stayed off’ at all.
I have some of the same feelings you do, @larry. It’s why I’m pushing forward with my own projects, even as I am both excited they’re going to happen and terrified at the prospect that people might hate them (OR love them. It’s somewhat terrifying either way.) Because I cannot STAND feeling like I’m sitting still–and I’ve felt that way for a long time, at least in some parts of my life.
It was time to do something to change that. So creation is happening. Because great, good, bad or mediocre–at least I’m trying to add something to the world. To the debate.
Here, that’s something we can always do–add to the debate.
What I believe you’re wanting (and I have the same impetus, so I think I understand) is to brainstorm if there is anything we’ve missed that allows for OTHER options than BOS strategy (we’re going to burn it down–but wait for us to tell you how) or sit around and wait for something else to pop up. It’s the flip side of reaching a narrative point where one side vanishes–then you can’t reach them at all.
So what CAN you do? IS there something more than just sitting around, re-talking again and again about previous ideas and points? IS there another choice? Interviews and such seem (at least to me) to keep suggesting there ARE…but clearly many of us can’t find them yet.
Getting together to talk about that’s a perfectly valid idea. It’s actually an idea that I think people should be really supportive of, as trying to talk things over and find new strategies for embracing agency ought to be cheered on (at least IMO). And as long as it doesn’t turn into something destructive (and FWIW, I’m seeing no evidence of that yet)–I think it’s a great idea. It’s a chance for some members of the community (whoever can/wants to come) who are feeling lost to contemplate if there’s something else they can try to do. Who knows, maybe it’ll even spin out from there, as new ideas get sprung and those ideas trigger other reactions from the Order/whomever or the BOS or both.
So I 100% think your idea, as you’ve presented it over the course of this thread, is something that I personally am glad you came here to suggest.
March 7, 2018 at 4:03 pm #29256
@larry You staying off the forums means we don’t have more of these discussions. I loved your analogy comparing this all to life (and I believe you and I have talked a wee bit about that outside of all of this…). So, that gives me an understanding and a clarity that I did not have. Thank you.
March 7, 2018 at 4:18 pm #29258
LOL. I was referring back to Bryan and Megan’s jokes about me. I appreciate you both for your kind words.
March 7, 2018 at 4:31 pm #29259
I thought it was kinda peaceful myself, HGL, but welcome back and stuff I guess.
March 7, 2018 at 5:34 pm #29260
March 7, 2018 at 7:32 pm #29261
In the midst of this discussion in which people point out that we already have agency and we should wait for other paths to open up I feel the need to point out something obvious – during Tension, one of the most dynamic moments of Indoctrination came when Buz strangled Gatekeeper 3. But this happened because of a choice that Buz made independent of the entire narrative of Indoctrination. He wasn’t given a path or a choice. He literally made that happen himself. That’s not to say that the moment wouldn’t have happened another way – we have no idea if it was going to happen or would have happened anyway, but we do know that Buz made it happen for himself because of his own actions.
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