The Puppetmaster-Player Communication Dynamic in Alternate Reality Gaming and Chaotic Fiction

This model can help explain why certain tactics have counter-intuitive effects upon the system's stability. Direct communication between Players and Puppetmasters can weaken the tension provided by the focus on metacommunication and the uncertainty that metacommunication brings with it in terms of conveying an effective abstract message clearly. When uncertainty tilts toward certainty, the fire in the fiction reactor can dim or fail. Similarly, the part of the metacommunication between Architects and Audience that conveys the all-important message that "this is play" or "this is fiction" must be nurtured or the curtain itself will weaken and fail to hold. We call these cases, where the lines between reality and fiction are blurred in a such a fashion as to deceive rather than to invite, hoaxes.

Finally, as with when proposing the definition of Chaotic Fiction, I want to point out that this model may be used, with minor adjustments, to describe other worthy chaotically engineered systems that have appeared lately. I even would use some the same examples as before, such as considering the development of Wikipedia within this model framework by replacing the fiction as the focus of the experience with the task of gathering, refining, and exploiting fact, or Open-Source Software development, where the focus is programming rather than knowledge or imagination. I do not believe this is a coincidence but rather a symptom of the naturally concurrent emergence of a communications system dynamic best suited to the utilization of the internet as a connective tool.

"Once we have granted that any physical theory is essentially only a model for the world of experience, we must renounce all hope of finding anything like the correct theory … simply because the totality of experience is never accessible to us." – Hugh Everett

The above theory can and should be discussed, debated, refined, and reiterated. It is something I've been working on for a while but this article's timing is all due to danteIL's recent question over on the forums, "Why a curtain?" This is a good place to follow up, or you can join a fresh discussion here.

Thanks to imbri for providing the beautiful graphical representation again. I also want to thank xnbomb for the inspiration for, and assistance with germination of, this theory as well as for pointing out its resemblance to a singularity. Cheers to danteIL for forcing my hand. Much inexpressible gratitude to my reviewers vpisteve, imbri, krystyn, Giskard, and Gupfee for corrections, suggestions, and commentary, xnbomb for last-minute fixes, and extry special thanks to ScarpeGrosse for the awesome editing and for making my ideas so shiny and looking like they came out of my brain this gooder.

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