Sunday, November 11, 2012

Plymouth Myst - the rules

Every now and then someone is quietly walking around real-life Plymouth, exploring it as a game environment, mostly avoiding real-life people. They are taking commands given by other players over the internet and report back what happens. The game is ongoing, every new session picks up where the last one ended.

Anyone can play PlymouthMyst.
You can send commands to the avatar on Twitter with the hashtag #PlymouthMyst.
If they are executed, you will receive a short report. This may happen within moments, within an unspecified length of time or never at all.

The game are is Plymouth, UK, at the moment centered around the Hoe.
The avatar expand the game area, look for public areas with a sense of mystery.
Only the avatar can expand the area, people can't send the avatar to places they know of in the real world if they haven't been discovered in the game.

The avatar must physically be in the game area.
There can only be one avatar at any time (one team can stand in for that avatar). They must announce the beginning and end of their session. If they don't end the session, it closes automatically after 12 hours of inactivity.
The avatar can refuse commands and also do their own thing (report back all interesting developments).
The avatar is fully responsible for their actions while playing - refuse things you don't want to do.
The avatar must report back about actions taken to the person who sent the command (also try to cc whoever was the avatar when the command was sent if they didn't execute it at the time).

Any found object can be added to the inventory.
Before the beginning of your session as an avatar you may want to find objects that duplicate or approximate the inventory physically.
You can't use objects to advance the game if they aren't in the inventory.
At times of great need, the avatar may pick up objects "symbolically" (just touch them and leave them there) but only if it is ok to touch that object in real life, and if it could be moved.
Your cash card is not in the inventory. Funds are logged online.

This game is played in the real world, and there are real people around who are not playing. You cannot involve them by surprise and in confusing ways, games can only be played by people who agreed to play them. Consider what will upset people, even slightly, and err on the side of doubt.
NEVER act disrespectfully towards places of cultural importance - you can't walk into a church and "find" a candle. Things like love-locks, lost pet posters and ornamental flowers are put there by people who want them to remain in place, so you may only pick them up symbolically. Even that can get hairy, if people see touch you a thing for no apparent reason they might assume you're trying to nab it and won't believe explanations. Avoid confrontation.
Consider wearing a Hi-Vis tabard, that will make strangers feel you have some reason to poke around seemingly at random and pick up bits of rubbish.
There are also many war memorials around, they may be treated as intriguing architecture but not re-invented to be alien artifacts, or climbed around on. Respect is more important that gameplay at all times.

The avatar may put reports and photographs online and link to them.
The avatar must at the end of the session log the inventory somewhere and link to them so the next avatar can find the information easily.

The object of the game has not yet been discovered.

Disclaimer: This game is non-commercial and in no way affiliated with the real Myst. It just looks similar. Anyone who plays it is responsible for their actions. Real-life Plymouth is a great place and deserves to be treated with respect.

---to be updated as needed---

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