Reflexive Incompatibility

edited November 2007 in Story Games
This one is actually lifted in equal parts from the dating site OKCupid and a conversation I had last night. OKC matches people up based on a huge database of questions; the more you answer, the more confidence the site has in the matching. The interesting part is that the questions ask how you would answer, and how your ideal mate would answer. IIRC, there is a way to check "reflexive incompatibilities," where you answered in a way that you wouldn't find acceptable for your ideal mate to answer.

Question: If you were cloned five times, and your five clones sat down to play a roleplaying game, what would work well and what wouldn't? What sorts of reflexive incompatibilities would show themselves under these conditions?

I think one of mine is that my clones would get frustrated with each other for not being active enough. That probably means that I expect more of other players than I hold myself to in this department.


  • Well, if they're genetic clones they're a generation of development behind me. So playing with 5 kids who are based on my DNA?

    I'd probably want to play some Prince's Kingdom, hope to teach them important moral lessons. After that, maybe some Universalis to do some world building. I was much more creative when I was a kid, and even more judgemental, so I thnk they could come up with some great stuff. Once they finally sat down and made their own game it'd be cool to see them go out and do some viral marketing; I mean, 5 totally dedicated young GMs, up on forge theory and getting driven to conventions by their enthusiastic GM dad in a giant minivan?

    You'd try it.
  • I would find playing Polaris with myself to be interesting, but I suspect that every scene would involve pushing the pain on the Heart so much that we probably wouldn't get anywhere. I think that I would get a bit annoyed with my own impatience, if my clones don't actively work to check it the same way I've learned to.

    It would be nice to have some playtesters on call, though. Of course, we wouldn't get much done, as we'd be working on 6 different games.
  • I'd feel unsupported, because all the other player would be pushing their character and thematic components really hard, and I'd feel like they weren't working together as teammates. There'd be a lot of tonal unity, but not a lot of working together.
  • One of us would take charge, and start taking the game in a given direction. Those that don't want to go in that direction would not speak up. Instead, they'd be passive-agressive. Since the Charge-taker is trying to think too quickly, and because everyone else is overcritical, they will keep throwing the Charge-taker's mistakes back in his face. The Charge-taker will get stressed out at this, and start asking for everyone else's opinion on what to do next. Answers would be pretty ambivalent all around. Perhaps nothing will really get done until someone breaks down and tries to get a vote going.

    I imagine after a few sessions, though, we could learn to game together. Just the first session would be pretty ugly.
  • Sounds like people are talking about transporter accident molecular clones instead of dna-lab clones.
    Posted By: Jason TimmermanI imagine after a few sessions, though, we could learn to game together. Just the first session would be pretty ugly.
    My first session would probably be worse than this: Shortly after the game began, we'd realize we were all sleeping with the same woman.
  • I figure we're talking about Farscape Doubles. In which case, I really have no idea. We'd probably have a decent game, but it would lack the spark that comes from playing with other people. In fact, the session would probably look a lot like one of my writing or daydreaming sessions, where I bounce things around inside of my own head. It works well enough, and I can even surprise myself sometimes, but overall I'd like to play with others instead.
  • I don't really care what mental gymnastics you do to get to this point, but I was aiming at a situation where you're forced to play with multiples of yourself. I'm curious what about yourself would annoy you, since it seems reasonable to guess these things might annoy other people too. The question originates in my suspicion that there are some play styles which are reflexively incompatible. They work OK in a group of people who don't share the same style, but utterly fail when combined with themselves. Reversing this thought, if that is true, then there are probably some styles which aren't reflexively incompatible, which would work great if you played with your clones.

    This train of thought mirrors something a friend told me recently about one of his relationship strategies. He said one should make a list of everything you expect from your partner, and for each item on the list, ask yourself if you can be that for someone else. If not, then it's probably not a reasonable demand to make of your significant other. I don't know if I believe it, but that's part of what this thread was intended to explore.
  • "Hope you have 911 on your space-speed-dial, honey, my clones are here for another fistfight, I mean gaming session!"
  • Well, I love traditional player functions, but I have come to hate traditional GMing functions. So if I my clones and I did a traditional game, one of us would be miserable. A "superior" group would be me and my clones as players, with an outsider who actually likes to do traditional GMing as the GM.

    My clones and I would do fine playing Polaris though, and we might be able to get by if we rotated the "sucky" GM spot in traditional games ala Ars Magica.
  • You know, the clone-game scenario has been a sort of roleplaying wet dream of mine for a long time.

    I honestly dont know what reflexive incompatibilities would surface, but in my dream we play lots of deep, emotional story games the way I really want to play them.

    Dont mess with my dream, man. Why would you piss on something so beautiful?
  • No pissing. Just asking how beautiful it is.
  • Relax, Im just yanking your chain.

    Anyway, I honestly dont know what I do that would annoy myself. Which is odd, because I pride myself on knowing myself very well. Ill have to think long and hard on this issue.
Sign In or Register to comment.