After a bit of consideration I'd like to start a thread to elaborate on my experiences of early September in Nacogdoches.
Some big questions have come up - most discussing the line between canon and not. I believe some of this stems from the creation of the grey area of ARG interaction that I've stepped into.
First off, I'd like to make this post without using the word "canon" too often - the semantics behind this term are sort of ambiguous. Consider for a moment that MarlaSinger is no more canon than anyone else who has had an interaction with Clara, Tachyon, Brother, Linc. The difference is the medium of interaction. Text, YouTube, Video, in person - whatever the case - interaction is interaction.
So. How'd it happen.
The opportunity to travel to Nacogdoches presented itself to me in August, some point shortly after the LG finale. Business in Dallas meant I would be close to Maddison's home town and as a big Maddison fan, that excited me. I'm not a shy person - I decided to throw the possibility of an interview out to the PM - I'm in university for journalism and always looking for a good interview. After mentioning the opportunity, I was invited, as a player, to meet Clara and possibly others - the chance to see Maddison's Apartment and the place she lived, the chance to track down Frady's "suicide" scene and maybe even make it to Rusk. I was invited as Marla Singer to partake in a story I was already deeply involved in.
I am far from an actress, let me assure you. Any and all interactions that occurred with Clara were natural - think about the implications of this. Anything that Clara asked me was responded to with my own thoughts. Nothing was prepared - not even Clara's questions, really. I did what I could, according to what was in line with the story. I was allowed to get inside Maddison's apartment and snoop around, so I did. I couldn't get down to Rusk so I didn't. There was co-operation and collaboration.
I did keep the visit a secret - circumstances that I could not control were presented to me shortly before I left. Sickness in the family meant that hours before my flight left I was still debating on whether I should go or not. If it had been set in stone, things might have been presented differently to the community. Alas, the blur between ARG and just plain R does mean that, simply, shit happens - and plans can be changed at any moment, in game or out.
I have an idea of what "ARG" means for me in my head. And I think that MA fits the description quite well. A story that is potentially influenced by players and their actions. A story that is open to suggestion. A story that is flexible enough to incorporate fanfiction ideas, concepts, and contribution. The ARG is as much the players' as it is the PM's. Awesomesauce. And everyone can be involved on different levels and in different ways - from the lurkers to the drop retrievers to the puzzle solvers to the IRC chatters.
This community has recently pulled together and realised that action is important. I think this is amazing. And I think that with continued focus and effort, the community will be offered more and more chances to interact and partake in the MA story on a deeper and even more rewarding level - provided we are all willing to partake and participate in - not take hold of - the story.
Could we have saved Maddison? Maybe. Can we help this time? I think that's up to all of us as players - do we want to help? Are we ready to participate and focus on a level that allows us to get answers, provoke reaction, and progress storyline?
Remember - it is ours - all of ours. I hope this clears at least some things up. I'll be happy to answer any questions that I can.
Yours - truly,