Play by Wiki and Emergent Properties

9 Jun

I have been intrigued by the possibilities of wiki + story games for a long time.
Wikis can express powerful emergent properties that fit well with story games.

Does anybody know of any games that are played primarily by wiki and that are designed to explicitly leverage the nature of wikis? ‘Caravan’ by Emily Boss looks very promising, but I couldn’t find any real example of play.

We have also designed a wiki that can be programmed and evolved ‘from the inside’ by its users, so that as new mechanics get defined, they can be automated within the system, but I feel we need to learn more from actual play before releasing it to the community.

Any good pointer in this direction is highly appreciated!

11 Responses to “Play by Wiki and Emergent Properties”

  1. jeffwik June 9, 2011 at 3:26 pm #

    Neel Krishnaswami’s Lexicon.

  2. Karl MillerA June 9, 2011 at 10:12 pm #


  3. oberonthefool July 25, 2011 at 1:27 am #

    Hm, looks like the NomicWiki is defunct, sorry about that. I don’t know where one might track them nowadays. I have dabbled in nomic/wiki gaming, but time and distraction always end up getting the better of me. I have a few ideas that could be interesting if I had the free time and attention span to develop them, but I don’t. I’ll be interested to see what you guys come up with, though.

    • doubleninja August 18, 2011 at 7:53 pm #

      Hi Oberon, thanks for joining the conversation. I am really interested in hearing your ideas about wiki-gaming. Who knows, we might use them to develop a case study if they fit with our research and schedule..

      Also thanks to Jeff and Karl for pointing out Lexicon. It has lots of potential for world-building.

      BTW, have you guys seen Sleep is Death ?

      • oberonthefool August 21, 2011 at 4:11 am #

        I did not mean to imply that I am some kind of wiki-gaming guru or anything, I have merely dabbled. My point, which I made very poorly, is that wiki-gaming has been going on since wikis were invented, there have been literally hundreds of wiki based games. My original intent was to post the link to a clearinghouse wiki that listed all of them and their current statuses, but that wiki, NomicWiki, is itself defunct.

        Anyway, if you look around, you’ll find lots of wiki games of every imaginable style, including many “self-modifying” ones (a common theme due to the medium)- although I don’t know if any of them are automated the way yours might be. I’m interested to see how you’re doing that part.

    • doubleninja August 21, 2011 at 5:53 am #

      I actually could not find so many wiki games around although I suspected that they had to exist.. and speaking to some new gamers I met I realized that people do play online on wikis, IRC, etc.. it’s just that I can’t seem to find any body of knowledge relating to their gaming practices or rules and that is frustrating. If you got anything in terms of links I would love to see them. One of the most promising system that I saw was Caravan by Emily Boss

      What we are trying to do with our wiki is to give the possibility of ‘mechanize’ some roleplaying concepts such as dice, cards, etc by making the wiki programmable. So you can start out with something very much text based and evolve it according to your needs.

      Right now we are playing with a concept similar to Rohrer’s Sleep is Death, but within a wiki.

      • oberonthefool August 21, 2011 at 8:37 pm #

        Yeah, that NomicWiki would have been just the thing, I’m disappointed that it’s defunct.

        Try searching for Nomics, they are the most common sort of game played on wikis, as wikis are well suited to the genre. I’d guess yours probably falls under that umbrella to some degree as well.

  4. oberonthefool September 9, 2011 at 3:15 am #

    Hey, I was putzing around and I ran across some of my old links- two prevalent types of wiki games, the Nomic, and the Lexicon. Links below!

    Hope that helps!

    • doubleninja September 11, 2011 at 2:27 pm #

      Thanks Oberon, I am adding them right now. I don’t know if nomic counts as RPG or storygame, but I think it makes sense to add it. Universalis, in a way, is a kind of nomic.

      • oberonthefool September 11, 2011 at 3:02 pm #

        I wouldn’t even say “kind of”.


  1. Sleep is Death – an online story game « Doubleninja's Blog - June 11, 2011

    […] We are looking for more examples of online storytelling tools and we are hoping to learn from Sleep is Death and incorporate it as a tool in our MikiWiki.. […]

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