Why is OOC so addictive?
I think most people know that the more you become involved in the OOC side of RP games the less you enjoy them. Some people might protest but it's mostly pretty common sense stuff, obviously knowing who plays a character makes dealing with that character ICly less immersive, obviously discussing IC events OOCly spoils the story to an extent.

Most people who've played a few RP muds by now will be able to identify the trend of their enjoyment going down as their OOC contact went up and outside of those with particularly pronounced abilities to rationalize this away I think it's pretty well accepted.

So the question is, why is it so common? This isn't like a lot of bad RP practices which while bad for the game/other people actually are good for you, this is a thing which is legitimately self-saboutaging.

Yet a lot of people, probably even most people can't seem to avoid sharing skype names, logging into Discord chats, or signing up to forums. They don't even limit the damage to themselves, newbies frequently can't make it on the game more than a week before people provide skype names or discord chatroom links or the like, usually entirely unsolicited. Presumably they're not doing so deliberately to try and ruin the newbie's fun, so what gives?

Some things I get, like the desire to vent, but that really only requires one person so doesn't really explain forums, chatrooms or friending everyone and their goat, unless for some reason you need to vent to the maximum number of people possible.

I suspect it's about control in some way, being able to influence large parts of the player base, but what is the point of influencing the pbase if not to in some way increase your fun? And is there anyone for whom the increase in influence actually has increased their enjoyment enough to outweight the loss of IC-ness?

What do other people think? Why do people find the OOC side of IC games so compelling?
I think a lot of it stems from the desire to solve problems quickly and efficiently. When people pitch local OOC commands, they state this amoung their top reasons why such commands are desireable. It helps them manipulate the perspective of or obtain information about others outside of what is available IC (justifiably or not). So a person might do something dastardly or perverted or winner-y and, feeling insecure about it (rationally or not), might take to OOC to try to explain why the character is to blame and not them.

Sometimes it might be about companionship and making friends, but I think it's going to be hard to untangle since most of the interactions of those relationships are going to revolve around the above even if they were not originally based on it. It also seems unlikely that people in general will be introspective enough or be able to admit the reason for making friends if it isn't wholly noble. There's always going to be some underlying reason behind making friends whether it's entertainment or loneliness or problem solving or community building.

So I think there is a perception and a reality that OOC can be beneficial even though it's held alongside the knowledge that enjoyment will be decreased. My opinion is that it represents a potential for which people are willing tolerate the cost of enjoyment (even if they have to downplay that cost in their rationalization).

They should be spared from the decision as much as possible.
As per one of Amatsuka's examples, I think it's mostly a desire to make friends and keep in touch with good roleplayers.

And I think saying that all OOC contact lowers enjoyment is very false. Certain kinds of OOC contact lowers enjoyment. Particularly global OOC and OOC chatrooms for me. These inevitably end up toxic and very un-fun and quickly diminish my enjoyment of a game. The forums can get that way sometimes, too. Sometimes you get individuals that are the same privately, and sometimes you have to block these people, but I've had plenty of fun despite having OOC contact (one-on-one) with my RP partners.
On more than one occasion, it has been to help the newbie out in combat, and teaching them the ropes and commands, but having no way in game to communicate with them, discord makes it a lot easier.

And I will freely admit it's also about making friends for me too. RL, I don't get to do that so much, so having a shared past time with people that have similar interests to me is a huge draw. I've got friends I've made from MUDs that have lasted over a decade and I'd count many of them to be people that I'm closest too. I've dated friends from MUDs and even once married a guy I met through an online MUD.
One broader aspect is, it's a game. A game that we all play and enjoy, and you, the player, sometimes can't help but discuss things that you enjoy. It's a hobby. I find it very hard to go into a game, and know that there are many other people who enjoy that very same game, but not discuss it with them. And given the nature of Haven and rp enforced MUDs, it's very hard to just enjoy the game by yourself.

Sometimes problems like internet, RL matters, and some squicky things force you to contact another player OOCly to make the RP more pleasant/tolerable for both them and you. And sometimes upon sometimes, in chatting with them, you can't help but find a kindred spirit. It's a porcupine's quill from there.

A character's death sometimes makes me really want to reminisce with the player on how much fun you had with their character.
This is a hobby. Humans are gregarious animals. Sharing the enjoyment of a hobby with friends feels 'good' to us social humans.

Plus curiosity. It is nice to learn the player behind the character AND it is comforting to know that the player behind the person torturing you is doing it for the game, not because they are a baby-eating whackadoodle IRL. Sure, there are plenty of whackadoodle people (as in any game/hobby/part of life), but it raises my enjoyment levels when I know the player who is running an antag scene, and know that they understand the line between 'fun trauma' and 'griefy self-pleasuring' - knowing the player is someone who lives in Idaho, has a dog called Alex and works for a Ford Dealership just makes it easier to relax in the knowledge that they are antaging for the story, not for a vendetta.

And yes, reminiscing is good. I've spotted a couple of players I've known through my years of MUDing, and being able to go "Omg, fun times X years ago" is nice, but the same goes for Haven characters as they come and go. That moment of "Oh gosh, that was you?!" is a powerful feeling of bonding. And so we are back to the humans being social creatures, we are psychologically designed to bond with other humans like us, and enjoyment of this rather niche hobby, that most of the rest of the people in our lives don't get, is a strong motivator to chat. And why even on MUDs that don't have channels and actively discourage OOC communication (including forbidding it in the rules) cannot stop people doing it.

That said, I have the OOC channel firmly switched off, and won't join any mass chatter. Shooting the breeze with people I consider long-distance friends is one thing, but I find the wider version to be inane, toxic, and, well, 'bitchy'. And if you're going to be bitchy, do it in private with a couple of friends, not as a group activity!
I agree with Eblade on most things here, ill communicate with the people i've enjoyed roleplaying with to some extent, because its fun to talk about stuff without revealing anything ic.

But I also despise OOC on haven, its very, very cliquey, very very poisonous, and more often then not i've seen people do something in-character because of something influencing them OOC, or judging and spreading rumors about characters they've only heard about, and never really rp'd with them or understood the character, and I've personally been on the receiving end of angry tells/judging people during 3.0 about some of my characters.

on the OOC end of things, i've found most of the players aren't helpful on an individual basis, my very, very first character was an angelborn, and i was outright role-playing an angelborn's desire sense very, very wrong.

No one told me what I was doing wrong. No one gave me advise on how to do it better. I just got 'You're a fucking metagamer.' from multiple people, in different flavors, even inquiries and responses to such claims were met with no progress, so I basically had to go to people who had been helpful in the past and ask them.

So, now on 4.0, i'll send people tells and compliment the rp or thank them for rp, if i had fun, all that, but generally speaking im very, very, very wary of most people in an out of character sense because I've had some very explosive out of character responses over the most little things.

The OOC on haven is generally really, really bad, to me, and its really, really, really disappointing.

Daed and the rest of the staff encourage everyone to be good to each other, but in my experience as a rather newish haven player, thats rarely the case.
Oof, I so agree, brah. Like, utterly and absolutely OOC contact 95% of the time ends up being the worst idea ever. EVER. 5% of the time? Best idea EVER. EVER!

As for gameplay feel free to imagine a tabletop game with local friends. You actively, at least as a DM, end up /trying/ to engage them more as their characters, trying to gain more immersion and lessen the OOC. OOC engaging IC is typically a sign of boredom though I think in a place with so much mary sueism it's a form of self-defense.

Mudders are lonely creatures most of the time. Flawed, awkward, people acting like things they don't understand. Acting out things they will never do. Reacting to people who aren't really the people they're reacting to. They're socially unskilled and tend to fill in blanks with the 'worst possible' or 'best possible' and takes mountains worth of effort to shift those mole hill amounts of first impressions.

I think a lot of us are lonely mudders because we don't do so great in the real world's social engagement arena. That's not everybody, may not be you, but it might be those you play with and talk to OOCly.

I try very hard, now, to limit my OOC to that 5% that makes it a positive experience. I try to encourage people to do the same (lolz, that rarely works). People are passionate blunderbusses of intelligent design wrapped up in erratic and unsure emotions.

If you wanna be that 5% to the 5% you wanna find, try these following super tips:

1. Don't ever assume. Anything. Ever.
2. Don't rock dat rumor wheel.
3. You only have so much time and so much emotion and so much energy and so much hope and everything else so spend it on /liking/ people not on /hating/ people. (feel free to replace those terms with whatever you find more agreeable 'enjoying people' as opposed to 'judging jerkbags'.)

I find that most of the time when peeps got hate on me it's from weird misconceptions and assumptions and gossip I never knew existed; often flowering from one flaw that needs fixing not eradicating.

Overall; guard your heart, hope in the common man, strive to be who you want to be wanted.
Because it can be a little fun to know more about the people behind the characters and find out how different they really are as you play. Although lately I've been under the impression that most of the people playing Academy characters... Really aren't any different from their characters at all and don't seem to realise that while my character is a lippy brat from New York... I'm really a nice person who's just here to rp and provide rp for others.
I know i'm late to the party but I don't think any of you answer the question for what it is.

Why are people addicted to me?
[OOC] Panacea: 'I find OOC clever but, in a cunning way. He's intelligent, knows what he wants and knows how to get it.'

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