Observations on forming an operational team for Armagetron.


All of the observations about the game, player journey, tournament is great, but so what?

Well, what if we do something like the equivalent of the launch in Fort? We align to one objective, we grind, and then split up to do different tasks. Form a team of committed individuals. Some of us are interested in attack (new player engagement), others more in defence (tech admin), and there are folks like me who really shouldn’t be on the grid because my skills aren’t up to it, but I do offer something strategic. I facilitate pretty well.

If we get a team of 6 or so folks who are game, what are the rules of engagement?

No negative

Everyone’s contribution is good, otherwise they wouldn’t contribute it. There is a tendency to respond to statement A with not-A but B. The ‘not-A’ implies opposite. This opposite is a veto. And when a group of people (or a company) need to get things done, the power of veto is usually restricted from lower levels of hierarchy so that the executive’s decisions can be actioned. Since we do not have an ‘executive’, the power veto in a collective is the common cause for lack of movement by the collective. The way around this is to acknowledge that there is A, and there is B, and there are a whole bunch of other perceptions, evaluations, and observations. Our action are tied to those observations. Thus, we must be very careful about avoiding oppositional state mentally, so that we can clarify what our options of action are, and then prioritise them.


Social evidence by giving it a go. We give the suggestions a go in the most appropriate order, and we see what the result is. The ladle is an example of this. People said it could not work because ‘you can’t trust the players’. I went ahead anyway (which is rare for me) and enough players made it happen. The evidence of the happening, the first ladle, was enough for people to repeat it. It is not the core structure of the ladle technically that is important, it is the collective of participants who make it happen which is important. The social result. So, we need to be committed to the social result.
Degree of commitment. This one is tricky. My suggestion is 1 million player tournament. It is a beyond realistic objective, which means that if it happens, it is because of actions beyond my capacity or practical reach. And, I would guess, beyond the locus of control of the team, and thus necessarily invites the active participation of others. In fact, I think if we stick to self-organised principles, it depends on the 1 million players. We are just facilitating. To commit to 1 million players, we need a time reference. I think this time-reference should be decided by people who are interested in it. In fact, setting the time-reference (3 months, 6 months, 1 year), defines the team. The commitment is to see it through. The time-reference needs to be appropriate so that it inspires action from the get-go. If it is too long (10 years) nobody will do anything. If it is too short (a week), it just can’t happen. Things need to be put in place, and, because of the nature of human beings, it takes time to internalise some things, and produce the right social parameters for it to feasibly grow to 1 million by itself.

Minimal Viable Social Event

(Compare to Minimal Viable Product.) The team is not organising a 1 million tournament. The team is aiming to create a critical social effect, that because of its self-organised operations, ‘inevitably’ grows to 1 million players. The core machinery for running tronic ladle needs to be upgraded for tronic bowl, catering for 1000 players. That must involve a process by which the 100 players who play ladle do something beyond playing in the tournament, or the current social practices to become part of a team (practice, turn up on time). It must involve some kind of ‘engagement’ or ‘invitation’ protocol.

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