Sci-Fi Labs Federated Worldbuilding

(This crazy idea was first posted to Lemmy, Fediverse Futures community, and followed-up on Fediverse Town)

(I create this in Vision category, but has a strong relation to #community building if we like the idea…)


In the context of the Fedijam’s that are organized by @houkimenator I posed the idea here , so I’ll just copy:

:earth_asia: Sci-fi Labs Federated Worldbuilding

The other day via iAlja I was pointed to the Science Fiction Economics Lab . It is an initiative of storytelling viable alternatives to Hypercapitalism, which is currently the only game we play. This open community encourages people to join and build alternative worlds and explore radically different concepts together. It hopes to inspire and foster a creative ecosystem of cool spin-off projects to explore new things.

The set up is a bit weird and you have to figure it out. Much of the worldbuilding discussion takes place on a discourse forum. But it gave me 2 ideas:

  1. We might build a world that envisions a mature Fediverse that goes way beyond what we currently have (and will smash the vision of the Metaverse, though that’s not its prime goal).
  2. The Fedijams might take place inside this world, and with the purpose to further enrich it all the time.

The Fedijams wouldn’t change much compared to how they are currently organized, except that with this world in the background they’ve found common ground. There’s more of a uniting factor, and more focus on collaborating on the Fediverse and with other fedizens. The world we started at Sci-Fi Labs is the substrate to which Fedijams are tied.

What’s interesting is that - as the world gets richer - there’s more and more game-building material available. Different storylines to explore, characters to develop, etc. Candidate submission can give different twists to submissions from prior fedijams, maybe completely different perspective, atmosphere and game type. All the narratives and the world itself serve to attract a broader audience to explore further than pure gamejams ever could (they’ll mostly appeal to gamedevs that are able to crank out some game in a week).

On all levels building blocks become available that make Fedijams easier to participate in. On the technical end, if we imagine a future fediverse, there’s a lot of potential if we manage to move from silo-first to task-oriented app design . Where this will lead us might be close to the radical vision of MercuryOS (read also: Introduction to Mercury OS ). For fedijams available building blocks might include e.g. some core federation library, so that is doesn’t have to be reinvented for every game submission.

As for setting all this up, instead of the forum associated with sci-fi labs, we might tie this to Fediverse Town for non-technical parts and SocialHub for tech aspects and @Houkime’s Federated Game Store once that shapes up, hence binding communities together.

Fedi today

In the discussion of Let’s make 2022 the #YearOfTheFediverse I wasn’t too enthusiastic of re-using this hashtag. First it is not so original, and second, 2021 hasn’t been a good year, imho. Lemme explain… given these two slogans of SocialHub:

  1. United in Diversity
  2. Social Networking Reimagined

We can conclude that there’s much to be desired. On 1) while we have a nice microblogging sphere - if we exclude the bad parts for a bit - it consist of some ‘loose sand’ chatterbox, and all interesting discussion sinks out of sight immediately. What we currently have is still far, far removed from 2) a reimagining of the social fabric online that goes well alongside our IRL world.

There’s some common themes on the fedi, like - what true believers might say - “fedi will revolutionize the internet”, will destroy FB et al in due time, etcetera. Another often heard theme is “outsiders don’t understand what fedi is, and it is too technically focused”. I agree with both to certain extent. The first statement highlights the potential of the fediverse. But when we don’t act on it, it will only be a nice dream. Yet another utopia. The second statement must be addressed, but to me it is not important to focus on making fedi something that will have FB and Birdsite users come to us in droves. At least not until we can handle that, and now we can’t. We need to craft our own story, stand on our own two feet.

On 1) I see the magic to be “Community” and furthering what that means (something I keep repeating as a broken record :wink: ) and with that community we can also address 2), which is hardly happening now. The SocialHub community is very weak and fedi evolution is mostly inward focused app development. Individualism.

There’s a danger in not addressing both slogans. While we are happily moving about in our grassroots communities we are all the time showcasing the corporates that there are business models to monetize. And with Metaverses of all kinds now an accepted concept in the biz world you be assured that corporates are watching.

With all our dreaming of better worlds and brighter futures, but not acting much on building them, we seem blissfully unaware of the danger that - even while we are decentralized / federated - we can still be disrupted thoroughly. From then on both slogans will be shaped by corporate entities and their potental distorted by hypercapitalist greed. As it often goes. We’ll still exist, but in the fringes, where bulletin boards the many nice personal blogs and videos that Google Search doesn’t show you and Youtube doesn’t recommend.

Fediverse Futures: Let’s shape our world

So here’s the idea. With the above in the back of our heads we go full on in shaping a vision for the Fediverse where all fedizens can help make it stronger. With the Sci-Fi Economics Lab we have an opportunity to build upon an initiative that is already laid out, and where we can inspire and affect the worlds that are already being created there by many people. We’ll be the magnificent Andromeda galaxy that will change the constellation of the stars as it collides with the small-minded :wink: present-day Milky Way that is our current perception of things.

Let’s creat a binding narrative to tie the evolution of the Fediverse onto. Fediverse… Federated Universe, right? Let’s explore this universe then. Make it real.

Our existing communities can play a big role in this, and this vision can be a uniting factor to drive things forward. Get some real coordinated effort off the ground.

Very curious about your thoughts :blush:
Am I too ambitious, too dreamy myself? Would love :heart_eyes: to hear your take. Let’s break the barriers of the mind.

(Image credit David Revoy, CC BY-4.0 and sourced from Framasoft Contributopia)

Update: Tooted about this here .