Have you ever thought about what a social network profile for your favorite role-playing game character would look like? Sure, that would seem like a non sequitur: only a tiny fraction of RPG characters are from Earth, and only a small fraction of those exist in settings set in the early twenty-first century. But still, the profile page has become a way to present one's identity on the 'net, making one for a character seems like a pretty good way of fleshing him or her out.
Back in the 1980s and 90s, in a world-spanning role-playing campaign (which spanned worlds, genres, and game systems), one of my characters, a mage named Czarzhan, created a self-sustaining magical computer network, called the Magus Device. The Magus Device had two primary functions:
- to gather as much information as possible about the worlds its peripheral devices (called Eye-Os) explored, and
- to facilitate communication between users ("Users" originally meaning magic-using types, but it was later expanded to include those who often had interaction with magic or unusual phenomena: i.e. adventurers).
I wrote an article on the Magus Device in All Of The Above #34, a GURPS amateur press association magazine, back in 1998 for GURPS 3rd edition. It has been reproduced here
. I want to create an incarnation of the Magus Device on the net to allow players to create profile pages for their characters for real.
Of course, what would a profile page on a social network be without connections to friends and the interactions with their pages? Further, most people who play RPGs have more than one character. Trying to maintain a full account, with separate email addresses and forms of identification, for each character would be ludicrous. It would make more sense to have one user log-in for each physical person, and then profile pages for each of the characters which are linked back to that user.
I plan on creating sub-networks for different genre characters (modern, fastasy, supers, sci-fi, others), and eventually adding other functionality to facilitate game play as well: online game rooms, Google Maps-style fantasy maps, etc..
I'm going to make the Magus Device blog
the headquarters for updates on the status of this project.