For my game of Cruel 2B Kind, I decided to host it on the MMO Final Fantasy 14: A Realm Reborn (FF14) due to the rainy weather over the weekend. When I read the original rules of Cruel 2B Kind, I thought one of the major dynamics the game encouraged was this sense of anonymity amongst players. Players aren’t assigned a specific target because their target is simple anyone else playing the game, but they don’t know who else is playing the game which could lead to strangers getting caught in a crossfire of kindness. I thought this dynamic was pretty interesting, I like the idea that by choosing to attack, you may accidentally expose yourself to someone actually in the game, so I really wanted to try my best to keep this dynamic when hosting my own game which led me to FF14.
FF14 is one of, if not the most, popular MMO today with a very active player base so it was the perfect game to host a game of Cruel 2B Kind. Now that I had a platform for the game I needed players. I thought of recruiting friends or other students in the class but ultimately decided I would find my players in game which led to me shouting in the chat asking if anyone would be down to play a game of Cruel 2B Kind and explaining that it was for an assignment. I also asked them to private message me if they were interested because I didn’t want players to know who the others were otherwise the dynamic I was aiming for wouldn’t work.
After recruiting 4 players, I messaged them back the rules of the game and gave them the following weapons:
Weapon A: Compliment your target on something you notice. Could be their chosen race, their fashion etc. (Plenty of debates on the best race in the game so I thought this would be interesting)
Weapon B: Perform the hug emote on your target. (Game allows your character to perform all sorts of emotes and hugging is one of them)
Weapon C: Wish your target a safe adventure.
Started off with 1 player teams and the rules followed the original rules we were given by the staff. Weapon A beats C, C beat B and B beats A.
After that came the location in game where the game would be hosted. Now I could have chosen a specific building in a specific town, but the thing about chats in MMOs is that when you say something in the general chat, everyone within a certain range will see it in their chat log. I thought it would be too easy to restrict players to one building and instead opted to play the game in the city of Ul’dah. This is one of the starter towns and is always populated with players so it seemed like a good choice. With that the game commenced and I had players PM me whenever they took out a target.
Overall, I would say the game was…successful? Because I made the entire town the magic circle and the players all knew who I was, I didn’t want to follow one player around giving them a major disadvantage so I stayed in one area of the city. If I was to host this game again in FF14, I would create a separate account so that I could follow players around while still being updated on my main account. I would also probably pick better weapons, or at least weapons that allowed players to sneak in an attack in what is seemingly a normal conversation. I think with weapons like that I could shrink the magic circle to just a building or portion of the city.