Goncharov’s New Dabloons | 2242

It’s not the truth of a cultural object that matters. But the collective truth that arises from consensus of interpretation.

Full Show Notes: https://www.thejaymo.net/2022/11/26/301-2242-goncharovs-new-dabloons/

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Permanently moved is a personal podcast 301 seconds in length, written and recorded by @thejaymo

Goncharov’s New Dabloons

If you are listening in the UK, the Online Safety Bill goes before the House of Commons next week. Tabloid headlines are focusing on putting people who take upskirt pics in jail. But the reality is much more concerning. Amongst other things, it seeks to remove GDPR protections and ban E2E encryption. Insane. I’ll link to some articles in the show notes, but I urge you to write to your MP this weekend. Tell them what a disaster this legislation is going to be.

Anyways, as long as you’re not a Twitter user, it has been, all things considered, a pretty good week on the internet. 

Tumblr, and TikTok have blessed us with the Goncharov movie and the Dabloons RPG.

I wasn’t going to talk about it, but several people have asked me to, so here I am. I’m not going to describe each of these cultural phenomena instead I’ll provide some commentary.

I’m a narrative strategist and work in the emerging field of world running. So I have thoughts. If you need some context for this episode I refer you episodes 2133, and 2134 on collective storytelling and power fandoms. Also, my post on Craving Canon and media franchises.

It’s been interesting to see normie media cover both cultural phenomena. Treating it all with a sort of kooky “look at what’s going on over here on the internet” side eye. 

In reality there is little difference between Tumblr conjuring an imaginary Martin Scorcsee movie into existence and TikTok Zoomers convincing Boomers they were eating tide pods. Nor is Goncharov anywhere near as interesting as some of the narratives Qanon have conjured into existence. The main difference being – in the minds of Q followers some of these narratives became real. 

To my mind Goncharov is another signal that the media environment of cultural fracking and mythic commodity trading is well-e-coyote over the cliff.

Some of the best analysis about it all has of course come from Tumblr itself. I reblogged this last week: When asked their thoughts on the Goncharov meme Tumblr user @Comicauroa replied:

comicaurora answered:

tumblr has gotten so good at constructing fandoms completely divorced from any source material that they’ve finally cut out the middleman and just started making shit up

Echoing my Craving Canon essay @mrv3000 says:

By media companies making The Story more and more exclusive and inaccessible to more and more people, fandom will turn to things in the public domain or even make up their own Story in order to have fun where anyone can join in.

Like conspiracy – despite its low cultural status – Fandom is a mode of cultural production that sits at the very core of the Internet’s psyche. Its participatory culture (or rather customs of cultural production) is older than the internet itself. In 2022 Fandom is deeply ingrained into our collective cultural subconscious.

Drawing on the work of Stanley Fish (1980) in the essay Limit Play: Fan Authorship between Source Text, Intertext, and Context by Stein and Bussy (2009), they argue that fandoms are ‘interpretive communities’. Defined by the “shared readings of a character, a pairing, or a particular aspect of a fictional universe”.

It’s not the truth of a cultural object that matters. But the collective truth that arises from consensus of interpretation.

There’s no right or wrong answer about what an idea is/or could be in fandom. If you interpret something differently you can join the people who think that way you do. Internet fandom runs on a practice of speedrunning hermeneutic schisms.

Many flamewars have been fought over pointless minutiaea. 

Meanwhile over on TikTok. The world of Dabloons is emerging.

I personally find it less interesting than LOOT. But both share similar DNA: Generic sword and sorcery tropes fueling Role Play potential.

As I said on Twitter the other day, the most interesting thing about Dabloons is the hijack of Tiktoks algorithmic feed as a roleplay game mechanic to generate random encounters. 

The navigation of the world of Dabloons via TikTok’s platform physics is however intriguing from a world running perspective. You can only interact with the world of the game by encountering other players. There’s no way of seeing the game space in its totality. You can only play with other people who are playing.

Speaking of which:

I Just Lost the Game.

Dabloons is still in the active process of being worlded. Created collectively by interpretative reactions to prompts created by other users. But, it lacks rules. Which is why IMO Permissive Web3 IPs are more interesting. Speaking of tokens. Many articles about Dabloons have focused on its economy crashing. 

Dabloon players have run into the same problem as the granddaddy of interpretive communities did in the 1970’s. 

In the The Elusive Shift, Jon Peterson talks about the problem of Experience Point inflation in Dungeons and Dragons. The question of whether XP was transferable across gaming groups.

Arguments raged between level 250 mages and lower level players with more modest, less generous DM’s. This began to threaten the social cohesion of the players across the country. One letter to a DnD fanzine described players with unchecked XP as ‘Gross’.

Loot and Dabloons represent two sides of the same problem Gygax faced in 1976.

Either a trusted ledger (loot) was required to log XP or accommodations for higher player levels (Dabloons) were required in the games ruleset.

What’s next for the Dabloons player base is not whether they can continue to interpret the rules of the world they are collectively worlding, but instead coordinate to change them.


The script above is the original script written for the episode. It may differ from what ended up in the edit.

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2 responses to “Goncharov’s New Dabloons | 2242”

  1. […] ve ticarileşmesi bu tarz dinamiklere yer kalmadığı hissine sebep olsa da Goncharov ve dabloon bunun aksini kanıtlıyor. İnternetin özel ve yaratıcı bir ortam olmasını sağlayan şey tam olarak böyle doğaçlama […]

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