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> lifeblood of the system, pricing
post Aug 16 2015, 09:09 PM
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This is just a thought following a discussion in the pub about the fact that in the last decade or so fewer young players have continued playing into adulthood. It has been mentioned that online gaming is largely the culprit and no doubt this is a big part of it, but after coming down a couple of times over the summer I got to thinking about my experience of Labyrinthe in the 90's.
One of the main reasons I and many of my contemporaries continued to be heavily involved in the game from young players through our teenage years and into our twenties, when other things like computer games and all night raves threatened to take us away from LRP was that we could easily make our hobby pay for itself. This was a time in our lives when we were time rich but cash poor and had no problem with putting time into monstering and later A-reffing and reffing (and in my case taverning, armouring and gophering (remember that!). Many of us didn't have other jobs because we were at school/uni and had very little cash to spare. Because of this a minimum charge to play of £10 would have probably made playing (and hence participating in the hobby) much more difficult. I believe that a £10 minimum charge to play would have led to much less of us continuing to come regularly to the caves and would have led to a greater drift away from the hobby. This is also important because the 15-21 age group is a prime group for monstering.
It seems to me that one of the key reasons that less people are staying with the hobby through this period is to do with the pricing structure. As an experiment I wonder if it would be worth considering revising the minimum payment of £10 for people who are full time students or under 18 (and can prove it), maybe allowing them to pay with 100% credits or making a minimum cash payment of £5 if that was too difficult. I strongly suspect that after 2-3 years you would notice a considerable upturn in participation from the younger age group, as well as more available younger reffs and monsters.

I am pleased to hear that there has been some upturn in game participation under the current management, no doubt as a result of a great deal of hard work. My understanding is that much of this is older players (who are working and earning) coming back to the caves. As I mentioned earlier I have no doubt there are other factors at play for drop off over the years of younger players, but I do think the pricing structure could be a part of it.

I'd be interested to hear the thoughts of management on this... I think it's worth considering, bering in mind that if you keep people into labby through the more frugal years, you're likely to reap the cash rewards later when they start earning and paying cash and are still into the game.

Just my thoughts. I sometimes think a slightly 'outsiders' perspective can shed a different light.


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