Anarchy, Blaseball & Community Development

A presentation at DevOps Days PDX in in Portland, OR, USA by Aaron Aldrich

In any development practice there is a challenge to balance the conflicting needs of all stakeholders. And we’ve seen recent Open Source projects make development decisions that can divide the communities they built. On the other hand, there’s the recent cultural event known as Blaseball. Calling this a multiplayer web-based game does a complete disservice to the community that’s popped up around it on the Discords, the fan-created art and lore, and the sanctioned community software development constantly examining and reverse-engineering the game logic. Part fantasy sp(l)arts simulation, part cultural phenomenon, the developers of The Game Band have created a managed to create a whole study in what it means to be a fan, a community, and how to develop software in collaboration with a diverse and conflicting community. This talk will examine how The Game Band has managed all of this with radical inclusion, the principals of anarchical organization and a “yes, and” approach to development.

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