Evermore’s Election

After my total lack of coverage for Evermore’s Aurora and subsequent Mythos seasons, someone might reasonably conclude that I had sworn off the park. But, no. Although I found the conclusion to Evermore’s inaugural Lore season to be lackluster, it didn’t actually engage in some of the really objectionable behavior I feared it might. The champion of Evermore turned out to mostly be a nominal position, and while I still think that contest was ill-conceived, there wasn’t a true finale reserved for a special elite, the true finale just turned out to kind of suck. It was a perfectly fine story, really, it just didn’t require the participation of the park guests very much at all, to the point where it’s not clear why we bothered showing up.

In any case, while that was disappointing, it wasn’t so disappointing that I wasn’t willing to give the park another go. Even if Evermore’s plot is perpetually kind of aimless and just sort of happens around you, it’s still a fun place to be.

It’s just that Evermore keeps shutting down on weekdays, and my professional GMing schedule means I have only a few very specific evenings available, and which evenings those are is subject entirely to what’s convenient to my current set of clients. When Evermore was open six nights out of seven, I had really good odds that one of my two essentially-random nights off would land on an open night.  Now that it’s down to just three, my odds aren’t so great, especially since I’m trying to avoid weekends. I got to Aurora exactly once during the whole season, and while I’ve managed two visits to Mythos and have a third lined up, that’s mainly because my younger brother is finally back from Sokovia and I’m willing to cancel one of my professional games for one night in order to visit the park with him before he leaves again.

As part of the current Mythos plot arc, though, Evermore is having an election. Neat! But this puts Evermore in a sticky position. On the one hand, election runners assert that the “citizens of Evermore” vote in addition to worldwalkers. This might just be for verisimilitude, because, really, it’s weird that worldwalkers even get to vote when we only visit on weekends. It could also indicate that the writers plan to use the votes of the NPC citizens to rig the election in favor of either one of a small handful of specific candidates from amongst the ten or even just one candidate specifically. This is totally reasonable, because unlike in a single-player video game, no one person could have a significant impact on the election anyway, so whether the election is being steered by the masses or by the writers makes almost no difference to the experience of any individual park-goer. It’s not like these people are setting our real life healthcare policies or anything, so it’s not like the actual purpose of an election – to guard against tyranny – is at all applicable.

The problem is, by saying that the votes of worldwalkers are being counted, the writers of Evermore could potentially paint themselves into a corner where the worldwalkers are 1) clearly more numerous (we are) and 2) strongly favor a candidate the writers want to defeat. This makes the election feel rigged. But on the other hand, if the writers say that the worldwalkers can’t vote because, y’know, we don’t live here, then the election feels like a pointless sideshow that isn’t really our problem. The only way to have a “we’re having an election” plot without actually turning over a major plot point to the random choices of the playerbase is to land on one of these two imperfect solutions: Either pretend you’re counting player votes but then don’t, or else tell the players up front that the whole election is playing out on autopilot.

Of course, it’s entirely possible that the election totally is being used to determine the next mayor of Evermore by the actual park-goers, the votes of the actual inhabitants of Evermore are being apportioned exactly in proportion to how the worldwalkers vote, and the writers are ready to incorporate Mayor Seftis the mildly psychotic executioner into next season’s plot if it comes to that (it didn’t, Seftis dropped out of the race early, but if the election is actually legit, it could’ve).

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