About Survivor and Online Survivor

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SUR201: History and Overview of Online Survivor

Survivor is the ultimate competition. Online Survivor is the ultimate competition. They are both intense socio-political games. With the exception of having to "rough it", every aspect of the real game is emulated in the online version. Just like the real game, the online version is a non-cooperative elimination game that will require you to be an expert politician and strategist. The only other difference would be that you are playing for fun, not $1,000,000. Sorry.

Although Survivor Guy 886 is the current screen name of the producer and host, the roots of this game trace back to his original screen name: MMmasterX. In 1998, he became the last person in his high school class to obtain internet access (finally), and began exploring the internet. When the finale of Seinfeld was about to air, he stumbled across a chat room discussing the end of this show, and realized the potential that chat rooms could allow. Shortly thereafter, he created a Mega Man chat club (Mega Man is a popular video game series) under the name MMmasterX. The club did not last long, but in 2000, after seeing Survivor and becoming an instant fan, stumbled across one of the first ever Survivor chat rooms. Inspired by the quick game of Survivor played in this chat, he wondered what it would be like to play a full-scale game online, and converted his Mega Man club into a Survivor game, at that time called "AOL Survivor", or "AOLS". The game began on September 11, 2000 (an unfortunate date), and by some accounts, this was the first ever "ORG" created, and launched a phenomenon. After AOL Survivor 1's conclusion, and despite its lack of attendance and participation, several people requested another game be hosted, and AOL Survivor 2 was created. During this season, AOL filed a complaint against the game for using their name in the title. Thus, following AOLS2, the game was overhauled. The "A" was dropped to make OLS (just, Online Survivor), MMmasterX changed his screen name to Survivor Guy 886, and a new site was launched dedicated to the game itself. Online Survivor 3 marked the dawn of the game as we know it today, and since then a game has been played every Winter and Summer.

In a standard game of Online Survivor, 16 people are dropped into private chat rooms and forced to fend for themselves for 39 meeting days, spread out over 89 actual days to mimic the intensity of the real Survivor. Although surviving the elements is not possible online, tribe camps, reward challenges, immunity challenges, tribal councils, merges, jury votes and other events are. After all, the show's title, "Survivor", relates to being the last person remaining in the game, not battling the elements. Like any great tournament, the last person standing will still be called the Survivor.

As for the game itself, this is a LIVE GAME. Many current ORGs exist on a board and allow you to show up and play whenever you feel like it. This game is NOT one of those games. You must regularly show up at the designated, specific times listed (usually in the evening) to play the game. Occasional absences are allowed, but those who are repeatedly absent will be ejected from the game for inactivity. The game takes place in chat rooms. All tribes and other "locations" are separated by using multiple chat rooms. Like the real game, every third meeting day the players must eliminate one person by secretly voting through private message. Thus, you must continually convince others that you should remain in the game. Since you are online, you must make a constant effort to talk to every person, since they can't see you like in real life. Throughout the game, various challenges will surface. Although a little less than half of these challenges consist of trivia in a chat room, other ingenious challenges involving word games, math, typing speed, or simple endurance will occur. Like the real show, challenges allow players to win various luxuries, or protection from being voted out. Luxuries usually include items that allow a person to see statistics, gain an advantage, or force a disadvantage on someone else.

This concept made Survivor Guy 886's Online Survivor one of the premiere games when ORGs began. Unfortunately, when Online Survivor 8: All-Stars began and no applications were accepted, everyone assumed the series had shut down. Since that time, Online Survivor has struggled to find applicants and notoriety in the ORG community. The fact that the series focuses more on its own quality than the glitz and glamour of the public eye does not help it much, but that is the way all games should be. Although the application rate may rise or fall from year to year, there is a loyal fanbase that always comes back to play another round. Online Survivor will exist as long as Survivor does, and possibly longer than that.

The basics to the game of Online Survivor have already been described. Survive online for 39 days without being voted out. The person who remains at the end of the game wins... nothing (perhaps some bragging rights and a fun experience). On the surface, this is a very simple copy of a real game, but like any great game, there are numerous other rules and game situations to consider. The following lessons will build the online game's structure from the ground up, and eventually delve into the complex strategies that surround the game.

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