The Walmsley Principle

Yesterday I violated Hindmarch’s Law and commented on a Story-Games thread about Sexiness and Games. Apparently it’s a weird topic for some people because, well, fuck if I know. I don’t really care about that debate, because it’s entirely about a preference at the moment and not Bad Wrong Fun either way.[1]

Graham Walmsley posted this bit, which I thought was brilliant. Truly, truly brilliant[2]:

You can’t just give people +1 for fucking and expect it to work.

I will now and forever refer to this as the Walmsley Principle.

You can read his full comment (#6) and the thread for more context, but I don’t think you need to in order to understand that idea. We could talk about what that means regarding encouraging, incentivizing, and reminding people about various behaviors and motivations, and I think we should, but Graham’s comment is enough to remember those things exist. It’s sharp. It’s to the point. It’s like the tip of the iceberg — there’s more underneath, and when you see that tip, you know the whole thing’s there. And if you ignore it, it will fuck your day all manner of up.

Remember the Walmsley Principle. It applies to more than just, as he says, “fucking.”

– Ryan

[1] One of the few things great about S-G is that it’s a place where you can talk about such things without people yelling at you for, god forbid, considering mixing sex and games. At least until around comment 40 or 50, when the thread derails into crap the usual suspects piss about.

[2] And awesome.


3 Responses to The Walmsley Principle

  1. Graham says:

    Oh God.

  2. Brand Robins says:

    The Problem with the Walmsley Principle is that Graham has never gotten +1 for fucking in his whole life.

    • Ryan Macklin says:


      Yeah. I mean, ideally I would have asked him to playtest it. But I’m doing plenty of my own playtesting, so it’s all good.

      – Ryan