Shared Imagined Space
|The Big Model|
The term applies to and includes all spoken + understood input concerning the fictional material.
It's whatever is spoken aloud during a role-playing session and heard by the others present, which is then available for use and treated as a touchstone for what anyone may say next. "Imagined" is intended as the participle, not as an adjective, to connote the verbal and communicative qualities of the term. We share this content in order to imagine what is going on.
We all individually imagine (characters in settings, facing situations, having events happen, all very colorful). We communicate about this constantly in the understanding that each of our individual "experiences" are to be consistent with everyone else's. The extent to which we succeed is measured by how satisfying it is to continue the activity for whatever designated period, and that it doesn't break up due to misunderstandings and dissatisfaction.
It is not the totality of whatever a single person imagines, but rather the common and acknowledged information upon which everyone may build their personal imaginings. Some degree of consistency is necessary, but not 100% consistency, and not any implied identical features.
The "shared" necessitates actual communication and contribution among the sharers to create that space. That's why I always try to say Shared Imagined Space rather than "imaginary." By using "imagined," I'm trying to turn it into more of a verb - that people actually have to do it, rather than receive it visually from (say) a screen.
Not to be confused with the term "Shared Imaginary Space" as variously used regarding other media.
Shared Imagined Space (SIS) is a near or total synonym for Exploration and in practice, seems to have replaced it as the primary term.
The term "Transcript" as a summary of the SIS after play didn't catch on. People typically speak of "the fiction" or even just "what happened."
Contrast with The Murk.
From 2004, the Glossary: The fictional content of play as it is established among participants through role-playing interactions.
Moreno Roncucci's historical summary, 2009 Who REALLY coined "Shared Imagined Space"?