LittleBigPlanet clans are types of persistent video game communities. They are organizations of various sizes, intentions, and goals that all facilitate social interaction between members. These groups engage in one or more of LittleBigPlanet's main tenets: Play, Create, and Share.
Social Basis of LittleBigPlanet Clans
The complexity of LittleBigPlanet clans exists due to the social and creative freedom that the LittleBigPlanet series presents. Players can create text, iconography, costumes, and creations in the game, which allows groups of creators to adopt the same styles and color schemes.
Clans are not supported or endorsed by the game and its developers. They instead are a result of LittleBigPlanet's nature as a social media 'creative engine.'
As an example, a player may decide to create a logo or flag for a potential organization. They and a few friends become the first members of the clan. By publishing recruitment levels, contacting others, and producing other content related to the group, the clan may grow in size and social influence.
LittleBigPlanet clans are not created equal. Aside from size, LittleBigPlanet clans vary in intentions, goals, creative styles, and structure. This can result in dramatically different organizations that may have no knowledge of another category due to their social context.
A clan might be defined under multiple categories, or just one.
Common LittleBigPlanet Clans are groups with defined leadership or government and engage with other clans in sociopolitical interactions. This category alone has a great deal of variance, however most of them carry the same general structure, culture, and social continuity. These groups tend to take part in all aspects of Play, Create, and Share but they may focus on a particular element.
Common LittleBigPlanet Clans may have been the most numerous throughout LittleBigPlanet's history. The H4H Bounty Hunters, Young Planet, Armageddon Empire, Akatsuki, and LittleBigHeroes are all examples of common clans. Alliances of clans also have existed such as the LittleBigPlanet Union, Axis Alliance, and the Remnants Union.
Creative-Centric LittleBigPlanet Clans are groups that focus chiefly on the creative aspect of the game and don't engage in sociopolitical interactions. These groups often do not refer to themselves as clans, opting for the titles teams or studios instead. While some of these groups like the Master Creators Society have interacted with common clans, most of them are very distanced from this category.
These groups are much less numerous than common clans, but their influence on the general public is much more widespread. Some examples of creative-centric clans are Trixel Creative, OddBall Studios, and the Master Creators Society.
Competitive LittleBigPlanet Clans focus primarily on the Play aspect of the game, creating teams to oppose one another in some form of gameplay. These clans tend to form larger groups or leagues where each clan can compete with one another. Some common games that competitive clans have competed in are sword fighting, mech battle, Online Create Battle, and others like x-spam.
Some examples of competitive clans are Slapsters and BattleClanArea5.
Roleplay LittleBigPlanet Clans act out stories and characters with their peers. They generally do not engage socially with other clans that aren't of the same continuity as their own. These encounters can often become blurred with the wars and conflicts of common and competitive clans, as roleplay sometimes becomes indistinguishable from competition and rivalry.
Legacy and Influence
Creative-centric groups like Trixel Creative have created content that has been received extremely positively by the LittleBigPlanet community. Smaller groups like OddBall Studios have also been largely successful in promoting their brands to the point that their content no longer primarily revolves around LittleBigPlanet.
Although less influential, some common clans have attempted to become positive forces in the community. The LittleBigPlanet Union over several periods of time united common clans together to keep them from fighting amongst one another. The Master Creators Society, an observer state of the LBP Union, started a creative mentorship program to help others improve their creative skills.
LittleBigPlanet clans often are a topic of controversy in the LittleBigPlanet community. In 2010, Vector Troop was criticized on the forum LittleBigCentral, and in 2017, the resurgence of the Axis Alliance sparked criticism of clans on Twitter and elsewhere.
Although they effectively meet the definition of 'clan', creative-centric groups like Trixel Creative and OddBall Studios do not refer to themselves as clans. The avoidance of this term may be due to the conflicts and 'wars' engaged in by common LittleBigPlanet clans. Avoiding this term may be a way of distancing a group from this negative aspect of organized play.
LittleBigPlanet clans as a term is derived from the presence of clans in other video games such as Counter Strike.
Colloquialisms & Linguistics
A number of expressions have developed related to LittleBigPlanet clans. For example, the present progressive verb clanning is a word often used to describe the environment of LittleBigPlanet clans in general. Thus, to clan is an acceptable verb infinitive for some who have been involved with these groups.
Also, the word clanner is a colloquial noun that has become popular among these groups that can be pluralized into clanners. This is used to describe people who engage in LittleBigPlanet clans. These terms are primarily used by common clans and aren't as popular outside of this circle.
Another common informal verb infinitive is to war. Polarlab writes in his autobiography, "I had enough of his crap, so I warred him." This is indicative of a great deal of LittleBigPlanet clans focusing on competition with one another in these so-called wars.
- Vector Troop Official Clan Thread (LBP Central) -http://www.lbpcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?22991-Vector-Troop-Official-Clan-thread
- Biography of Polarlab (p. 21)