extrapenguin: Photo of horse's head (Default)
...henceforth known as "RWC". (From Relationship-Worldbuilding-Character. Pronounced "rook".)


A worldbuilder in mostly pairing-driven fandom, in late 2015 I saw the hate Yuletide's character matching system got from shippers. Then, I didn't think much of it, but the suggestion that Worldbuilding (Fandom) be a matchable tag seemed eminently reasonable. In early 2016, I participated in Chocolate Box, and got the impression that relationship-matching exchanges were even more unfriendly to worldbuilding as a format.

I also modded Space Swap, and kept the character-based matching of the prior mods. One participant asked about swapping over to relationship-based matching. We refused, but I wondered about the possibility of making everyone (shippers, wordbuilders, character fans) happy. Concurrently, I saw that EveryWoman included both single characters and groups of characters on which matching could occur, and thus an idea was born.

The System

OR matching (that is, people match on one of the tags they requested, rather than all), but with character, relationship, and worldbuilding tags!

For ease of grouping, I mandated that people prefix Character tags with Character: , Relationship tags with Relationship: (and make sure to distinguish between / and & relationships), and Worldbuilding tags with Worldbuilding: . I feel this made finding the tag one was looking for easier, since people like to think in categories first rather than dig through an alphabetical list of everything ever. (Having the various tags in different fields would be impossible due to matching reasons.)


The AO3 nomination page's text cannot be edited, so any participants following those instructions end up being wrong wrong wrongity wrong. Also, people on average are idiots, so unless AO3 suddenly lets mods alter the text on the nomination form, there will be lots of people who'll be VERY CONFUSED and nominate canonicals, rather than what they actually wanted to nominate. Mods, prepare to have to hold a lot of hands.

From hereon out

I'll ask the Space Swap community about RWC. I think it should generalize nicely to multifandom exchanges, and OR matching with lots of things to request should ease matchability, too, since participants can request everything they want, rather than have to leave out characters/worldbuilding (in a typical relationship-matchin exchange) or have to request both members of their OTP but nothing else (in a typical character-matching exchange).

A nonnie on FFA was inspired by CC and hopes to host a worldbuilding exchange sometime next year. (Nonnie: ilu.) Now, given that RWC lets tagsets swell to huge magnitudes, I don't see Yuletide hopping on the bandwagon ASAP, but I do think that a lot of smaller exchages might want to think about it. Hit me up if you have questions about technical aspects!

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