The Society Game
It involves walking around and talking to people, but it's not quite LARP; it involves detailed plotting of your out-of-session actions, but it's not quite play-by-email; it occasionally involves comparing stats, but it's definitely not a tabletop. The Society Game is an OURPGSoc tradition that encourages players to turn up every week during term time and have fun interacting with each other (and, usually, plotting deviously behind each other's backs).
The Society Game changes from year to year, and currently consists of a two-term game from Michaelmas to Hilary, and a one-term game during Trinity term. Other configurations are possible, although no-one's tried a three-term game yet. (Possibly no-one has been drunk enough to volunteer.) The setting can be anything from high fantasy to low fantasy, steampunk to urban myth, science fiction to historical alternate universe. The game consists of a combination of 'uptime' and 'downtime' - every week your character attends a gathering in which you roleplay them by talking to, and plotting with, other characters, pursuing GM-led story, and making arrangements for downtime. The intervening week between sessions can last as long or as short a time as fits the game - sometimes it represents a year, sometimes a month, and sometimes only one night. Every week you will have the opportunity to submit a turnsheet through the Society Game website, detailing the actions your character takes in downtime. Each game has its own rules and format for this, which will be explained on the website.
A two-term game usually gives you 14 sessions of live roleplay, 13 turnsheets, and one 'eternity' (the chance to tell the GMs what your character gets up to after the game). A one-term game comes out at 7 sessions and 6 turnsheets (+ eternity). Therefore the one-term games tend more towards fast-paced (and sometimes experimental) whereas the two-term games may involve more gradual plot development and longer-term strategy.
UMBA is slightly different in that it will last for two terms, but there will only be 8 roleplaying sessions, taking place every other week, location and dates available here. In the intervening weeks, there will be a variety of freeform roleplaying as well as non-roleplaying events (details TBC)
The best way to get a feel for the play style is to come along and have a go. The first session of Michaelmas term (Tuesday of 1st Week) is always an introduction/character generation/general wibble where you can come along and talk to the GMs about the game.
You can also have a look at the websites for previous society games (mostly hosted by the mighty ChaosDeathFish.com) to get a taste for the differences in style, setting and rules.
In both MT15/HT16, and TT17 two separate society games were run at the same time! Will it ever happen again? Only time will tell...
Society Games Past
Firmament - Trinity 2018
Aftermath - Michaelmas 2017/Hilary 2018
Tempest - Trinity 2017
Redemption - Trinity 2017
Omen - Michaelmas 2016/Hilary 2017
Princess - Trinity 2016
Reunion - Michaelmas 2015/Hilary 2016
Misrule - Michaelmas 2015/Hilary 2016
CRISIS! - Trinity 2015
Paradiso - Michaelmas 2014/Hilary 2015
Maleficarum - Trinity 2014
Ragnarok - Michaelmas 2013/Hilary 2014
Chrysanthemum - Trinity 2013
Generation - Michaelmas 2012/Hilary 2013
Corporation - Trinity 2012
End of the Line - Michaelmas 2011/Hilary 2012
Education - Trinity 2011
Djemity - Michaelmas 2010/Hilary 2011
Disjunction - Trinity 2010
Classified - Michaelmas 2009/Hilary 2010
Crusade - Trinity 2009
Previously, two games set in the same world would run back to back, a one-term game and then a two-term game:
The Broken World - 2008-2009
Albion - 2007-2008
Legacy - 2006-2007
Horizon - 2005-2006
Conspiracy - 2004-2005
Victoriana - 2003-2004
Shalazar - 2002-2003
Colony - 2001-2002
Vendetta - 2000-2001
INC - 1999-2000
Imagister - 1998-1999
ICON - 1997-1998
Inferno - 1996-1997
Pantheon - 1995-1996
Thieves' Guild - 1994-1995
PsiGen - 1993-1994
Grand Conclave - 1993