OK, there's been much buzz about so-called "sandbox campaigns" in the RPG blogosphere recently. There have been some posts directly focused on the topic, and many others that bring it up while talking about something else. From all this I think there's a need for clarification. Some bloggers think sandbox games are for 'lazy GMs', while others think 'it too time consuming to GM a sandbox game'. Other differences are between sandbox campaigns being 'too pre-planned' vs. 'too open-ended'. Many of these viewpoints seem contradictory. Here's a short list of all the ones I've 'starred' in my Google Reader over the last few months:
Maybe I'm the weirdo... to me a "sandbox" game is one where the world is open to explore - the environment and the character development is the focus, not some super EPIX storyline (although these can be woven into it). Also, sandbox games do not have to be well developed before the start of play - a sandbox can be improvised to suite the player's interests just as well as other game styles.
So, I'll ask the readers here: What is a 'sandbox' campaign to you?
[POST POSTING EDIT: I added the link to xeveninti.blogspot.com after I published this]