[MUD-Dev] Social Dimensions of Habitat's Citizenry

Jeff Kesselman jeffk at tenetwork.com
Sat May 31 10:07:37 New Zealand Standard Time 1997

Thanks JC, an interestign read... may OI point out however someways i
nwhich habitiat was unlike the kidsn of environemnts I thin kwe are
discussing/ Certainly at least the mode in whicvhI am working.

Habitat was designed as an "envrionemnt" not a "game".  It was not rpomoted
as game nor was it rpesented in a setting alogn with more traditional
games. Thus the adopters were probably less "game oriented" then many who
come into at least my arena.  You have self-selected already agaisn tvery
competitive personailities, and the destructive personalities are part of
that demographic by and alrge.

I note they ahd so few destructvie eprsonailities that Randy Farmer didn't
even deign to create a catagory for them.

Also, in the baitat days, the modem using public was a very small, select
group.  They were pretty serious computer nerds.  As we have sen on USENET
a homogenous population leads to fewer problems because mroe of the
underlying assumptiosn are the same across your population.  Doesnt hurt
any that most wer likely highly educated too.  Fianlly thsi is in general
NOT a very competitive group.  If habitat had been designed for and made
available to high school football players, i suspect different dynamics
woudl have arisen.

In general I find habitat an interestign experiment, but certainly not any
mroe or less valubale then all the other experience avilable at this point.
Frankly, when it comes specificly to OLRPGS I believe I've found the
experience of pen and paper gaming, and the social dynamics thereof, to be
probably both the most developed and understood and the msot sueful.
granted there are some differences due toi the nature of the play
envrironment (numebr fo players, control over the environment, etc) but
ingeneral so far m yexperience has suggested that these are reasonable
extrapolations from what alrady exists.

A side ntoe is that implicit in teh habitat paper is that Randy has defind
HIS game-- its a game of moving up levels of authority in the system.
personally i find this a much too subjectively judged game to play well to
a large gaming audience, but thats in part my opinion.


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