[MUD-Dev] Life

Jamie Norrish jamie at sans.vuw.ac.nz
Wed Jun 4 11:03:39 New Zealand Standard Time 1997

Adam Wiggins writes:
> [Jamie L:]

> > That is, a player may be willing to have their character die, but
> > in an appropriate fashion at a time more of their choosing. Or any
> > number of other options.
> Well, I guess this goes back to the kind of game you want. What I
> like about muds is that they are complete worlds, worlds that carry
> on whether I'm there or not - worlds which I may or may not be able
> to exert control over. Things happen in them which are not ideal for
> my character, including death.

Actually, I don't think we're disagreeing here. I also believe that
it's the interaction between the characters and the world that make
the game, and that of course surprises will and must happen. I was
reacting specifically to the example, hence the "more of their
choosing" above - not complete control, necessarily, but enough to
feel that one is being swept away in a tide, as you nicely put it.

So, it's not a question of immortality, but about more appropriate
play - a few limits to what goes on. The problem isn't a character
dying, per se, but dying in a way that *destroys* much of what the
player has invested in the character. I do mean destroys here; it is
quite possible for a character to die in a way that makes sense to the
player, and that isn't a destruction.

> My original point was that people get very upset over something good
> being finished, instead of being glad for the experience while it
> lasted and then moving on to something new. I guess the live-forever
> characters found on a lot of muds are the equivilent of those series
> of books which go on seemingly forever, with the character basically
> just doing more of the same in each one

Hmm, this is getting rather off-topic, but I agree with what you're
saying. I don't think there's any difference between me crying and you
lamenting, and seeing the good in the past and letting it go and
moving on is, in my view, the only really healthy approach to life,
not just MUDs. But on a MUD there is the chance to avoid having to
confront so much of the feeling of senseless waste that one comes
across so often in life. *That* is my point, about which I think we
possibly both agree.


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