[MUD-Dev] Re: (fwd) Re: POLL: Games ruined by bad players (Player killers, tank rushers etc)

Marian Griffith gryphon at iaehv.nl
Mon May 4 21:32:17 New Zealand Standard Time 1998

On Mon 04 May, Koster, Raph wrote:
> On Saturday, May 02, 1998 12:04 PM cg at ami-cg.GraySage.Edmonton.AB.CA 
> [SMTP:cg at ami-cg.GraySage.Edmonton.AB.CA] said:

> >[JC Lawrence:]

> I brought up on Ola's now inactive graphical mud design list the work 
> of Bruno Bettelheim as it applies to what we on this list term GoP 
> players. Bettelheim in his studies of child psychology differentiated 
> between "play" and "game." Play as he defined it, was not competitive, 
> and game was. And I argued (somewhat unsuccessfully) that virtual 
> environments will stay what we term "games" in the industry because 
> they have to satisfy the desire to be either a "play space" or a "game 
> space"--or else there is effectively nothing to do there. Play is 
> communicative, more than anything. It is about information. It is 
> socializers, roleplayers, and explorers, in-game merchants, 
> storytellers, etc. Game is about power and standing

I think I like this distinction. It clarifies much better what I feel
are the differences between the archetypical mush and the achetypical
mud.  Now of course I'll have to use this full explanation every time
I come up with 'play oriented' or 'game oriented' games. Oh well such
is life on a technique oriented mailing list ;)

> (not unsurprisingly, Bettelheim said that there were clear biases towards 
> "play" or "game" in small children depending on gender).

Now why am I not surprised by this.

> Most muds, even those oriented towards play spaces, haven't tended to 
> give a very wide scope for play. The most complete play spaces, such 
> as MUSHes, have such a high barrier of entry for true "play" ("let's 
> make TinyTim's clock!" "Sure! Let me just pull up my custom softcode 
> editor with integrated debugger!") that they are self-limiting...

Actually I have to disagree with this.  PernMush (being the mush I am
most familiar with) and other similarly themed mushes actually have a
very low entry level. And what barrier there isn't a thing to do with
code and everything with getting to know people.  I have become  very
good at volunteering other people to help me with the little coding I
needed, but then I am famous for being unable even to program the VCR
so perhaps I am excused from any coding chores by my friends ;)
The big roleplay oriented muds  have the same kind of players  as the
big muds so I guess the appeal for them is about the same, it is just
a matter of  finding a different audience.  And here you may run into
the gender bias that you mentioned at the beginning of your post.  If
I am excused to be overly generalistic. The young males generally en-
joy the competitive game oriented games  over the play oriented ones.
And the women who would prefer the play oriented games  are not found
in as great numbers on the internet looking for games. Perhaps if you
broaden your definition of 'game' to include talkers  you arrive at a
significantly different distribution between the two types of game.

Yes - at last - You. I Choose you. Out of all the world,
out of all the seeking, I have found you, young sister of
my heart! You are mine and I am yours - and never again
will there be loneliness ...

Rolan Choosing Talia,
Arrows of the Queen, by Mercedes Lackey

MUD-Dev: Advancing an unrealised future.

More information about the MUD-Dev mailing list