RE: [MUD-Dev] Re: [MUD-Dev] RE: [MUD-Dev] Fantasy clichés (was: Acting casual about casualgamers)

Zak Jarvis zak at
Sun Jul 9 02:00:54 New Zealand Standard Time 2000

> From: Travis Nixon [tnixon at]
> Sent: Saturday, July 08, 2000 6:33 PM
> >From: Raph Koster <rkoster at>
> >Date: Saturday, July 08, 2000 6:17 PM
> >Just as a counterpoint--I've seen the argument advanced that
> >one reason why Asheron's Call isn't doing as well as the
> >other MMORPGs is that its fantastical elements are too
> >unfamiliar. To people other than the hardcore players, AD&D
> >fantasy is as fantastical as they are really able to stomach.
> >(It took a stage production of THE HOBBIT for my dad to be
> >able to stmoach any sort of fantasy whatsoever. When I asked
> >him why, I was told, "because the names and creatures are
> >just too weird.")
> I think this actually frightens me more than anything else.  The
> fact that we may be locked into "traditional" fantasy simply
> because the players don't want anything that deviates by more
> than a little. :(

Agreed.  This is an area that bugs me too. I'm not completely certain that
this is a law of nature -- I mean, Star Wars became a hugely successful
franchise and it wasn't working within well established conventions. Myst
is one of the best selling games of all time, is solidly fantasy based, and
has not a single elf, dwarf or halfling in it. Both have a plethora of
invented terms and names.

Clearly it's POSSIBLE to escape convention, and to do so in an extremely
populist way. I'm curious what factors let people get away with it. I've
got my theories, but I'll withhold them for now. I'd like to see what other
people think.

-Zak Jarvis

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