[MUD-Dev] Re: MUD-Dev digest, Vol 1 #163 - 25 msgs

John Buehler johnbue at email.msn.com
Mon Jul 17 14:38:22 New Zealand Standard Time 2000

Greg Miller
Sent: Monday, July 17, 2000 5:57 AM

>  Dave Rickey wrote:
>>      The point of all of this is that I'm not asking "What do Socializers
>> *do* in these games?", I'm asking "How do Socializers *play* these
>> In-game message-boards, player-to-player mail, yes, these are tools for
>> Socializer, but they all amount to saying "Socializers chat a lot, so how
>> can we give them more ways to chat?"  The real question should be "How do
>> give them something meaningful to chat *about*, give other players
>> to chat *with* them, and reward the Socializers in the game context?"
>Absolutely. This is one thing I like a lot about handing mud government
>over to the players. Politics gives people a chance to do something of
>significance to the game world that focuses around socialization.

This has been a topic that I have been something of a disbeliever in for
some time, especially if casual gamers are to ever become mainstream.  I
take it as axiomatic that one player cannot rely on another player for any
significant element of entertainment.  This is what gamemasters are for:
to entertain the players.  In a massive player setting, the computer works
as an assistant to the gamemaster, but the result is the same.

I KNOW that a game can be constructed in which players occupy political
seats and control gameplay.  The question is, will there be lots of players
who are interested in being governed?  My concerns stem from the quality of
service provided by players to other players.  If I need a judge and the
guy who plays Chief Justice is at work and unavailable to sit his chair,
what happens?  Do we fall back on automatic behaviors at that time?  Do
we somehow avoid having single points of failure in the social makeup?

Services like trades are usually 24x7 when handled by players because it
is a competitive atmosphere.  And there can be many players providing the
same service.  But in a government there are a variety of unique positions
that, if vacated, cause problems.  I'd be interested to hear how you see
this working.  Because I don't.

One last observation is that I think that almost any experience is
sufficient for the socializers.  Socializers can go to a ballpark and watch
other people doing things and socialize just fine.  Or just watch that same
game on television.  If there is sufficient depth of experience to a task,
socializers will be able to comment on it and discuss it.  Certainly the
goings-on in town can be like a soap opera - and be entirely run by the
gamemasters and the computer at the highest levels.  If we want to have
interchangeable civil servants run by players, that's fine.  They don't
constitute a single point of failure that way.

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