[MUD-Dev] Roleplaying in Muds

J C Lawrence claw at kanga.nu
Sun Jul 23 20:57:35 New Zealand Standard Time 2000


On Sun, 23 Jul 2000 12:46:13 -0400 
Travis Casey <efindel at earthlink.net> wrote:

> Something to be aware of is the split between "game reality" and
> "game system".  For example, in some single-player games,
> long-distance travel is glossed over -- it happens "off screen".
> However, the *characters* shouldn't be aware of this -- it's part
> of the game system, not part of the game reality.  Thus, someone
> playing in character might complain about how long a journey took,
> even though to the player it only took a fraction of a second.

<<Should have written this on the first reply but forgot>>

Yup I coined a term for this that Raph ended up champioining:
"functional roleplaying".  This describes a player who makes
decisions regarding their character to best take advantage of the
game using the game systems.  They act exactly as if the game world
were real, but not necessarily as if there were any distinction
between themselves and their character, or the real world and the
game world.  

Much like your distinction of RP as a quality of the personal view
of the player of his actions, this is a difficult term to define in
absolutes.  The intent however is to describe those players who play
the game itself, who treat the game world as real because it is to
their advantage.  If they build a clan or guild, or dominate a trade
route thru politiking, then that is to their advantage as a player
-- and yet they accomplish this within the game by behaving exactly
as a politician, merchant, etc, but for purely GoP goals and
reasons.

This where the RP distinction gets scary and I think why I have so
much trouble with it from a game design perspective.  The RP
definition attempts to cover both the internal view of one's own
actions and the internal intent for one's own actions AND the
exteriour perceived aspect of those actions and the deduced (or what
is understood from statements) of the intent behind those actions,
and depending on who you talk to/play with, one or the other side of
that pair are primary (either personal qualities is key, or
perceived qualities are primary).  Further, the divide between say
consensual RP and non-consensual RP appears to rest exactly on the
point of which of those sides is primary.  Consensual RP appears to
state the the internal values are most valued and that therefore the
game is consesual to acknowledge and respect those qualities, and
non-consensual RP appears to assume that the external perception is
primary so that the "created reality" is self-consistent as per the
perceived characters in it.

<<I love it, in essence I'm trying to reduce RP, an almost purely
human organic behaviour, to mechanist principles.  Sheesh!>>

--
J C Lawrence                                 Home: claw at kanga.nu
---------(*)                               Other: coder at kanga.nu
http://www.kanga.nu/~claw/        Keys etc: finger claw at kanga.nu
--=| A man is as sane as he is dangerous to his environment |=--


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