[MUD-Dev] Information sharing (was: Re: Where are we now?)

John Buehler johnbue at msn.com
Thu May 10 11:10:02 New Zealand Standard Time 2001

Dave Rickey writes:

> Where do i think this reasoning can lead?  Well, at one level
> there's the cold-blooded business reality of it: *If* the suicide
> parallel is valid, and *if* the sociologic truism that suicide is
> the product of social disengagement is valid, then making stronger
> social fabrics in these games means higher retention.

With a correspondingly higher impact when a player finds themselves
disengaged through conventional social processes.  For example, doing
something that their game friends do not like, or finding that their
friends are doing something that they don't like, fundamental
disagreements over goals, etc.  I wonder how the transient social
space of a game world will work with a strong communal sense.

For what it's worth, I believe that the suicide parallel is perfectly

> !It's easy to convince someone these days that every bit of gameplay
> should be evaluated for psychological and aesthetic effect (not
> right or wrong of that impact, but whether it creates the desired
> effect).  I'd extend the logic one step farther: In a MUD-type game,
> being a "sociological space", every bit of gameplay should be
> evaluated for it's sociological effect.

I'm actually assuming that sociological studies will be dramatically
advanced by virtual communities such as are provided by MUDs.  The
permutations of social structures will be vastly greater than we can
afford to implement in reality.  As I say, I wonder how the transient
nature of these communities will skew things.


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