[MUD-Dev] Something in the water

Joe Andrieu jandrieu at caltech.edu
Thu Jul 26 17:03:43 New Zealand Standard Time 2001


J C Lawrence wrote:

> Precisely.  That's the core of the internal and external
> definitional difference.  The core of my argument is that the
> system _AND_ other players perforce occupy an external viewpoint
> and therefore can only apply the external definition of RP.  Ergo,
> the internal definition of RP is not on distracting, its
> inapplicable to attempts to design or implement a system of RP
> quantification based on anything other than self-evaluation.

I couldn't disagree more. To say the internal definition is
distracting is ridiculous.

Simply knowing that RP is in the player's head can help you
considerably.

There's a lot of confusion IMO because game designers and
programmers generally consider the objective simulation to be the
actual thing that matters.  It may be the only directly measurable
thing, but it is certainly NOT what matters.  What matters is that
happens in the mind of your players.

As to whether or not you can automatically identify RP, I agree, you
cannot. But if you design your system well you can create it.  Can
any artist really know what the effect of their art is on their
audience? No.  But real artists (*ahem* just like the real art they
make--tongue firmly in cheek) strive to reach through the medium
into the mind/heart/life of their audience.  Sure, you could measure
how long people stop and stare at a painting. You could even track
their eyes to see which parts of it the spent most of their time on
and what kinds of sounds or movements they make before during and
after viewing the painting. Even how many of them go out and buy a
replica.  But you can't turn that data into a conclusive
understanding of the impact of that painting on the individuals who
see it.

So maybe I'm agreeing with your conclusion--you can't measure RP#1.
But that's really the only RP that matters.  The rest can all be
gamed.

-j

--
Joe Andrieu
jandrieu at caltech.edu
+1 (626) 395-8045

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