[MUD-Dev] Community feeling (was: To good to be TRUE, in an M MPORPG?)

J C Lawrence claw at 2wire.com
Mon Jul 30 17:31:57 New Zealand Standard Time 2001


On Sun, 29 Jul 2001 21:43:22 -0700 
Raph Koster <Koster> wrote:
>> From: Alex Kay

> A long time ago on this thread, there was an observation (perhaps
> by JCL?)  about how the fact that UO was overcrowded was what led
> to many of its key community-building effects. I believe the term
> used was "hothouse." 

Yup, that was one of my assertions, tho I semi-recall using
different/less polite language.  A search for "hothouse" gets three
hits, all in Meta.  I'm having some difficulty recalling what terms
I did use (my personal archives are at home, I'm at work).

Pile enough people atop each other and the people themselves become
not only the most readily available resource, but the most valuable
(as they are the most reactive and facile).  The players will, by
sheer necessity and simple positive feedback loops, build systems
based on the manipulation and organisation of other players and will
then attempt to enforce those systems on each other in classical
Darwinian fashion.  This latter stage of group building can be
viewed in a bunch of ways from simple tribalism on up (or down
depending on your view), but the essence of creating a social
structure which has a survival capacity distinct from that of its
individual members is constant.

cf Animal Farm, Lord of the Flies, coffee klatches, seating
arrangements on commuter buses, school cafeteria positioning wars,
king-of-the-castle games in play yards, etc.

> Also related is the whole socialization and convenience thread
> from not very long ago. If you add more and more lubricant to
> ensure that a player gets a good experience without needing to rub
> up against anyone else, compete for resources, interact for things
> that they lack, then you are increasing convenience and removing
> reasons and opportunities for socialization.
 
If it is easy to play a single player game (successfully), then why
place yourself at risk with those annoying other players?  Easier to
do it yourself, and (generally) far lower risk.

The players will not only find the quickest route to the cheese,
they will also find the lowest effort route to the cheese.  

cf Bots and macros.

--
J C Lawrence                                    )\._.,--....,'``.	    
---------(*)                                   /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
claw at kanga.nu                                 `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'
http://www.kanga.nu/~claw/                     Oh Freddled Gruntbuggly
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