[MUD-Dev] "The gaming situation" by Markku Eskelinen

Travis Casey efindel at earthlink.net
Mon Aug 6 12:57:00 New Zealand Standard Time 2001


Friday, August 03, 2001, 9:12:02 AM, Jussi 'Sulka' Haro wrote:

> Below follows a quote from article "The gaming situation" by
> Markku Eskelinen, from the the aforementioned Game Studies mag.

> I'm dumbfounded by Mr Eskelinen's statements, to the point I don't
> know what to think really. Good thing he's saying MUD's are
> possibly different, although I'm not at all sure he includes
> anything with graphics in his definition of a MUD.

> Bad part is I'm apparently supposed to talk about "virtual world"
> projects with him in television in a week. <shudder> I guess he'd
> accept our (Sulake Labs) current projects as possibly having
> storytelling aspects as they're not really games.

What seems to me to be missing from Mr. Eskelinen's analysis is a
sense of the purpose of RPGs... or rather, I should say, one view on
the purpose of RPGs.

The narrativist viewpoint is that the purpose of an RPG is to
generate stories.  The participants are both storytellers *and*
audience, working with the materials given to them by the
game/scenario designer, and possibly with a gamemaster.  Under such
a view, the game is not a narrative, but it has the goal of
generating a narrative -- which means that techniques and objects of
narratives may be useful/relevant.

To use an analogy, a programming language designed for manipulating
text is not a word processor, but the techniques and objects of a
word processor may well be relevant to its design.

--
Travis Casey
efindel at earthlink.net

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