[MUD-Dev] Geometric content generation

John Hopson jhopson at nc.rr.com
Mon Oct 1 23:56:14 New Zealand Daylight Time 2001

At 12:13 AM 10/1/2001, Koster, Raph wrote:
>> From: Ola Fosheim Gr=F8stad

>> Which illustrates that status quo is more about designing
>> primitive impulse-response style traps than designing complex
>> worlds fulfilling uncovered needs of semi-intelligent human
>> beings, i.e. giving them more rather than a replacement, as in
>> empowering rather than entrapment. ;)

> Well, if you believe the behavioral psych people, there is no
> difference, right? :)

Exactly.  Stimulus, response.  Orc, fireball.  :)

Hmmm.  As the resident behavioral psych person, let me pipe up and
see if I can better express the role of psychology in game design.
Knowing some of the most basic principles by which the mind works
and using those principles to design better games is not entrapment.
It is mental ergonomics, designing a game to work with the players
rather than imposing decisions on them at the designer's whim.  A
chair could be designed which was an artistic marvel but was so
uncomfortable that no one would use it.  Likewise, using the finest
materials doesn't guarantee that the outcome will be something
people want to sit on.  It is not manipulation or entrapment to
shape a chair to be comfortable, it's the chair designer's job.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that setting up an effective
schedule of reinforcement is all there is to a game, any more than
grammar is all there is to Shakespeare.  But it is an essential
component of the medium, and one that deserves respect and

John Hopson

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