[MUD-Dev] Psychology and game design (Was Geometric content generation)

rayzam rayzam at home.com
Fri Oct 5 01:10:39 New Zealand Daylight Time 2001

----- Original Message -----
From: "John Hopson" <jwh9 at acpub.duke.edu>
>>At 11:11 AM 10/2/2001, Ola Fosheim Grøstad wrote:

>> Who says games in general deserves respect?  I don't!

> I do.  Games in general deserve our respect because all games tell
> us something about human nature.  Each game offers a tiny window
> into what makes us tick, as a species and as individuals.

Games are what we do when we play. Play is important. It's
interesting to note that mammals play, but most reptiles,
amphibians, fish, etc, do not.  Most mammals that play, only do so
through adolescence. These play behaviors are often rehearsals for
later actions in adulthood like mating rituals, used for social
status hierarchy, practice for hunting or avoidance of predators,
and more. Without play, most animals would not be able to function
as members of their (species') society. Play is important.

Because play is important, games do deserve our respect. Even more
than you might think. Which species play in adulthood? That list is
much shorter.  It includes those which we consider to be of 'higher
intelligence': dolphins, chimpanzees, gorillas, humans, dogs, cats,
etc. This implies a correlation between intelligence and continued
play throughout life.

Game designers are directing the evolution of our species :) Well,
if they continue making games of specific genres for tens of
thousands of years. We could become very adept at FPS games! :)

This whole Play behavior/perspective is something I've wanted to
write an essay on, when I have some time, and if there's any
interest in it.


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