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

Matt Mihaly the_logos at achaea.com
Wed Oct 10 08:11:30 New Zealand Daylight Time 2001


On Thu, 4 Oct 2001, Ola Fosheim [iso-8859-1] Gr=F8stad wrote:
> John Hopson wrote:

> No, that's not my main gripe.  The main point is that now we'll
> have upcoming self-taught game designers (with no knowledge of the
> various directions in the field of psychology)

Um, how many game designers do you know that aren't self-taught? The
first university courses in game design are only really being
formulated now. All the current ones are soft on humanities, heavy
on programming.


> who actually think that designing a MUD basically can be reduced
> to RAT stuff.  I absolutely do not want game designers to think
> about their players as rodents, not for a second (ok I'll make an
> exception for furries). My complaint is as much about the context
> and form as it is content.  Giving designers the idea that they
> can think about their players as rats should be illegal! ;-)

Why are you so offended by that idea? It's only a bad thing if you
think there's something wrong with being a rat.


>> Every single one of the principles described in the article has
>> been demonstrated in humans.
 
> I am not saying they necessarily do not show up in humans, though
> I am not a big fan of laboratory experiments and any assumption
> that goes with that.  I am saying that external rewards is not a
> good prime focus if you want to make people happy, on their own
> terms.

Fair enough, but I think that any practical discussion on the matter
needs to keep at the forefront of your mind that most of the MUDs
that people play are there to make money, and thus making money is
the goal, not making people happy. In fact, I'd argue that in almost
every MUD I've played, whether free or not, the happiness of the
players was a secondary concern to money and size of active
playerbase.

>>> 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.
 
> That is respect as in research, not as in design and ethics.

Everything is research.

--matt

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