[MUD-Dev] Fourteen forms of fun

Sasha Hart Sasha.Hart at directory.reed.edu
Wed Oct 17 21:44:50 New Zealand Daylight Time 2001


> Which forms did the author miss?


  * Relaxation - ex. Taipei, other simple or meditative games. 

  * Provocation & aggression - ex. Teasing, PK

  * Sense of a future in the game - ex. Early play in a promising
    MUD, having a large hoard of gold as insurance

  * Helping or Stewardship - ex. Running a server, answering newbie
    questions, protecting the forest

  * Recognition as/being elder or knowledgeable - ex.

  * Recognizing references

  * Following a narrative arc - ex. soap operas

Yet, recognizing the article as probably quite humble and benign and
uncontroversial in intent, I have to ask whether this kind of
laundry list really has anything in particular on tap.

It may, but I am skeptical: not only do I question whether they are
really talking about "fun," but whether they get at things which are
associated with fun or are incidentally associated with things which
have sometimes or often been fun, and finally, whether we are
discussing what makes things fun or just enumerating things which
are fun.

Ideally "what makes things fun" would be expressible as some kind of
concise formula, perhaps giving surprising and effective results not
previously observed, or allowing quick communication of information
otherwise only available by legion of examples, and in any case
being useful and not entirely redundant, even if it was more
cumbersome and difficult to follow.

 Yet I am inclined to think that "kinds of fun" taken to the
 ultimate extreme is going to boil down to particular classes of
 experiences easily as specific, numerous and apparently ad hoc as
 "playing golf," if not more so. And once we are here, different
 "kinds of fun" are not completely equivalent - not only is a game
 of golf different from a good movie in itself, but I will not
 substitute one for the other....

So what's the good of "laws of fun" if they are only after all going
to be somewhat useless and impossible to apply lists of activities
which someone thought were fun or pleasant?

I suppose to pick over and argue about, serve as grist for the mill
generally.. but nothing so ambitious as showing what fun is.
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