[MUD-Dev] RE:

Marian Griffith gryphon at iaehv.nl
Sat Nov 17 13:44:41 New Zealand Daylight Time 2001

On Fri 16 Nov, Brian McGroarty wrote:
> On Wed, Nov 14, 2001 at 12:13:56PM +0100, Hans-Henrik Staerfeldt
> wrote:                                                       

>> Even if you adapt that idea then i would re-ask Raph's question
>> in your wording; "Why is it that the average cartoon lets you
>> project your own values and morals onto it better?"

> The average cartoon has a storyteller with the focus where he or
> she places it, and a singular agenda.  Multiplayer games have
> multiple people with multiple agendas, and most players' focus is
> set upon their own self.

> Cartoons are scripted, edited for days, and drawn or rendered over
> the course of months, then edited a bit more.

I do not agree that this is the significant difference between
movies (be they books, motion picture or cartoon) and games. I
rather belief it is the fact that in movies you are passive as
opposed to being the subject of the game.  You empathise in a
fundamentally different way between the two characters.  This is
also why I feel that movies are a poor analogy for game (as does
e.g. John Buehler), and why you can not develop games along the
same lines as you would tell a story.

> Game choices are real-time, distributed among individuals, and are
> usually very short-sighted. In a game, there's nobody making sure
> you were there to see the motivation for every choice made, so the
> values and morals behind the decision can be rather confused for
> other players.

Actually, there *is* no moral or value behind the decision.  Goals
are short sighted because the game is.  So it is hard to imagine why
players would behave in any other way than to maximise their
gains. The game is no community, no society (which is not the saying
that the players can not be!)  and it would be unreasonable to
expect from the players to behave as if it were.

> Cartoons usually have a primary character or set of characters,
> and a supporting cast designed to make their environment
> interesting.  In games, everyone tends to gravitate between freak
> or hero with no in-between.

Again that seems to be, in my opinion at least, missing the
point. Many chartoons have characters every bit as shallow as you
imply game characters are.  The difference is that cartoon
characters are put in positions where their stereotypical res-
ponses show something to the viewer about people.  Generally nothing
as thickly applied as a mores (though some cartoons do just that),
but they are exaggerations of human traits made manifest.
Unfortunately that will not do for games, where the player *is* the
cartoon character, and their responses are not scripted (anymore
than we can achieve through conditioning).

Yes - at last - You. I Choose you. Out of all the world,
out of all the seeking, I have found you, young sister of
my heart! You are mine and I am yours - and never again
will there be loneliness ...

Rolan Choosing Talia,
Arrows of the Queen, by Mercedes Lackey

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