[MUD-Dev] not about telling stories

Travis Casey efindel at earthlink.net
Thu Nov 29 16:04:05 New Zealand Daylight Time 2001

Wednesday, November 28, 2001, 1:42:41 PM, Joe Andrieu wrote:
> Jeff Freeman wrote:

>> People don't want games to *tell* stories, they want games to
>> *be* stories.

> (probably quoting Dave Ricky)

> Yes!  But you reach the wrong conclusion.  Interactive stories are
> about BEING the hero in the story.  If you start with a definition
> where this is not the case, you are working with a flawed idea of
> what it means to experience an interactive story.

> Interactive stories allow the player to be the hero-protagonist in
> the story. Joe Bates' classic "live" experiment using his group's
> Drama Manager model showed that in fact you can dynamically create
> compelling interactive experiences for the first person--even when
> the third person perception deems the story lame.  The point is
> that the audience hated the play...  while the player loved it.

For the most part, I agree with Joe's post.  However, I'd like to
point out a couple of things:

First, not everyone wants to be "the hero".  Some people would
actually rather be the villain, the hero's sidekick, the comedy
relief, the hero's wise mentor, or somebody else.

Second, the term "the story" seems a bit strong to me.  A story
includes not just the characters, events, etc., but also the point of
view and the selection of what events are important.  Many stories can
be told about a single set of events, just by varying those things.
Retelling the same story from a different point of view is a common
literary device -- and it's a clue to how stories in muds ought to be
thought of.  Two characters may be participating in the same set of
events, but that doesn't mean that they're in the same story.

Travis Casey
efindel at earthlink.net

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