[MUD-Dev] RE: Storied Games

Matt Mihaly the_logos at achaea.com
Mon Dec 3 18:48:42 New Zealand Daylight Time 2001

On 2 Dec 2001, Miroslav Silovic wrote:
> Matt Mihaly <the_logos at achaea.com> writes:
>> Hell, even the endless horrible fantasy/sci-fi "literature" that
>> many MUD players gorge themselves on (and it IS
>> horrible. Whenever someone mentions Robert Jordan, I want to
>> throw up.) could not be produced by 99.9% of people.
> Robert Jordan? Boy, I see you haven't read any TSR-published
> novels.  On a second thought, neither have I... as far as I'm
> willing to admit in public.

Chuckle. Actually, I have, in the past, read quite a few of
them. They are indeed pretty bad. I read the "Elminster" series, or
tried to at least, after some players recommended it. It was so bad
I gave up. I just like mocking Robert Jordan I suppose.
> On the other hand, certain things don't matter so much in
> MUDs. For instance, players are likely to forgive inferior
> literary style, for the reasons you explained yourself below:
> since they participate as not only the consumers, but also the
> actors in a story, you can make them tell stories to each other.

Well, my post was in the context of admin-led or influenced
stories. Quality writing isn't just the words you use. It's not like
bad writers are great storytellers who are semi-illiterate. Some of
them are I'm sure, but most bad writers are also bad storytellers.

Storytelling strikes me was one of those things that all gamers are
convinced they are good at. Much like everyone thinks he or she is a
good driver.
> In other words, I don't think Tolkien would necesarily be a great
> MUD admin, even if the room descs on his MUD would rule. The
> relevant skill for telling stories, IMHO, is social engineering;
> the rest can be picked on the way.

I'm sure Tolkien would not be a good MUD admin, but that's not
really the point. I bet Tolkien could write an excellent backstory
for a MUD, and could then compose excellent storylines to spark
player activity. Whether he could manage the resulting activity is
an entirely different story, agreed.


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