[MUD-Dev] Boys and Girls - was (Re: MUD-Dev digest, Vol 1 #163 - 25 msgs)

Caliban Tiresias Darklock caliban at darklock.com
Tue Dec 25 07:34:13 New Zealand Daylight Time 2001

From: "Jon A. Lambert" <jlsysinc at ix.netcom.com>

> I think there's something about the games themselves, particularly
> the Sims and Roller Coaster Tycoon that females enjoy.

I think it's rather obvious what it *is* about the game that females
enjoy, myself, but being male I may be missing the point and just
latching onto something irrelevant.

Boys like to win. Girls like to play.

In both The Sims and RCT, the point of the game is to play. The win
condition is a secondary concern in RCT -- the scenario continues
whether you meet your objective or not -- and The Sims doesn't have
a win condition at all.

Obviously, it's not enough to have a perpetual game, since there are
any number of such games which have had only limited success in this
arena.  Another important factor is that the games center around
building something which meets several distinct criteria:

  1. The construction is distinctly individual, and most completed
  projects do *not* look more or less alike, nor is there a
  "best-possible" design or set of designs.

  2. The purpose of the construction is to please or satisfy, as
  opposed to having some production-related or destructive focus.

  3. Once the construction is done, nobody is going to come along
  and destroy it.

Most games fail miserably in all three respects, and I can
personally assure you that it's not just women who like them -- The
Sims and RCT are probably the most-played games I own, for exactly
the reasons I've given. People like to build things, if they can
build *cool* things and show them off. It's that simple.

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