[MUD-Dev] Another Reality Check [was Re: Black Snow Revisited]

Matt Mihaly the_logos at achaea.com
Tue Apr 9 16:30:24 New Zealand Standard Time 2002


On Sat, 6 Apr 2002 amanda at alfar.com wrote:
> "Dr. Cat" <cat at realtime.net> wrote:
 
> They're not weird, they're just playing out in Everquest the same
> game that other people play out in their careers, or cars, or
> clothes, or any of the innumerable other ways that humans have
> invented to "keep score" and differentiate themselves from each
> other.

Or in the most popular games of all time, which are all competitive:
chess, Go, poker, checkers, bridge, etc. All the most popular games
among the mainstream are competitive.
 
>> I'm in the business of trying to please the mass market audience,
>> and they require something a little better out of their
>> entertainment.
 
> Oh, I dunno.  Pleasing the mass market audience is what gets us
> Monday Night Football and MTV.  The mass market audience, by most
> accounts, would rather watch than play.

Yes, I have to say, Dr. Cat's statement seems a bit off. The
mainstream requires nothing but unimaginative dreck. Turn on the
tv. Go to popular movies. Listen to the most popular music. Crap,
crap, and more crap.
 
>> Here's a potential law for Raph's list, if somebody hasn't
>> already observed this: It is far harder to achieve satisfaction
>> of the majority of your game's audience if the fundamental
>> mechanics of accomplishment are competitive in nature than it is
>> if the game is primarily cooperative and/or social in nature.

> I disagree, for one simple reason: competition is fun, and
> provides the intermittent reinforcement people love so much.  Look
> at sports.

People mainly watch sports though. Watching isn't competitive. What
Dr. Cat misses is that achieving goals isn't half as fun as pursuing
them. In a competitive game, it's true, not everyone can
'win'. However, that's why you don't pit the 1990s Chicago Bulls
against a local high school team. You create leagues and standings,
and make efforts to separate by ability, so that more people get a
feeling of being -able- to win.
 
--

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