[MUD-dev] Fun in Games

Oreo Cookie oriumpor at rknrobin.com
Thu Apr 11 16:22:57 New Zealand Standard Time 2002


At the risk of choosing the "losing" side of this debate, I will
attempt to bring my limited knowledge to bear on the subject.

As a long time player, before I became disenchanted by being a
demented god, I found much of the core elements of what makes
written media enjoyable was, and normally still is, lacking.

Although an overall plot may be in existence, most programmers are
not story tellers and even those of us who did season ourselves in
the literary arts, are a bit baffled at times with the sheer volume
of original writing required to pull an overall theme together.
Also, when a "game" is put together the player assumes that there is
a begining and an end.  And for many "games" there truly is, but
there is not enough dynamic content to allow for a player to truly
think they are developing a story that they themselves have had a
significant part in.

Perhaps there are enough props, well known characters (NPC's) and
dynamic characters (pc's, etc.) to create a well developed sitcom,
or perhaps a soap opera, depending upon your preference.  Some
"games" have developed certain opportunities for a player to feel
his character has been a part of something major, perhaps a made for
T.V. Movie, but still the dynamic is not quite high enough (in most
situations) for the player to be truly immersed.  Granted some
designers already develop large tasks for groups of individuals to
do, but there isn't really a way for the players to really realize
how great a scale they really are opperating.

I believe the best area of development that Paul put forth was the
theatrical element of most "games" The scope of a player's knowledge
of his surroundings is normally limited to about the scope of a
theatrical production, figuring the limited life of most players
characters and discounting the die-hards for a moment.  When a
"game" is so large it encompasses so many individuals such that they
cannot know about all other players actions, the real sociological
truth of diminished responsibility takes over.  For a player to
truly feel involved in the game, they must be part of a community.
Thus guilds form.  Still in most cases guilds are closed
communities, unless something needs to be gamed, and it stretches
the limits of their guild.

If you force gaming on people you will inevitably find hostility.
If you can find a way to add a dynamic that would give an individual
the belief that they, themselves have a meaning in the bigger
picture, their perspective changes drastically. And can add to the
individual perspective what is truly lacking in most current "games"
the individual's importance.

I won't begin to try and explain the implications this can have, or
the difficulty in making it impossible for something like this to be
gamed.

-My 2 Cents.

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