[MUD-Dev] Re:Blacksnow revisited

John Buehler johnbue at msn.com
Fri Apr 12 19:06:16 New Zealand Standard Time 2002

Norman Short writes:

> That isn't the reason I see this as a devolving game genre in
> holding my interest, however.  It's what I see as you folks and
> your attitude about ownership and EULA's.  So you want me to
> understand at all times that you own my character, my account, and
> every item in my inventory.  Well, doesn't sound like the word
> "my" applies at all anymore.

Exactly.  As it has always been.  The MUD gaming community has dug a
hole for itself, and it is paying the price now.  They've been
telling players that THEY are doing this and THEY are doing that.
Heck, EverQuest even puts "YOU" out in all capital letters in its
messages in order to emphasize the relationship of the player and
the character.  I've ranted about this before; players should not be
encouraged to think of themselves as being in the game world because
they simply aren't.  The detachment is good psychologically and,
ultimately, legally.

> Somehow you're going to have to lie to me and let me pretend I
> have some sense of ownership over what I acquire with my time in
> game, when in reality you don't want me to have any ownership at
> all.

I bet that if you were originally told that you have the right of
use - but not ownership - that you wouldn't have a problem with the
mode of interaction.  This is the classic case of avoiding giving a
player something that you are going to take away later.  A sense of
ownership was given to players and now it is being demonstrated that
the ownership was never really there.

Ownership in the virtual environment is being nerfed.

> When you speak honestly about that desire, you leave little left
> for me to enjoy in your game, since I know that I'm just hitting a
> lever for a pellet, and you own the pellet, the wheel, and even
> "me" as it exists in game.  Maybe it's legal (maybe), but it sure
> aint fun.

It'll be fun as soon as you realize that reality is setting in and
reality can still be buckets of fun.  The game hasn't changed, only
your perceptions of it.  And your perceptions were falsely crafted
by the gaming industry at large.  All those promises of 'being' a
hero in a virtual world when all you really had was the ability to
drive a hero in a virtual world.  I'm sure the creative folks in
marketing will figure out a way to present that in a rather more
appealing way, and I certainly hope that they do it.  But I hope
that the gaming industry stops with the presentation of the player
*being* the character.  It just ain't so.


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