[MUD-Dev] MUDs and societal transformations

Brandon J. Van Every vanevery at 3DProgrammer.com
Fri Apr 12 21:09:01 New Zealand Standard Time 2002

Patricia Pizer:

> If you took the vocal members of the roundtable and separated them
> into 2 groups, you'd find all the concerned members in the group
> of those that actually have experience designing, publishing and
> running successful MMOs.  Funny so many of them have come to the
> same conclusion, isn't it?

Now take all the people in the room who didn't speak.  Are they
lacking experience?  If they are experienced, then it would say more
about who's willing to make a fuss about this or that.  Also, given
the title of this GDC 2002 roundtable, "Are Massively-Multiplayer
Games Blazing a New Trail for Humanity?" the crowd is
self-selecting.  I *would* expect a higher percentage of socially
minded folk at such a roundtable.

> I now see that the MMO *is* the gate through which we shall *all*
> pass

Really.  As opposed to 1 week artsy fartsy Pygame competitions,
which is my current idea of how games might become better tools of
cultural exchange?  As opposed to my Dad, who's going to get to
games when the weather finally "turns bad" in South Carolina?
That'll be awhile, I see fishing in his future!  Or my Mom, who's
mainly addicted to simple skill games like Tetris, Klax, Monopoly,
and Hearts?  Or by "all" did you mean all of us developers on this
list?  Kind of a small crowd, not exactly the future of the world.
Have you checked the demographics on all of this?  You sure you're
not thinking like a rock star?

> The common thread among the supporters of this notion is that MMOs
> go *WAY* beyond being games. It's not really about games anymore;
> it's about how we will live and act in Cyberspace.

I'm a bit of an incrementalist as to how the human race changes.  I
still think real world consequences are the limiting factor for how
people will behave online.  No consequences, no limit.  I think the
courts will someday recognize online behavior as "speech" and will
assign limits to it the same way we currently assign limits to
speech.  Nothing radical will come of it.

Cheers,                         www.3DProgrammer.com
Brandon Van Every               Seattle, WA

20% of the world is real.
80% is gobbledygook we make up inside our own heads.

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