[MUD-Dev] Re:Blacksnow revisited

Hans-Henrik Staerfeldt hhs at cbs.dtu.dk
Mon Apr 15 12:27:39 New Zealand Standard Time 2002


On Thu, 11 Apr 2002, Norman Short wrote:

> Why you guys think rewarding college kids perpetually skipping
> class over adults working a job and raising a family is a choice
> I'm not sure you've explored fully.

This is a good question. I guess that the answer is that 'college
kids perpetually skipping class' so far has proven to be the largest
and most profittable customer base. If not, the big game companies
would surely take up your challenge.

> Seems to me supporting people without 16 hours a day to devote to
> your game but who are emotionally and psychologically stable
> adults would be in your interest.  Instead your community will be
> led by people with the most time.

Depends; do you want your community to server the few with much
money or the many with less money? You could support both at a risk
of loosing buisness, if you forced a limit on online time (evening
out the problem of people having less time).

> That isn't the reason I see this as a devolving game genre in
> holding my interest, however.

Well, actually its been this way up until now i guess. Devolving
would be a wrong word to use. Stagnation would perhaps be better
fitting word if you want it to change.

> 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.

No, and this is the common problem when working with immersive
worlds. The player will identify with the character to the point
where they think of the character as 'me'. If this was legally true,
you could sue people for murder if they killed your character.

> Those houses I built in UO?  Just rented I guess.  Why was I
> interested in spending the many hours to get the wealth to build
> them again?  I feel like all I'm doing is working for you now and
> paying for the privilege.

> 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.

That lie is called immersion, and is in effect the price you pay for
a game worth playing. You can do everything to spoil the illusion of
immertion and it would ruin the game entirely. The world is fantasy,
the character is fantasy, the spells and items are fantasy too, and
none of it is real in the sense we normally put in it.

> 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.

Play a good game of flipper at the local mall and you have the same
setup. You don't own anything, not even the right to the highscore
on the board. However many people enjoy it perfectly well all the
same.

Hans Henrik Stærfeldt   |    bombman at diku.dk    | work:  hhs at cbs.dtu.dk      |
Address:                |___  +45 40383492    __|__       +45 45252471     __|
DTU, Kemitorvet,        | Scientific programmer at Center for Biological     |
bygn 208, CBS.          |  Sequence Analysis, Technical University of Denmark|

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