[MUD-dev] Fun in Games

Brandon J. Van Every vanevery at 3DProgrammer.com
Wed Apr 17 03:18:01 New Zealand Standard Time 2002


Trickey, Rob:
> From: Brandon J. Van Every [mailto:vanevery at 3DProgrammer.com]
>> Rob Trickey wrote:

>>>>   "Fun is the primary and key component of games."

>>> This is true, but if you get too literal about it the sentence
>>> loses its meaning. Basically, something's "fun" if it made the
>>> game worth playing.

>> Is "Schindler's List" fun?

> But "Schindler's List" isn't a game.

"Schindler's List" *can* be made into a game.  It's just not an
exercise for the faint of heart.  The authorial goal of such a game
might be to see how far players will go before putting the game down
in revulsion.  Or to see what various people are willing to enjoy as
a game, to explore a very dark side of human nature.  "Apt Pupil"
could be made into a game.  So can the African slave trade.  In fact
some of these things *have* been made into games, they just don't
have a particularly brutal treatment of the subject matter, nor are
they about subjects as loaded as the Holocaust.  And yet, if you
read the history, they are almost as barbaric.  Sad to say, the
Holocaust was different in scale and publicity, not so different as
to basic human drive.  Movies like "Apt Pupil" and "American History
X" have dealt with this, games have not because they're still hiding
behind fluff intellectual concepts like:

> I think whoever said, "Fun is the primary and key component of
> games", meant it in a casual
> if-its-entertaining/worthwhile-it's-fun sense, kinda like how
> people apply the word "cool" to damn near anything that's good in
> some way.

It would be more accurate to say that games are an electromechanical
system that happens to have been applied primarily to entertainment
frivolities, as a consequence of technological history and
macroeconomics.

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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