[MUD-dev] Fun in Games

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Wed Apr 24 12:36:32 New Zealand Standard Time 2002


From: "Koster, Raph"

> Which brings me back to the statement, "why don't we fix the fact
> that comic books do a better job of portraying the human condition
> than our games do?"  There are many ways to provide fun, as you
> cite, and frankly, we as designers tend to explore only a very
> small subset of the possible means of doing so.

Comic books are well-regulated, scripted "events" by an author or
authors.  They may adhere to a strict set of "rules" and actions,
dialogue and setting.  Online games allow "random" elements into the
fabric of that world, not all of whom agree on, well, just about
anything.  Many of whom are simply there "to kill stuff."  Trying to
contain that type of world and portray "the human condition" would
be an absolutely MASSIVE undertaking, and should the orcs hear about
it, would probably die laughing.

> FWIW, despite the extensive quoting of my writings in your
> original essay ;) my main quarrel with your entire premise is that
> online worlds aren't just games.

They only superceed the tag of "game" once a player had accepted it
as "more than a game."  Until such time, it is simply a game...much
more complex than Risk, Diplomacy, Civ, etc, but neverless, a game.

Ectasy is non-addictive; people do it for fun - it's a game to them.
They control it until either 1) They relinquish control, or 2) they
quit.  As much as world-builders (myself included) would LOVE to
build something more than a game...until we can build the ability to
occupy 100% of a day, including "real life" eating, drinking, sleep,
exercise, restroom activities, etc, we are simply a game.

However, once that level of medium is achieved, then real life
becomes the game....you unplug from "the world" to play the game of
real life.

Scary thought, but kinda facinating anyways...

-Szii



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