[MUD-dev] Fun in Games

Sasha Hart Sasha.Hart at directory.reed.edu
Wed Apr 24 15:02:36 New Zealand Standard Time 2002


[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.

I didn't understand this the first time. So, hopefully not to
resurrect a dead horse, even less to beat it, but...

Are you making an argument for exploration of the design space (and
that for this reason someone should try to portray the human
condition) or that we should try to portray the human condition
because it is inherently worthwhile?

Could you please give a hypothetical example (I will not pick on it)
of how the human condition could be portrayed well in a game? Or
elaborate on what the human condition entails for you? You see, I am
concerned that if I agree with you, then I am endorsing something
strange. Such as the beating of ideological drums in a MUD. MUD
propaganda. Existentialist NPC tableaus (perverse idea). MUD-family
destroying MUD divorce. MUD suicide following a MUD stock market
crash. I would love to see these things! But I am jaded, perverse
and like novelty for its own sake.

Let me note two places in which I have seen 'the human condition' as
I would construe it. One is in the regular, natural socialization of
players (the potential depth of which I don't expect you to deny).
The other is the depth in the acted relationships in a good RP game,
or tabletop game.  Is it the same thing for our games to portray the
human condition, and for the human condition to be portrayed within
our games?


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