[MUD-dev] Fun in Games

Koster Koster
Thu Apr 25 08:40:38 New Zealand Standard Time 2002


From: szii at sziisoft.com
> 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.

It is a massive undertaking. So? :)

>> 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.

You mean, it's a game only to that player. But that doesn't mean
it's only a game to everyone else--most particularly including the
makers of the game.  Given the vast quantity of online worlds that
are not games that have been built thus far, I am always astonished
when someone argues that the genre is "just games."

> 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.

I fail to see what all of those mundane activities have to do with
whether or not something is a game. The opposite of game is not
mundanity.

-Raph
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