[MUD-dev] Fun in Games

John Buehler johnbue at msn.com
Sat Apr 27 01:23:35 New Zealand Standard Time 2002

Brandon J. Van Every writes:
> John Buehler

>> What range of emotions do you want,

> The famous answer is of course "it depends."

>> and why do you want to trigger emotions in your players?

> Why bother with Art?

I ask myself that often, given what 'art' has become.

>> If you want an emotional response from your player, you better
>> damn well make sure that it is a positive one for your player.

> We would never feel the need to restrict ourselves to this in
> traditional arts.

More's the pity.

>> Just yanking players' chains in an effort to get them whipped up
>> in emotional situations is not a healthy way to present
>> entertainment.

> However, it has been done precisely as an act of performance art.
> Or as provocation in art forms preceeding the 20th century concept
> of "performance art."  In Art, the only metric is getting
> something to occur more or less that you wanted to occur.  Some
> artists aren't all that big on their own intentionality.  Of
> course, some of us art critics aren't all that big on their work
> either.

> I just think that artistically speaking, "we can't yank players'
> chains" is analogous to "we can't use black paint.  Black paint
> bad!  Bad! So bad! So very much so bad."

I just think that militarily speaking, "we can't yank players'
chains" is analagous to "we can't nuke other countries into slag.
Nuclear weapons bad!  Bad!  So Bad!  So very much so bad."

Some things really are bad.  Self-expression is a privilege, not a
right.  When the expression causes harm to others, the privilege
should be revoked.

>> As an example, your concentration camp guard can only act like a
>> concentration camp guard.  The player can encourage it to be a
>> nasty one or a friendly one, but he can't go willy-nilly
>> wandering through the camp shooting prisoners for laughs.

> That would seem rather unrealistic to me.  Surely, you could
> torture and/or kill any prisoner you had the lamest pretext to do
> so for.  Like, you felt like it that day.  Or they contradicted
> you.  Or, she was a particularly ugly Jew.  Or a particularly
> beautiful Jew.  I think part of the artistry would be exploring
> the rationalizations that allow this guard to kill with impunity,
> how he forms a cosmology in his own mind that shows a reason for
> why the killing is taking place.

Now you're scaring me.


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