[MUD-dev] Fun in Games

Koster Koster
Sat Apr 27 10:32:42 New Zealand Standard Time 2002

From: szii at sziisoft.com
> From: "Koster, Raph" <rkoster at soe.sony.com>
>> From: "Szii" szii at sziisoft.com
>>> 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."

> It is determined on a per capita basis.  You cannot convince, say,
> my wife, that EQ is "more than a game."  It is only a game until
> the player accepts it as more.

You're focused on how a given individual regards it. I'm arguing
that as soon as anyone regards it as more, it must be regarded as
more by everyone, looked at objectively. Then, of course, you have a
lot of convincing to do.  But the operating premise is different.

>>> 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.

> It's not about being "mundane."  It's about immersion.  It's about
> the continuity of the "game" to where you're not breaking out of
> it for "real world" activities.  So long as there's a
> hard-separation between the two, it remains a game.  Once you can
> encompass all of the "mundane" stuff, then you don't really leave
> the game.  You could play for a week straight - 24/7 - with few
> ill effects.  After all, eating, sleeping, showering, exercising,
> etc all are part of the "world."  You begin to perceive "real
> life" as the game...something to log out of the system to play
> around in.

> This just came to me, but it's a pretty cheesy analogy so don't
> laugh TOO hard...  think of it as "Matrix-style" immersion, but
> with more individual control of when you're "in" and when you're
> "out."

This feels like far too much of a focus on mechanical issues. The
primary determinant of whether or not an online world ceases to be
just a game is, IMHO, whether or not people establish a community
there. As soon as they do, it's not just a game, it's also a
gathering place and a society and so on, and whether or not people
take a virtual piss in there means absolutely nothing.

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