[MUD-dev] Fun in Games

John Buehler johnbue at msn.com
Fri May 3 08:31:02 New Zealand Standard Time 2002


Jasper McChesney writes:

> There are always "hard-nosers" who *don't* care what happens to
> characters on the screen or in print.  With those mediums though,
> and single player games, the producers and writers of said works
> simply lose a customer (or have one who simply doesn't care about
> some aspect of their product).  With MMORPGs though, the consumer
> becomes part of the product itself -- you're trying to sell
> interaction in a sense -- and those people who don't "get it"
> (i.e. don't role-play) harm the ability of others to get it.

As I suggested to Raph recently, who appears to agree with the
general sentiment, characters themselves should be enforcing the
social norms and such, so that even players who don't "get it" will
not be harming the ability of others to "get it".  By analogy with
current games, all players, whether they "get it" or not, cannot
cause their characters to walk or run in some strange way - because
the game enforces the walk and run of the character.  They always do
it in a reasonable fashion.  I claim that it must be so for higher
order behavior as well.  When a lord rides by, the characters doff
their caps and bow automatically.  The choice to not do this is a
conscious one on the part of the player, and he has to tell the game
that he's doing it.  It becomes part of the information that the
game can act on.  Not doffing one's cap can impair your standing in
town.  Nobody wants to be seen with the guy who disrespects the
local lord.  Although the lord's detractors might take a liking to
you.

> It seems this gets us back to the old griefer issue.  There will
> always be people who, out of no maliciousness, don't care to treat
> online worlds as if they were real.  Unless you segregate them,
> they harm the game for everyone else.

Note that my suggestions above will probably not inhibit griefers
one bit.  They will grief at whatever level of control that they do
have.  However, those actions will not take away from the apparent
fiction of the game world's day to day activities.  So the griefer
can't go running down the street naked, shouting like a loon
(because the game doesn't permit such things), but the griefer can
manipulate the iron market if clever enough and malicious enough.

JB

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