[MUD-Dev] In defense of "soloability" [was Law of Diminishing Marginal Utility]

apollyon apollyon at ameritech.net
Wed May 29 03:08:34 New Zealand Standard Time 2002


From: Clay

> Why?  Why do we need to be committed to the idea that downtime =
> social time?  Is it because people started chatting it up when
> they were bored and had nothing better to do?  Do we need to make
> people bored in order to make them social?  That doesn't seem like
> a very good answer.

I think there's another element here... the UI.  I think to a large
degree, the UI is responsible for creating the "downtime=social
time" model.  If a player is required to devote her attention to
manipulating the UI (typically the keyboard) in order to perform
whatever role she is expected to fulfill, then she cannot
simultaneously manipulate the UI to engage in social interaction
(typically typing) without some difficulty.

As we move away from text-based social interaction and incorporate
speech into more and more online worlds, I think we'll see less
dependence on downtime as an artificial means of providing for
sociality.  Utilizing speech will turn even the most harrowing,
UI-intensive group experience into an even richer social
opportunity.

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