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

Koster Koster
Wed May 29 06:56:34 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 don't think downtime necessarily equals bored. Some activities
enforce downtime (a game of chess). Others make downtime
discretionary (for example, reading a book). Others do not permit
any (a game of Quake). That does not make any of these activities
more or less boring.

> If it's quality downtime, I'd hope you wouldn't have to call it
> downtime at all.

A lot of the discussion of that statement of mine has centered
around the semantics of "downtime." But I was using a very specific
definition. I was defining downtime as time during which the player
is not actively engaging in making decisions. This says nothing
about the "quality" of the downtime.

People don't seem to like being interrupted when they're making
decisions.  They tend to complain about people ruining their
concentration. So it makes for a bad time to try to have an in-depth
personal discussion with them. If we want more socializing, we have
to provide breathing spaces in which it can occur.

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