[MUD-Dev] Cultural impact on Muds (was: Star Wars Galaxies)

Dubious Advocate dubiousadvocate at hotmail.com
Fri Jan 3 06:13:18 New Zealand Daylight Time 2003


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

> On a somewhat related note, the amount of cynicism about people,
> and hence about our players, that seems to seep into list postings
> by veteran administrators is somewhat distressing. Like it or not,
> we are social engineers, and we work with people. They are the
> warp and weft of what we do. We should strive to be realistic
> about human constraints and capabilities, but let's not be
> cynical, or it is bound to undermine our craft as online world
> designers.

Hear hear, and oyez! It has been depressing to me to see more
developers & publishers becoming more cyncial.  And the source is
not because players en masse are flawed (though certainly a small
few are) but because developers (understandably since this too is a
fundamental human behavior) tend not to look for fundamental human
behaviors to work with them rather than against them.

I tell myself that it is simply because there are MORE players,
hence underscoring the success and growth of this playscape, and
they're simply farther down the cycle of mastering their craft.

But I look at the trend of commercial products and each successive
product has become in many ways more constrictive and less aware of
human behaviors.  Yes they alleviate certain annoying game mechanics
but replace them with much more onerous design decisions and
punishment for stepping outside those design boundries.

All of which simply locks in the pattern of developer frustration as
the Player vs. Developer war escalates.  I look to Serial MOG
(chained MUD) products to break the philosophical logjam.

-----
Dave Scheffer
"Questions are a burden to others, answers a prison for oneself"

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