Brand Loyalty (was Re: [MUD-Dev] Requirements for MM (wasComp lexities of MMOG Servers))

holding99 at holding99 at
Sun Jan 12 20:18:04 New Zealand Daylight Time 2003

At 07:43 PM 1/10/2003 -0500, Michael Tresca wrote:
> holding99 at posted on Thursday, January 09, 2003 1:09 AM

>>  So is getting an advanced degree another levelling treadmill?

> More importantly:
> Is it the PERCEPTION Of the treadmill that's the problem, or the
> treadmill itself?  I would argue most players who are not game
> developers have no idea what a treadmill is and "tread" it quite
> contentedly until they fall off the treadmill.
> Only then, when they fall off of it (by hitting max level, killing
> everything without challenge, etc.) do they recognize that the
> treadmill exists.  And thus problems ensue.
> There are treadmills lurking in everything we do, every day.  But
> not everyone sees their careers, education, and socialization as
> treadmills because they aren't seeing the big picture.  Maybe they
> don't want to.

Well, I am not sure that people don't see them as treadmills; a lot
of people complain about 'the rat race'. I think the difference is
that they see themselves as gaining something from the particular
treadmills they're on. So perhaps it's not that people fall off of
the treadmill as much as it is that they don't feel they're gaining
anything by being on it.

Presumably, the treadmills in games should be delivering
entertainment. If they are successful in that, it shouldn't matter
whether or not players recognize it as a treadmill game. If the
treadmills aren't successful, it seems to me the players will find
another treadmill that delivers what they need/want/expect.

I think players don't mind treadmills as much as they mind not being
entertained. (And that sounds so completely obvious that I am almost
ashamed that I wrote it before saying 'DUH'.) But then, it raises a
question: why are some aspects of the treadmill entertaining,
whereas others aren't? And how can we maximize the entertaining
aspects without shortening the lifetime of the treadmill?

T.H. Cooke

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