[MUD-Dev] Nick Yee's Daedalus Project

Sasha Hart hart.s at attbi.com
Wed Jan 15 15:24:32 New Zealand Daylight Time 2003

[Koster, Raph]

> The first results: the largest group of people play these games to
> make friends.

>   http://www.nickyee.com/daedalus/archives/000192.php

About a third say that the most important aspect of the game is
making friends.

Interesting, then, that these (giant graphical MUDs) are the exact
games I find most impersonal and non-conducive to forming anything
but the most superficial friendships. Huge and impersonal, with
coerced temporary grouping and activities that allow and encourage
dialogue little more elaborate than "I'll pull - k," the chances of
forming a strong relationship with someone who has similar or at
least complementary interests seem vanishingly small.

This perception may well be a function of age and kind of
interaction desired. I find Habbo trivial and certainly not a place
to make friends, either. But at least Habbo knows it's built for
teenagers!  Likewise, people who log on to FurryMUCK pretty much
know what they're in for socially; it's more likely to be an
appropriate environment for them where they can meet people who
share at least one interest with them. People make friends on web
forums and IRC channels all the time along lines of interest. I have
found roleplaying MUSHes to be pretty similar in this way. But look
at the MMORPGs. Players are indiscriminately thrown together. You
have to gather for yourself, individual by individual, that most of
the players you meet are either around 15 or not interested in

Just meeting someone isn't 'forming a link.' Friendship isn't simple
connectivity because one link isn't as good or another, doesn't have
the same properties to the people involved. Interdependence founded
on game mechanics doesn't cut it. Seems to me that there needs to be
a lot more thinking about what constitutes a good friendship and how
to facilitate their creation.

But given how annoying I have found the extant strategies, I would
rather some thinking went into allowing me to at least play the game
without 15 minutes piecing together a group, 30 minutes getting to a
site, 5 minutes fighting, 30 minutes getting back and 15 minutes
piecing together another group after two people logged off
(rendering the group ineffective to do anything)... this is assuming
I want on that treadmill to begin with. It's not more exciting or

No. Make something fun, give me tools to communicate, consider
smoothing the path to like minds, consider more substantial and less
tedious ways of relating to others within the game than forced
hunting-parties, and I will manage making friends myself, thank you
very much.

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