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

Eric Hu eric at ttic.com.tw
Tue Jan 28 16:36:17 New Zealand Daylight Time 2003

On Wed, 1 Jan 2003 17:59:28 -0800 
"Koster, Raph" <rkoster at soe.sony.com> wrote:
> From: Marian Griffith

>> Of course none of this has anything to do with muds, but it did
>> make me think about how much of current game design is biased by
>> the amer- ican world view.  I know from reading this list that
>> Lineage actually has quite a different playing style than the
>> typical usa mud.

> Actually, no, it doesn't. The cultural barriers are relatively
> small ones, and are ones that are fairly easily surmounted,
> IMHO. The core game engine of Lineage is a hack n slash mud much
> like any other. The mid to elder game, where it becomes driven by
> large-scale king of the hill guild games, is unique and different,
> but not so different that we cannot easily label it as "large
> scale king of the hill guild games."

Dear Sir, I really dont think so.  Yes, the core of Lineage is a
hack-and-slash mud. EQ too. A lot of mud too. They looks the same
for those who never play game, just like all orientals look the same
in the eye of a westerner.

It depends on what your ruler is, small scale or large scale. Chess
is game, MUD too. Will you say they are the same? Maybe they are the
same in the eyys of an alien, but they are not (for human). Culture
barrier is really huge, not small in MMOG.

> The primary differences between the US and the Korean game markets
> are in how the players play, not in the game itself. Specifically,
> the "bangs" or Net cafes/game rooms are the heart of the
> difference. The fact that this difference is invisible to us
> watching here from the States makes us want to label the game
> design itself as (shades of Fu Manchu!) "inscrutable" since we
> cannot see the appeal.

Trust me, they are very different in the core of design. It just
like a westerner could distinguish a Japanese from Korean, Chinese
and Taiwanese, but we orientals could.

The Net Cafes is an interesting issue(or problem) in Korea, China,
and Taiwan. Anyway, they are special creatures born by the oriental
culture-- a culture that parents FORCEd children to do the 'right'
things. I would like to brief the situation, but it is hard.

>> I guess it is kind of difficult for an american to imagine life
>> outside their own country, being so little exposed to it you kind
>> of come to think that the whole world is exactly like the usa
>> (and should be where it obviously is not (which incidentally is
>> the mistake that Bush and his advisors are making).

> Applicability to game design? Currently the USA is a cultural
> exporter, primarily, not importer. The center of innovation does
> appear to be Japan as far as games go (overall, though in the
> console market predominantly). In terms of purveying
> entertainment, the USA currently doesn't to seem actually need to
> know that much about the cultures it exports to.

I am sorry, dear Raph, would you mind to explain how you define the
'cultural exporter' and 'cultural importer'? By player number? by
EQ's servers set foot on Europe?

Frankly, I was shocked when I read this "...USA currently doesn't to
seem actually need to know that much about the cultures it exports
to" by the creative director of the most expectant MMOG. Now, I
cound understand why Japan videogames could seep into USA but Xbox
failed into Japan...

Most oriental MUD adms could read ,write and speak english, it helps
us understand what the western cultures are (at least, USA and
UK). In the other hand, most MUD adms of western cannot. Of course,
it caused by too many languages in Asia. Take me for example,
English is the 3rd language, Japanese fourth. It is all right that
you guys didn't understand the culture of Korea games, but just
ignore the differences and importances of another culture? I don't
think it is a wise man will do.

To be bluntly, I don't think Lineage is a good game. I even don't
think it worth my time, too. But there are millions players devoted
their days and nights there. Take another example, the 3rd large
MMORPG in Taiwan-- background something like the movie Crouch tiger,
Hidden dragon -- has more than 4.5 millions players in China,
Taiwan, and Korea.

Is the culture difference not important? I dont think so. Especially
when you want to earn more money.

PS: Raph, had you been Taipei before? How do you know the terrible
traffic here? :P

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