[MUD-Dev] Protecting the Player's Suspension of Disbelief

Lee Sheldon lsheldo2 at tampabay.rr.com
Fri Feb 21 14:47:25 New Zealand Daylight Time 2003

From: Serafina Pechan

> I think some realism is an absolute prerequisite for immersion.
> If there isn't at last a smidgen of realism, then the game world
> would be so alien to everyone that it wouldn't... couldn't be
> played.
> I think it also depends on your definition of realism.  If realism
> is defined in terms of "Earth 2003 realism" then yes, definitely,
> immersion ! = realism in game worlds.  If realism is defined in
> terms of requiring every possible micro detail and process, then I
> agree again with that statement.

For realism I'd substitute verisimilitude.  Realism is far too much
an absolute, and it doesn't break down into multiple definitions or
smidgens without a fight.  It really doesn't need to.  Realism
doesn't exist in game worlds any more than it does in any other form
of entertainment or art.  It's a straw dog and a distraction.
Verisimilitude on the other hand is what most entertainment creators
strive for in other media.  It's a sliding scale that allows us to
set our own borders, and establish our own balance.

David Lynch in "Muholland Drive" draws his line in the sand at a
very different spot from Arthur Miller in "A View from the Bridge"
for example.  Miller's play is no more a "realistic" portrayal of
life in an Italian-American family than is Lynch's portrayal of
Hollywood.  But both carry enough verisimilitude to satisfy an
audience's need for the grounding it gives us.


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