[MUD-Dev] Winnable MMO

ceo ceo at grexengine.com
Wed Apr 9 09:20:12 New Zealand Standard Time 2003

Jonathon Duerig wrote:
> On Mon, 7 Apr 2003, Chris Nielsen wrote:

>> This is the danger in trying to shift the focus away from
>> "winning". I think people *want* to play games where they can
>> win, even if most of the time they lose. It's because when you do
>> win it makes all the losses worth it.  Very much so.
> Upon reading this, I was reminded of a book that I've read
> recently:
> Fooled by randomness : the hidden role of chance in the markets
> and in life / Nassim Nicholas Taleb
> One of the theses of the book is that people don't like many small
> losses with a few huge gains. Rather they like constant small
> victories, even at the expense of an occasional huge loss. I'm not
> sure whether this is true or not, but it brings up a broader
> issue.

It is manifestly true for some people, but definitely not true of
everyone. I've seen it suggested quite a few times, despite the fact
that there are good examples to the contrary. I'm not a
psychologist, but would guess that traditional gambling is a

Whether or not that is the case, I find such hypotheses irritating
because it's not true for myself nor for many people I know - and
the implication is that the authors of such statements generally
don't bother testing them much. Admittedly I know a lot of gamblers,
with family members ranging from professional croupiers (sp?) to
ex-stock market traders; but that doesn't alone account for the fact
that I also have many friends like this.

Of course, there are also plenty of people who suggest the same
hypothesis with the additional rider that only certain
personality-types (or some other means of significantly culling the
audience) demonstrate this preference. Fair enough.

Adam M

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