[MUD-Dev] D&D vs. MMORPG "complexity"

John Buehler johnbue at msn.com
Thu May 8 09:01:41 New Zealand Standard Time 2003

Dave Rickey writes:
> From: "John Buehler" <johnbue at msn.com>
>> Dave Rickey writes:

>> I understand that you believe that power and time as the basis of
>> entertainment in the game is what makes my character's career as
>> a craftsman viable.  I don't believe that, because if I can
>> derive entertainment from being a craftsman independent of the
>> power and time structure that crafting uses (specifically, in
>> Dark Age of Camelot), then I can derive entertainment from being
>> a warrior independent of the power and time structure.  In fact,
>> I did.  That may be pointlessly anecdotal, but it certainly
>> influences my view of these games.

> Okay, I think I see where the conceptual break is in the
> discussion.  You believe I'm claiming that entertainment is
> equivalent to the process of empowerment.  I'm not, I'm simply
> stating that treating it as if it was seems to provide a useful
> approximation when looking at it from 50,000 feet.

Okay, that tempers your prior statements a bit, but it still keeps
you firmly entrenched in the notion that empowerment is a prime
mover.  The current thread about brain types references a test by an
author keen to recognize autism.  He sees it everywhere because it's
something that he's picked up on.  I still claim that this is what
you've encountered.  You've detected a pattern and you're finding it
applicable everywhere.  Look for roses and you find roses.  Look for
weeds and you find weeds.

>>> It wasn't my first choice for the crafting system.  But in all
>>> truth, I didn't have the time or resources to really pursue
>>> exploring alternatives, and it was more important to me that the
>>> system *work* than that it was new and different.

>> I have the same goals.  I want it to work.  I want to find
>> entertainment.  Given my accumulated aversion to Yet Another
>> Treadmill, the assumption that time and power formulae are *the*
>> way to provide entertainment is dismaying, to say the least.

> If you think that's dismaying, try this one: It appears that what
> we think of as free will is actually nothing but random chance.
> Most of our decisions are formulized results of our conditioning,
> and those that are not are made *exactly* as if we simply
> consulted a random number generator.

Ah, this is one we could debate for a long, long time - and is the
real reason that I replied to this post :) The return volley is that
you cannot explain consciousness and as a result you cannot address
free will.  I believe that human decision making is dependent on
brain physiology and topology - and because of the brain's adaptive
biology (alterable physiology and topology) prior experience (what
you're calling conditioning) is factored into our decision making.

Understanding perception, processing and action in the human brain
has been an active hobby of mine since I was a teenager.

Note that I don't believe that anything is random.  Look closely
enough for long enough and you will understand the process,
eliminating the perception that it is random.  In other words,
'random' is a hand wave.  This is inclusive of the Uncertainty
Principle, which simply says that certain things are not knowable so
long as you need to interact with something to observe it.  All
avenues of non-interaction haven't yet been discovered :)

For the record, if the human mind is completely and materially
deterministic, that information had better be let out to the world
very slowly and be worked into some kind of an ethical system.
Right now, Christian values (and its derivatives) are one of the few
things holding the world together.


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