[MUD-Dev] Removing access to entertainment

Amanda Walker amanda at alfar.com
Tue Dec 2 00:56:51 New Zealand Daylight Time 2003


On Nov 27, 2003, at 12:02 PM, Michael Sellers wrote:
> Matt wrote:
>> On Tue, 25 Nov 2003, Amanda Walker wrote:
>>> On Nov 19, 2003, at 6:16 PM, apollyon . wrote:

>>>> As others have stated, games are about fairly and equitably
>>>> overcoming a challenge.

>>> Nonsense.  Multiplayer games are about storytelling and building
>>> communities through shared experience.

>> [Muds] are not generally about storytelling: They're generally
>> about achieving mechanics.

> And so we argue about the nature of the elephant, each revealing
> our own biases in the process.

It was intentional.  "Games are about achievement" was just too good
of a straight line to pass up.

But quite aside from taking the extreme position for rhetorical
purposes, let me make a couple observations:

  - Single player games and multiplayer games offer the same sorts
  of PvE puzzles.

  - FPSs, fighting games, etc. offer perfectly level playing fields
  for PvP.

  - The achievement rewards in MUDs don't actually exist--they are
  at best marks on a scorecard.

  - The communities that form and stories that are told in and
  around MUDs and MMO games are quite real, and can extend across
  multiple games and multiple events.

While I'm not actually saying that achievement play is invalid, I do
think that social aspects truly do distinguish MUDs and MMOs from
other games. This, of course, has little to do with the gameplay
issue "are mesmerization, blindness and rain fun?," which I think is
unanswerable.

Amanda Walker
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