[MUD-Dev] Thought Experiment: Permanent Monster Death

J C Lawrence claw at kanga.nu
Sat Dec 20 00:47:02 New Zealand Daylight Time 2003

On Fri, 19 Dec 2003 21:36:13 -0500 
J C Lawrence <J> wrote:
> On Tue, 16 Dec 2003 10:04:44 -0700 Chanur Silvarian
> <chanur at guildsite.com> wrote:

>   Where are the dreams?  Where is the embarrassment?  Where are the
>   Cheshire Cats, the old father Williams, the Emperor's of America?

Much more simply:

  What about whimsy?

Whimsy begets play, play in the sense of 4yr old children on a beach
running about with their arms out pretending to be airplanes or cowboys
and indians, or space fighters doing strafing runs over the Death Star.
Ad hoc tissue thin whimsy.  Terribly fun stuff.

If whimsy is in fact necessary, or even valuable, how can it be
encouraged, created, fostered?  What does it require?  The history of
systems like Alphaworld, Habitat, and the early days of SecondLife
suggest it is possible but poorly understood and not explicitly targeted
as a desirably attribute.  LambdaMOO had a curiously staccato
relationship with whimsy, crushing it beneath popularism while
enshrining it as social experimentation.  And yet LambdaMOO is probably
the best studied case of whimsy in MUDs, without it ever being mentioned
once in the literature as a critical characteristic.  Odd that.  It
seems to me that LamdaMOO would never have existed without whimsy.

J C Lawrence
---------(*)                Satan, oscillate my metallic sonatas.
claw at kanga.nu               He lived as a devil, eh?
http://www.kanga.nu/~claw/  Evil is a name of a foeman, as I live.

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