[MUD-Dev] DESIGN: Role playing

Michael Hartman mlist at thresholdrpg.com
Thu Oct 6 18:12:27 New Zealand Daylight Time 2005


Mike Rozak wrote:

> Because I'm not a role player and don't know much about it, I
> thought I'd post here and see what role players think about these
> features:

>   1) Voice chat

Personally, I believe voice chat is an anti-RP piece of
technology. The overwhelming majority of players are not going to be
able to alter their voice to sound anything like their character
should. Even with a few voice altering filters, it still will not
even get close to the variety in character types a typical RP game
would have.

Another problem with voice chat is that it necessitates a lot more
immediacy and constancy in conversation that a text conversation
does not require. Long pauses in a voice chat are
uncomfortable. Waiting for someone's next block of text to appear is
not uncomfortable. There is no weird silence (in fact, you might
have music going in the background). One of the many benefits of
this is that in text communciation, you have more time to compose
your thoughts in a more eloquent or appropriate manner. Those extra
few seconds (or even minutes, depending on the nature of your RP
community) result in dramatically superior RP. In voice, people have
to keep yammering along to maintain the flow of the
conversation. This increases the likelihood of modern slang,
babbling, filled pauses (uh... and... like... ya know... etc.).

There are other reasons as well, and Dr. Bartle wrote an interesting
piece about it a few years back that Game Girl Advance still
features prominently:

  http://www.gamegirladvance.com/archives/2003/07/28/not_yet_you_fools.html

--
Michael Hartman, J.D. (http://www.thresholdrpg.com)
President & CEO, Threshold Virtual Environments, Inc.
University of Georgia School of Law, 1995-1998
Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, 1990-1994
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