[MUD-Dev] Reward system for social gaming?

Arnau Josep Rosselló Castelló arossello at atmsa.org
Fri Oct 7 01:35:43 New Zealand Daylight Time 2005


04/10/2005 09:45 -0500, Sean Howard wrote:
> "Martin Gundtoft" <martingundtoft at itu.dk> wrote:

> The problem you are trying to "solve" cannot be solved in the
> manner you are hoping for. Social interaction is not a gameplay
> device. It cannot be.  If it does, you'll see the worst, most
> dispicable behavior that mankind has EVER been capable of, played
> out in glorious technicolor.

Some years ago I speculated on this list about a game based on--or
on the style-- of the RPG paranoia. There you would be cajoling,
threatening, boot-licking and backstabbing the other players for
your life. You could have recorders to keep something someone say as
incriminating evidence, and the objective of this was to have fun
with that despicable behavior you were talking about. In the
original game, the formula worked.

So, bad socializing is not per se game destroying; I think game
destroying comes from the different expectations different players
have about the implicit honor code of the game. Someone may think
that crossing an enemy newbie zone and slaughtering 30-40 people is
ok, someone may think it's only ok if you don't camp, and someone
hasn't even stopped to think that "PVP" in the server class means
this behavior is legal.

The only caveat is that you need a zone for non-competitive
out-of-game socializing, so people can relax and develop "true"
relations. You have to keep this separated from any in-play
socializing, and make a clear distinction between the players and
the avatars.

> Granted, this behavior may be consider despicable, immoral, and
> even illegal in real life, but hey, it's just a game, right? They
> are rewarded for price fixing and the game allows it, so...

Well, it IS a game, you can stop playing. The problem with doing
"bad" things in real life is people didn't opt in on you behavior
and can't opt out. But if you join a Battlefield 2 server and try to
roleplay a pacifist who's been conscripted and doesn't want to
fight, well...

   Looking for cover from the artillery barrage you drop inside a
   half-destroyed bunker; inside you find an enemy sniper. He has
   heard you and is frantically trying to switch his weapon to a
   shotgun. You think that killing him is more than your avatar can
   stand, so /emote offers a cigarrete and smiles...

Well, implicitly you think this behaviour is stupid on a BF2 server,
maybe not stupid on a WW2 MMORPG game, and definitely the thing to
do if you're roleplaying on an IRC server, with a human GM.

However the game mechanics are equivalent, the only difference is
the mindset the player comes to the game.

I think that mindset has been ignored in many amateur games, for
lack of tought of it; and I think in big MMORPGs it's deliberately
misrepresented to sell to a bigger audience(also, many people think
what they want about a game, without need to be encouraged)

So, uhm, I got carried... what do you think about that?

--
Arnau
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