[MUD-Dev] DGN: Reasons for play [was: EmergentBehaviorsspawnedfrom...]

Sean Howard squidi at squidi.net
Thu Oct 13 03:18:27 New Zealand Daylight Time 2005


"Michael Sellers" <mike at onlinealchemy.com> wrote:
> Sean Howard wrote:

>> ... We need a sort of set of philosopher kings to define an
>> objective quality and successfully hold each game up to the
>> light. We just need a few critical, intelligent, logical people
>> to set this standard, not the entire population.

> That's the funniest thing I've read in a long time.

> Right.  So, we need a Council of Elders.  No wait, we'll call
> them... the People's Congress!  That's it!  They can tell us all
> what's good and what's not, so we don't drift into error in our
> poor misguided opinions.  They will use their mysteriously
> objective criteria to wisely decide for us, as you said, the
> "innate value of the product being sold."

> Whew.  That'll be a load off of *all* of our minds, I'm sure.

You misunderstand me. What do you think is happening with ludology
and all these attempts to classify gaming, create a gaming
vocabulary, or classes designed to study videogame history? We are
already doing it, though maybe not towards any specific goal, but I
guess we'll meander somewhere interesting eventually. I mean,
parents (and senators who listen only to parents) think that
videogames warp the minds of kinds and turns them into stone cold
killlers - they don't know any better and we're desperately
searching for an easy way to convey the value of videogames to them.

Do not mistake the idea as elitist or exclusionary. Anyone can join
in if they can communicate at the same level (or at least near the
same level, or even fake it like most movie reviewers do). It's just
that discussion of what makes a "good" game is going to happen at
that abstract level where most people don't care or can't
participate.

I think you took offense to the phrase "philosopher kings", which
perhaps seems worse than it is. It's a reference to Plato's The
Republic, and it basically just means "educated" (of course, it's
not that simple. It's a little more nuanced, but such a discussion
would be off topic).

- Sean
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