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

Matthew D. Fuller fullermd at over-yonder.net
Sun Oct 16 08:31:43 New Zealand Daylight Time 2005

On Thu, Oct 06, 2005 at 09:34:58AM -0500 I heard the voice of
Sean Howard, and lo! it spake thus:

> But some opinions are worth more than others.

Yes.  Absolutely.  NOBODY's opinion on games or movies or books is
worth more to me than mine.  In fact, mine overrules everybody
else's.  For me, that is, because it's mine.  I should hope your
opinions of such override mine (or anybody else's) for you, as well.

> There's a difference between liking cheese just because and
> thinking The Seven Samurai is a better movie because of technical,
> emotional, compositional, and visual merit.

Yes.  If I had to choose, I'd give up seeing TSS forever in
preference to giving up eating cheese forever 8-}

> You're basically saying that there is no chemistry because "we"
> don't know the difference between Borium and Carbon.


> This whole "it's still subjective" crap

You seem to be carrying about "objective" and "subjective" as if
they were synonyms for "real" and "imaginary".  But they're not;
they're simply different categories of real.

Something that is objective inhers in an object.  Something that is
subjective inhers rather in a subject's appraisal of the object; or,
perhaps more colorfully phrased, it's a property of the relationship
between the subject and the object.  It's no less real for that.

You can believe, absolutely, to the end of your life, that magnetism
doesn't exist, and the needle of your compass will still point to
[magnetic] North.  Magnetism is an objective quality of matter.  You
can totally disbelieve in gyroscopic stabilization, but when you
apply it to a football or a bullet, they'll still fly truer.  It's a
basic application of physics.

You can also believe, thoroughly and absolutely, that watching
_Jurassic Park_ is no fun whatsoever, but if you sit and watch it
you'll still...  well, have no fun whatsoever.  You're not faking or
pretending; you're not "missing the director's vision"; you're
really and simply not enjoying it.  That's because enjoyment of a
film, like a game, is a subjective phenomenon; it's about how you
relate to it.

Art is subjective, because a painting doesn't stand alone; it causes
you to think or feel something.  If everybody who ever lived agreed
that Degas' paintings of ballet dancers were wonderful, if you could
search forever and find nobody to dispute it, it would still be
subjective, because the painting by itself is nothing; the goodness
is in its relationship with the viewer.

On the other hand, you CAN say objective things about them.  Take
L'etoile, for instance.


If you had a photograph of the same scene beside it, you could say,
objectively, that the painting didn't accurately capture what things
looked like.  The background, the other people standing around...
I'm betting they didn't really look like that.  That's objective;
the fidelity of representation of the objects is an inherent part of
the painting.  But is that departure from reality "good" or "bad"?
That's subjective, because it's in how you judge what's important in
the painting.  If what's important to you is identifying the man in
black, it's a pretty awful painting.

It works for me, though.  Degas is generally considered one of the
pantheon of great painters, so it's safe to assume that it probably
"works" for a lot of people.  In many ways, people are pretty
similar, so our subjective reactions are similar too.  That's why we
can often reach general agreement about the goodness of various
things; it has nothing to do with objectivity, but with similarity
of subjects.

Of course, you're free to go ahead and try to define "good" in a
game to not require fun, or enjoyment, or any such subjective
things.  But I (and, I would venture, the vast majority of people in
the world) wouldn't find that a meaningful description; if nobody in
the world enjoys a game, how can you say it's "good"?

> We just need a few critical, intelligent, logical people to set
> this standard, not the entire population.

They're free to.  And the entire population is then free to ignore
them and keep on playing games they like and not playing games they
don't 8-}

Matthew Fuller     (MF4839)   |  fullermd at over-yonder.net
Systems/Network Administrator |  http://www.over-yonder.net/~fullermd/
           On the Internet, nobody can hear you scream.
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