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

Sean Howard squidi at squidi.net
Thu Nov 3 03:59:14 New Zealand Daylight Time 2005

"Amanda Walker" <amanda at alfar.com> wrote:

> Ah, but now we're getting into different territory.  We're no
> longer talking about philosopher-kings who define objective
> criteria for "goodness", we're talking about constructing utility
> functions for particular populations.  That's an entirely
> different thing.

We still need the philosopher-kings to come up with the philosophy
by which we decide what are important questions, and the validity of
their answers. You could answer a design question by appealing to
the majority or marketing or whatever - it's utilitarian enough -
but that doesn't create "good" games. The definition is still very
much in the hands of the philosophers.

>   Does red mean "danger" or "good fortune"?

Perhaps both, but definitely not "refreshing".

>   Which is better for funerals, white or black?

That's conditional, but plaid is definitely out.

>   Do pastel colors mean "childish" or "comfortable"?

Both, but definitely not "hot".

> On average, Americans and Japanese would answer these questions
> quite differently.

Questions, especially questions like these, can have multiple
conditional answers, but that doesn't mean that all answers are
possible. What we have to do is decide on the acceptable values,
then find the corresponding similarities between them, as well as
the differences. I mean, red does mean Danger to a Japanese person
(last I checked, they still used red lights, red vs green for
wrong/right answers, and so on), even if it may have additional
meanings, and if those meanings are innate to the colors, then the
understanding will cross cultural boundaries.

> I discovered this myself when I was localizing a product (and our
> associated marketing materials) for the Japanese market.  I handed
> my Japanese counterpart my business card, which was in a 90s
> "Internet hip" color scheme (black card, white lettering, red
> accent graphic) and the guy blanched and said, "you should make
> different cards for Japan."  Evidently our black-and-red corporate
> appearance package had roughly the connotation of "the death
> company."  We made white cards with black letters and graphics for
> Japan :-).

Um... if you gave me a black card with white lettering, I'd probably
think of funerals as well.

- Sean
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