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

Amanda Walker amanda at alfar.com
Thu Nov 10 04:32:59 New Zealand Daylight Time 2005

On Oct 18, 2005, at 11:52 AM, Sean Howard wrote:

> Sorry, I should've used the word "quality" instead. There is a
> distinct, inherant difference in quality between two objects,
> regardless of what they are valued as (though typically, the value
> is dependant on quality - especially in a secondary market).

I'm not seeing it (and yes, I've read Pirsig :-)).  Quality can only
be judged relative to purpose; it is not something inherent in an
object. It is still an attribution made by people, and is both
culturally and contextually dependent.

Which is higher quality, a perfectly cubical slab of marble, or a
lopsided, scored, pockmarked glacial boulder with interesting
crevices and bits of lichen and moss growing on it?

For the purpose "building cornerstone", it would be the former.  For
the purpose "garden focal point", it might well be the latter.

> But I think of it this way. When you are a kid, you don't yet have
> a mature palette. You like strong tastes, like tabasco sauce, sour
> candies, or pixie sticks.

Hey, I still like strong tastes (including those three).  Sometimes
what my taste buds want is a nice cut of prime beef with truffles in
a burgundy reduction, sometimes it's fresh raw sea urchin (mmm,
uni...), and sometimes what they want is three way chili with a
large dollop of Tabasco and a side of pepper poppers.  It all
depends on the context.

> As you grow older, you start recognizing subtle differences
> between tastes, and that middle subtlety becomes the gauge rather
> than the end points.

Subtlety is a fine metric, but not all contexts call for subtle.

> I feel that this conversation is between someone who's been there
> and done that and wants something more substantial, and someone
> who either still can't see past candy, or at least sees no reason
> to sell anything but candy if that's what most people
> want. There's value to both sides, I guess, but they want such
> fundamentally different needs...

Bingo.  What I'm arguing is that whether or not candy is "better" or
"higher quality" than sushi depends on those needs, and is not
inherent in the food.

If you're trying to argue that you'd like to see more complex and
nuanced online worlds, I agree completely.  I just view this as an
observation about us, not about the world of gaming.

Amanda Walker
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