[MUD-Dev] Reward system for social gaming?

David Love dlove at nighton.net
Fri Nov 11 08:35:34 New Zealand Daylight Time 2005


On Tue, Oct 18, 2005 at 10:10:01AM -0500, Sean Howard wrote:
> "Alex McGivern" <alex at aeonofdiscord.co.uk> wrote:

>> It's a game. Participation is voluntary, players can drop out at
>> any time, and the things that happen to your avatar aren't
>> happening to you.  I can't quite fathom what you mean by "the
>> results are dangerous".

> Ah, the classic catch all excuse - and it is an excuse. If you do
> any reading on this subject, you'll find that it is frequently
> described as a community, virtual world, or even second life. "My
> Tiny Life" is a good example of when people stop playing games and
> start being real.

> Social connections are not and can not be games. Even if the world
> is fictional, those interpersonal relationships are very much
> real. I even think that it's a mistake to think of them as online
> games, as I believe the community aspect trumps everything else.

I think the crux of the issue here (and your major point of
disagreement) is illustrated quite well by this exchange.
Seperation of player and avatar.  I don't think there is any
disagreement that players become attached to their characters - but
what are the players looking to get out of the game/world?

If the PLAYER is playing in a WORLD then I believe said player will
favor Sean's views (viewing social interactions, etc. as occuring
between other players).

If the AVATAR is a means for the player to play a GAME then we have
an entirely different ball of wax.  The whole guild raid scenario
would be tons of fun from a roleplaying perspective (i.e. the goal
is to tell a story).  And I'm sure it was tons of fun for the
betrayers.  But said players were playing a game.  New, exciting,
and unexpected consequences can be fun (I do not fall into the
category of enjoying games I can always and easily win).

The game vs. virtual world debate has already been discussed (and
continues to be discussed) on the list.  I simply think this happens
to be an extension of that debate.

-D.Love
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