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Dec 10, 2006



Sure, if gameplayers were all intellectuals, we could have much more interesting and complex game worlds. But you know what? My good man, they ain't.

For the majority, manuals are a bore and a chore to be avoided unless in absolute trouble.

We're caught in the loop of players expecting games to be largely mindless ego masturbation, thus companies design their games to fulfill this desire of the market. And thus gamers come to expect this is what games are about.

(of course this is somewhat generalizing, and more than a little misanthropic, but this is my point of view. Merry christmas)


Absolutely delightful notion - gives one a vision of a really rich experience, with the kind of depth not usually found in virtual worlds. I think you've got it, one of the defining characteristics of entering a synthetic world is the limited information about expectations, functionality, culture, etc. I think that's one reason voice has a lot of potential yet in this space: there's so much more information conveyed by tonality, inflection, etc.

Too though, some of the play experience is discovery, and some of the satisfaction, I think, is the imagination applied to a relatively skelatal narrative or play experience, enabling the creation of an idealized version. Still, I wouldn't be surprized if you're on to something here, especially with the interest in trans-media, where the core fan base has a rich knowledge of the source material. An approach like this could open the door to a really powerful interaction with an existing IP or narrative, which I think is one of the really interesting revolutions we're on the brink of.


to Thomas: Ah, but if there were a platform where indies could develope niche worlds (in addition to the more well-established properties, of course), then the players looking for a richer experience, or just something different, could find St Nick, as it were, instead of Santa?



Nate wrote:

In any case, I wonder how games and virtual worlds would look if their culture evolved with a less "seat of the pants" view towards knowledge aquisition. What if players were brought along expecting to read a manual, a really long one, before they could play. I suspect there would be more freedom in what developers could design.

You don't have to wonder. Here are some virtual worlds that require that you submit an application to play that demonstrates you understand the world culture. You don't get in until the application is approved by a staff member.

* Armageddon: http://www.armageddon.org/
* Shadows of Isildur: http://www.middle-earth.us/
* Harshlands: http://www.harshlands.net



I wrote a really long-a** post in response to this over on my blog. For some reason, the track-back picker-upper isn't picking it up, or pinging it or whatever.

It's here:



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