Re: [-empyre-] Forward from Eddo

I remember a good lecture given by Brenda Laurel, speaking about the Greek theater as the worlds most succesfull simulation, when you put in stage some people acting as "if" and the public felt it was for real. Tears, sorrow, jpy, love, hate, passion, envy, the whole spectrum
of human emotions was there.
And I am almost agree with her, where are the emotions in games today? Not in the Sims, of course. Fear, yes, its the only emotion I feel its present in the corridors of Doom or in the foe infested dungeons at Everquest, but no other ones...

Jeff Sonstein wrote:

On 5 Jul 2004, at 6:24 PM, eddo wrote:

Jeff - regarding the open ended game design problem

I think its in Huizinga somewhere defining play as something that occurs
between fixed boundaries - ie rules - this definition carries very well to
ground the difference between games and open ended "virtual" worlds (some
MUDs, MOOs, Activeworlds, VRML spaces ...etc..)

hmmmmmmm I need to go back and re-read some materials about games and play... I'm not sure about thinking of them as being the same thing

[...] I felt I was performing in public and my
audience was deeply engaged in the conventions of the world - allowing any
"Subversive" actions to operate as subversive by going against the game norms.

so there is a way something to "push against" is needed? I like this idea

- doing this in MUDs or any open-ended world simply would not have that
psychological affect for me.

interesting... so the virtual-space norms and mores which arise out of the longer-term interactional patterns of the people who come back over and over are insufficient?

 I think in MMOs its really all about agency(vs
the game creators and vs the other players) and maintaining a sense of

would you be willing to speak to this some more? offline would be okay if others on the list aren't interested in this issue... I agree that issues of agency permeate the interactional patterns in multi-user spaces and would like to here more of your thoughts

I wrote some about this in a paper some time ago - its at [...]

thanks I'll take a look


Jeff Sonstein, Assistant Professor
Department of Information Technology
Rochester Institute of Technology
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