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you guys live in the past, enough with this MUD shit already.

Craig Huber

I personally think the reliance on numbers and stats arises more from the medium itself than anything.

Given current computer tech, everything from words to sounds to images, all are simply collections of numbers at anything near the level where the computer itself can attempt to attach meaning, which is generally assumed (I think) to be necessary to have a "game". Boiling concepts down to some numeric value/range is thus the most direct means of assigning a meaning that a computer can "understand".

This is another sacred cow of sorts, perhaps, for MMOGs: that the computers and intervening network somehow needs to do more than be a mere conduit. I admit to being somewhat at a loss as to where that thought might eventually lead, tho, beyond Second Life, enhanced chat rooms, and familiar territory like that.

Onder Skall

Ooh, I think I found a new favorite blog!

Celia Pearce

A quick comment to "meh" above. As a professor, I would actually argue that we need to live in the past MORE. In virtually every other field, there is some sense of honoring and recognizing the past and also being able to map the trajectory of conventions within the medium. Thus, we read Shakespeare to understand the conventions of theater, we read Jane Austin to understand the novel, we watch Alfred Hitchcock movies, wherein many of today's film genre conventions were born. In the digital media field there seems to be some rare form of historical amnesia in which people behave as if a) nothing ever happened before they were born; b) everything is being done for the first time.

I think it's very important for people designing MMOGs to know who did what when and WHY! Otherwise we are simply media creation zombies blindly following, indeed propagating, conventions whose origins we had no hand in.

And in case you didn't notice, there are still quite a few people out there who still really dig MUDs. Kind of like those of us who still like to watch black and white movies!


I found this blog through Raph Koster's blog and am really enjoying the things I've read so far.

I'm hoping the with increasing use of social networking and self marketing tools (i.e. blogs, del.icio.us, youtube)more of us can here about the indie mmo's. Right now most of the noise I see as a consumer revolve around the large IPs (Age of Conan, LoTRO) - I have to hunt for the unknown. Hopefully that will be easier in the future.

Great write up.


This is coming from a designer who left CS his first year of college for Creative Writing - I totally agree with you about the programmer perspective limiting the concept of what the medium is. Its like people who think Aristotle defined what storytelling is, and you can't escape that framework. People assume nothing can break that case because they're drawing from a body of work created by people who though similarly. I say its time for a punk revolution in game design.


hello celia,
another "ancient" returns to Atlantis...;)


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