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Michael Chui
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I was playing board games in a bar when it came over the TV. Some people came in from across the street to watch the news. My group and I sort of shrugged it off and kept playing.
Hm... short on time at the moment, but I will point out one thing. Conservative values, however Chris wants to define them, tend to be well-studied and universally acknowledged. Moreover, they agree with a historical pessimism in humanity: the rational man, nature red in tooth and claw, social Darwinism, etc. These things aren't necessarily true, but more interestingly, they tend to be easier to simulate. The appeal of combat, to take the obvious one, isn't entirely to our baser instincts: it's also an appeal to stupidity. Combat is the most mindless and one dimensional form of interaction a person can have. Potts points out that a lot of the liberal ideals depicted in The Sims are done so idyllically (is that even a word? Well, it is now). This is also the simplest implementation possible. That's not a slight--if that's not your design goal then okay--but it also points out that none of the values represented in games are fleshed out thoughtfully. Incidentally, I should note that I never bother with a Domination victory when playing Civilization. This is partly because I'm just not good at it, but also because it's simply more satisfying for me to win by other means. When I played The Guild 2, I found myself utterly disinterested in blackmailing, torturing, or wiping out other dynasties; I simply achieved my goals without harming them and that was okay.
Toggle Commented Feb 28, 2011 on Moral Combat at Terra Nova
You're asking this in a language derived primarily from Germanic with significant French and Latin influences and an odd assortment of borrowings from a hundred other world languages, every word of which is a symbol indicating some particular collection of concepts, the juxtaposition of which carry strange meanings that make puns possible, and when brought together can create even more concepts with only distant relation to their constituent parts? Sure. It will be possible. Will you be learning Quenya or Klingon first?
Toggle Commented Nov 24, 2010 on Symbols in Virtual Worlds at Terra Nova
Haven't read the dissertation yet, but I've guessed that prehistoric economic processes arose as a reaction to the inability to keep up with absolutely everyone's reputation: eventually you just have to trust the stamp on the coin. It makes sense that the causal action can go in the opposite direction, where the abstraction of a number makes a friendship go cold. In an era of data traces, numbered friend counts, and performance evaluations, there is a lot less room (often intentionally so) for people to connect on a personal level. One of the reasons I dislike combat-oriented games is that multiplayer combat beyond about four players tends towards hierarchy, and hierarchy makes intimacy difficult.
I wrote something on the difference between craft and art a while back that seems relevant:
Toggle Commented Jan 13, 2010 on Game Design: The Art of the Human? at Terra Nova