The murmur of the snarkmatrix…

August § The Common Test / 2016-02-16 21:04:46
Robin § Unforgotten / 2016-01-08 21:19:16
MsFitNZ § Towards A Theory of Secondary Literacy / 2015-11-03 21:23:21
Jon Schultz § Bless the toolmakers / 2015-05-04 18:39:56
Jon Schultz § Bless the toolmakers / 2015-05-04 16:32:50
Matt § A leaky rocketship / 2014-11-05 01:49:12
Greg Linch § A leaky rocketship / 2014-11-04 18:05:52
Robin § A leaky rocketship / 2014-11-04 05:11:02
P. Renaud § A leaky rocketship / 2014-11-04 04:13:09
Jay H § Matching cuts / 2014-10-02 02:41:13

Why Are Most Online Games About Genocide?

Raph Koster, one of the designers behind the Star Wars: Galaxies MMORPG, has a really excellent post up on his blog:

We shape the player experience by the verbs we provide. Right now, the only way to interact meaningfully with our fantasy worlds is at the edge of a sword, and through the barrel of a gun.

It’s true. Not that online games should be Sesame Street scenarios… but come on, do they all have to be bloody crusades?


Well, they all don’t have to be… Take World of Warcraft, for instance. There’s nothing to prevent you from learning a trade or craft and doing that for your character class instead of adventuring and/or slaughtering.

That’s true, but that activity still takes places in the context of a huge world-spanning conflict between two sides — two sides, I should add, that cannot even TALK to each other in the game. Bitter, endless struggle is hard-coded into the game.

Now, on some (fairly significant) level I appreciate the design — Blizzard is just doing their best to set up a situation that is exciting, fun & interesting.

But on another level I do wish there were some alternatives to the “world at war” scenario — other high-end MMORPGs with different priorities.

Because war is a force that gives us meaning or something, innit?

This is an awesome Raph Koster post. It’s long, and I’m totally not into MMORPGs, but I was into this.

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