by: Lynette Webb

Here's one last slide on games for the day. Actually this is an old quote that I’d already included in part on an earlier chart, but I decided to expand - helped by stumbling across yet another brilliant photo by Thomas Hawk that perfectly suited it. :-)

Of course, not all games are “vehicles for self expression”. There is a very important distinction between so-called ‘casual’ games and their role-playing brethren - they’re like chalk and cheese in terms of the way it feels to play. Even for RPGs it varies by where you are in the experience curve…

There was a fascinating interview recently that touched on this with the founder of MUD’s (MUD = multi-user dungeons, the forerunner of today’s virtual worlds).

You can read the full interview here:
But here’s the bit that especially grabbed me:

“Virtual worlds are places. If you go there because they're a place, for example, to do business, well you're not going to be turned off them any more than you'd be turned off going to any other place. Social life in London may be better than that in Leicester, but people still go to Leicester.

However, virtual worlds are not ordinary places. Game worlds in particular are places of adventure and excitement, similar to the real world but apart from it. People go there as part of a hero's journey - a means of self-discovery (shh! don't let the players know - they think it's just "to have fun"). When they've grown as people and become the individuals they set out to become, they have no need to play any more.

This "burnout" as you put it means they end up regarding the virtual world as a place no more special than the real world. Then, they can start doing things in it that they would in any ordinary place they found agreeable.”

Quote on the slide is from
Photo via Flickr CC thanks to thomashawk 

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