[MUD-Dev] New laws. (was: Player Manipulation of Environment)

Mark Eaton marke at mac.com
Thu Nov 29 11:29:55 CET 2001

On Wednesday, November 28, 2001, at 12:40 PM, Marian Griffith wrote:

> The key issue is, I think, that there is a difference between the
> mud *providing* the story and the mud *being* the story, ane even
> that does not exactly express what I mean.  I think that part of
> the problem is that we are talking about something new, so that
> our words do not accurately describe it. We try to explain it but
> we can only interpret it in terms of words that are meaning other
> things in more traditional contexts.

Does World War II Online provide a counterexample? It seems to me
that WW2O is one single story (the war) that is the sum of the
stories of each of the players (the soldiers, officers, generals,
etc.) Or, at least, thats what it is intended to be if they ever
work the technical kinks out.

Surely one has to admit that a story doesn't necessarily *have* to
be a personal story of one or a handful of individuals in order to
be a 'story'. Fictional literature is predominately composed of
personal stories, but there is a rich tradition of historical novels
which consider entire groups or populations of 'characters'. A
story-centric MUD will have to figure out ways to assimilate
thousands of individuals into one story. This in fact is the key
distinction between a 'massively multiplayer' game and, say, a pen
and paper RPG which is played by a small group of friends.

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