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

Marian Griffith gryphon at iaehv.nl
Fri Nov 30 20:56:23 CET 2001

On Thu 29 Nov, Mark Eaton wrote:
> On Wednesday, November 28, 2001, at 12:40 PM, Marian Griffith wrote:

> 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

Not really, because it must out of necessity ignore one of the
principles of a narrative (which is not exactly the same as a story
:) namely being static. For the game to continue the war must not
end.  So, while the 2nd world war provides the *back story* for the
game, it can not be the *story*

> 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'.

Certainly not, but to be engaging it is important that we as a
reader can empathise with the protagonist(s) of it. It is very hard
to do that with a cast of thousands. Inevitably the become faceless
grunts and the story loses focus, and subsequently interest.

And that ignores another key difference between narrative and
adventure. In the first you are audience, passive, and the way the
story is shaped up reflects that. In the second you are an actor,
active. You can not be told the story.  The events must evolve
around you. It is possible to "tell" a story, but it is not going to
be along the same lines as a narrative develops.

While the magnitude of the number of actor s certainly has a huge
impact on how the story must be told, a nd how the different threads
must be collected, in both cases you are looking at an adventure,
not a narrative.

Yes - at last - You. I Choose you. Out of all the world,
out of all the seeking, I have found you, young sister of
my heart! You are mine and I am yours - and never again
will there be loneliness ...

Rolan Choosing Talia,
Arrows of the Queen, by Mercedes Lackey

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