[MUD-Dev] Male and female brains

Rayzam rayzam at travellingbard.com
Tue May 20 19:52:26 CEST 2003

From: "Marian Griffith" <gryphon at iaehv.nl>
> In <URL:/archives/meow?group+local.muddev> on Thu 08 May, John Arras wrote:
>> On Wed, 7 May 2003, Marian Griffith wrote:

> There probably is some biological hardwiring in place, though it
> is likely far weaker than we tend to think, and what evidence
> there is of it is pretty insubstantial.  From what I have seen of
> very young children I would say that individual character is much
> stronger than any biological impulse. There are rowdy girls and
> nurturing boys but social pressure is pretty strong.  Girls are
> not supposed to run around and do all those active things that
> boys are encouraged to do, and even their clothing reflects it.
> They get dresses and skirts and generally lighter and more fragile
> fabrics where boys get darker colours and sturdy trousers that
> they can easily run and climb in and that do not show stains quite
> as bad Girls generally get kept on a shorter leash while boys are
> allowed, even encouraged, to go out and explore.

> It probably is impossible to find out how much of this is nature
> and how much is nurture, not without resorting to some pretty
> unethical experiments.

And to toss in a third variable: hormonal effects in the womb during
development. I.e., mother's hormonal levels affect brain development
of the fetus, modulating it's own sex-related brain development, via
fetus-generated hormones. Well studied in rats, not humans :)

>> It's probably also why so many devs don't get the Sims, since it
>> triggers the visceral "Ewww Barbies! Those are for girls!" 
>> response.

> Well, the only developers I know of are the ones on this list.
> How many of you have that reaction?

Not I. I remember reading a single paragraph on it in a gaming
magazine 6 months or more before The Sims came out. I'm a male, and
I thought: wow, it's Populous with humans and it's a psychology
game. Funky.

Then it's out, and I thought: it's roleplaying other lives. Follow a
different career, play at having a family. I don't need to be a
dwarven wizard, I can be a professional athlete who likes to cook
and paint.

Then playing it more, I thought: it's an achievement game. Collect
cash, collect friends, farm stats to gain levels [job
promotions]. Use the variable time rates to speed past the boring
stuff, since it doesn't take direct control to farm a stat [you
don't have to hit a button to get every rep on that gym to build up
Body]. Much of it is automated soloing. I.e., it's just a different
genre solo mud, with treadmills, and without other people.

When that part gets boring, the game has 2 other mechanisms in place
to keep you playing:

  - house building & decorating

  - multiple characters per account.

At some point, there aren't enough friends available in the starting
set, so if you want your primary character in the Sims to advance,
you've got to start a secondary character/family. For flavor,
they're often following a different career path and like different
things, decorate and live in a different style of house, etc. You
either get into playing them too, and switch between the families,
or you treat the new family like a mule, and only play them long
enough to make them your primary character's friends for

Repeat for other families and later advancement.

I'm surprised about Ew! Barbies are for girls! Because I think the
Sims really just does the achievement-treadmill mud paradigm in a
different genre without combat.


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