[MUD-Dev] DGN: Reasons for play [was: Emergent Behaviorsspawnedfrom...]

Amanda Walker amanda at alfar.com
Thu Sep 29 20:28:37 CEST 2005

On Sep 28, 2005, at 10:23 AM, Sean Howard wrote:
> "Amanda Walker" <amanda at alfar.com> wrote:

>> Actually, the example I was thinking of was the particle, which
>> English doesn't have ("wa", "ga", "o", "no", etc.).  English has
>> the same functions, but accomplished via very different
>> structures.

> Those are basicly prepositions. Nothing particularly different or
> fancy - though the difference between wa and ga drives me nuts.

QED :-).  They aren't prepositions--prepositions and particles are
related, but they're not the same thing.  And the reason you have so
much trouble with "wa" as an English speaker is that English has no
equivalent to "wa"--English doesn't mark topics with explicit
markers at all.  It uses syntax and discourse structure, which
peform the same function but using completely different mechanisms.

>> However, both are examples where once acquired, it's not
>> changeable, which gets to one of my points...

> I think you mean difficult to change. You can learn a new
> language,

Yes, but you can't learn a new *native* language.  At least after
puberty, you will never acquire another language with native fluency
[ this is one of those topics where we could get into a footnoting
tangent, but for the purposes of this discussion, it's as true as
any of the other things we are talking about ... ]

> and large life events can impact your personality and belief
> systems fundamentally (ask a born against Christian). There are
> some things you can't change, but I believe these to be at the
> brain level and nothing specific to gender or anything like that.

It's more complex than this--"brain level" things do change in
response to stimulus, even in adults (google for "neuroplasticity"
and you'll actually find a bunch of game-related stuff), and some
things that are acquired require particular developmental timing or
you're stuck (depth perception and stereo fusion being two other
classic examples--it's not just language).

> The fact that somethings like World of Warcraft can have such a
> huge female audience, and we still can't agree on what that means,
> says that we aren't anywhere close to understanding videogames.

Oh, no argument, though I think that it provides some great sources
of new data.

> I think we can both agree that a good game is a good game
> regardless of whether it has My Little Pony in.

I agree on My Little Pony, but I don't agree that "a good game is a
good game".  There are some with broad appeal, but in general, one
person's "good game" is another person's "waste of time."  I'll play
WoW (and used to play MUDs and MUSHes) for hours at a time.  I won't
play Mortal Kombat for two minutes (and it's not because of the
violence aspect--I like explosions and gore as well as the next
gamer, especially after a long day full of conference calls and
PowerPoint).  Yet MK was quite a successful game, despite the fact
that I think it's crap.  "good game" is subjective.

Amanda Walker
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