Blog Archive

Friday, October 28, 2005

Live blogging fr AGC: Why are we here? Keynote by Richard Bartle

28 October 2005, Texas, Austin, Austin Game Conference

RIchard Bartle giving keynote at ACG 2005

Why are we in this converted ballroom?
We are gonna die!

ppt slide from Bartle's speech at ACG 2005

And why are we vw developers and not for example regaular gems devs?
Some possible answers... Ruling the world f ex
Lets say we are here willingly because we want to
Hacker culture
Steven levy's book hackers

bartle slide

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... 4 hours on the mainframe per week, not much dev time...
Premise; programming == fun

Hacking thing - chaotic good //hacking
Open source thing - lawful good //nxt gen puzzle solving
Today's commercial prgr - lawful neutral

Defence of suits. We need them to get us 30 M.
Terror: when they call the creative shots.

Where have all the hackers gone?
... They migrated.
To VW dev,
Mobile dev
Academia (dispiriting tho)

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High concentration in vw dev of ppl who were hacers 20 years ago.

Gotten into it because of having played games.

WoW -> based on EQ -> based in DikuMUD -> based on AberMUD -> based MUD1

Levels in MUD1. Now we ask ourselves "how many levels" not IF to have levels.
/*what about the AD&D sys for creating gamedesign paradigms? */

Many MMO architecture build on MUD1. DAoC build on somewhat different stuff.

The ethymology of "mobs".
Cultural progression.

Behavior of players shaped by the code and its culture

MUD1 culture dreived from hacker culture.
Consious choice by Richard and Roy.

RB saw MUD1 as way to give ppl freedom to be who they want to be.
Not how they are tied by their social environemtn.
That was implemented in mud1, and it is still a part game design paradigm.
Polly's Story.

1978, computing science dept was mad. Being female was just as any other trait, like having red hair. At that time you had to go out of lab to meet a female, since females in lab was just like persons. But outside you got shot down! Had to learn some social skills. Sit down togheter and dring beer together... Finding excuses to not go out... Pretty nice guys, just if the girls got to know them, if they were given a chance. No females around. But ppl needed to practice. RB thought like hmmm playing D&D, role playing, that could be a way to practice. MUD1 only had male characters in it... Lets get people to talk instead of just ... Added gender, male and female (didnt have that from start). Created a character called Polly. Parrot like thing. Because of the name it got a female gender (being Richard, ... Who is male) So the others also created female characters. Played themselves as they might have been. Exploring different ways of how to be. The role playing thing. R would think it could have helped them but that was to late... Later on some female players.
So this how and why we put in gender in the first place. Polly story, and when started to roleplay a little.

RB wanted ppl to experience freedom through playing virtual worlds. With freedom comes understanding.
Ppl bring much realworld culture via language into vw:s.
But it doesnt go one way. Some things ppl bring with them

Player development tracks.
Hero's journey.

RB to audience:
YOU are grokked by the concept!
And want other's to get the benefit of playing them.
Basic ideals in vws get passed on.

RP: devs create vw:s for the same reasons as players play: to explore identity.

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Develo yourself through developing vws. Artist.

/* sparse notes here, since i got immersed in listening to RB. But i photographed many of the slides. Telling audience that we can change the world. Lovely. */

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QA have changed via TV, of what ppl making televistion have created... Not much more to say. We on the other hand have a lot left to say?
Q: An example of a societal change?
A: Yes, gender bending in VWs... When seeing a transsexual in RL, it is not such a wierd thing.
Also: as player base ages games become harder to ignore for society.
Q: influence on youg ppl?
A: mby that ppl learn to cooperate. Incitament to do that, xp etc.
Q: if you could change WoW in ONE aspect, which would it be?
A .. Put copyright richard bartle in the end :). No: At toplevel of the game: give ppl the opprotunity to quit at lvl 60. Get their names in the hall of fame. Would benefit the updraught. Over time the game thickens at top. That puts off the newbies. So allowing ppl to drop off is good for getting newbies. Also a feeling that its an end to this.
Q: You have presented a kind of relegion that you have created where we would be the high priest. Well we could do some good things...
A: (embarassed)... Lengthy explanationion... Seing things as they are... Trying to make ppl realise... You have actual power! Not a poor little programmer. This is of intense interest to you. Otherwise you wouldnt be here! ... The magic circle... Teaching ppl through their own experiences. How they behave. And this speeds up what would take maybe 20 or 30 years of life to learn.
Q: do ppl who create WVs have responsibility for how much time ppl spend in VW:s?
A: Yes! Since you create the world you have the reponsibility. On the other hand you dont force them to play your game. Guess Chinese gov have the heart in the right place, but maybe also think that ppl are getting ideas.
Q: lengthy q which i didnt get
A: well wouldnt it be nice if everyone could create their own virtual worlds just like ppl now can create webpages.
Q: certainly in film and tv there are suits making creative shots. Risk not when suits may have played WoW believe they are designers?
A: Some suits are decent people... Have a hope that the more ppl play the more they will also understand. But there is a risk of everyone, all players, believing they are designers. /* Backpudding lunatics in charge of the asylum - i must have misherard it */
Q: missed it
A: Station exchange... Risk that people dont get it play station exchange, while others go to other places. My feeling about this is relaxed. Players are developing their own defence mechanisms. PPl play with a limited number of ppl, 0 - 12. The magic circle should ideally encompass the whole server, but if one find a small group of ppl to trust you build own magic circle around the small group. Rating oneselfe accoring norms in the smaller groups instead of the whole worlds. This may protect from the process that seem so inevitable.
Q: isnt it ugly to measure one in level, objectity the soul?
A: lvling thing... Not all players regard it as the main thing. On the path ppl learn about themselves. Level is just a number. Some players never get it tho. Why they do it. Would be good with finitenss to the game. Seen ppl change dramatically when reaching a certain level. A player who wanted to become wizard, get administative power... To reach the level and get to kill everybody and get even. When he became wizard. A sudden change. He had won! He didnt want to kill everybody. Have the power, but didnt need to use it anymore. 20 seconds earlier he would have killed everyone. Later on he was made arch wizard, one of the best they had. This experience argument for that it is good to have a finit of sorts
/* leading to the eldersgame */
Q: griefers.
A: rather online than in real life. Hopefully ppl grow up. Hopefully VWs can help them. Hard to put broken players back on the rails again.