Games and Social Spaces
at the risk of seeming sycophantic, especially since i have friends that think raph koster is an inflated fool who screws up games, i'm going to point over to him yet again.
anyway. there is a reason that throughout the history of man, social gatherings have been structured around events or games. whether it's hanging out and drinking a beer, hanging out and drinking coffee, hanging out and dancing, hanging out and having dinner, hanging out and playing pool, hanging out and playing in a pool, hanging out and playing poker, etc. look at family game night for crying out loud.
it's always social + recreational activity = fun.
note the descriptor "recreational" there. that means that hanging out and working is not fun. well. not unless you enjoy the work. some of us do, but the large majority of the world thinks work is… well… work.
as in not fun. as in something you only do when you get paid.
i'm not saying everyone is like that. i get lots of people — real life friends — the non-computer types — remember them? — who just stare, mouth agape, when i tell them how much i work. (god bless my wife for putting up with it!) there are others like me out there. in fact, there's a 'game' full of them.
but, as i said in the comments on raph's musings:
in real life, the masses are basically sheep. the ’shepherd to sheep’ ratio sits at this 1% range. second life is a ‘game’ (i use the term very loosely) with too many shepherd’s and not enough sheep. it’s just not any fun for folks who aren’t ’shepherds.’
second life is a curiosity. something you flirt with, figure out, then drop like it's equivalent to vacuuming out the car. it's not a mainstream game and it never will be. because it's just not fun. interesting, yes. fun, no. sort of like physics….
that being said, there is a lot that other, actual fun games can learn from it, so, it's not like it's a worthless endeavor.
now, back to where i was going with this whole thing.
i believe there is a large part of my brain and raph's brain that… i dunno…. run on the same wavelength? were separated at birth like some sort of conjoined cerebral fetus. i really have no idea.
ooh! it's like that bad movie with danny devito and ah-nald! twins! that's it!
so, raph's part is very thoughtful, musing and patient where my part is impetuous, inflamatory and absolutist. but, the underlying synapses fire in the precise same direction.
well. at least recently.
i read some of his older stuff (pre-theory of fun) and i disagree with a lot of it. but recently, it seems like we're in lock-step.
take his latest piece i am linking to. i did the precursory glance/skim/scroll and was instantly welded with exactly what he was saying. it took about 1.2 seconds for us to be on the same page. seriously, with a post like that, how in the hell does that happen? maybe it's the nexus where the 'web api' and 'metaverse' collide? i dunno.
it sure makes me feel like a stalker tho. (sorry, man. i don't mean to. i promise.)
but, seriously, that post is like he cracked open my skull, poured out this hemmoraging mess that comprises my thoughts and straightened it out for the rest of the world to easily understand. lord knows i can use the help.
anyway. i'm headed back to my text editor (told you i was a raving maniac, raph — no visual studio here!), sql server and c#. just thought i'd poke my head in for a minute and ramble out a brain dump.
p.s. for the record, i don't think raph screws up games. i think design by committee screws up games. hence, why i am the captain of my own ship. and exactly why if i take any vc money, it'll be on my terms with absolutely no negotiation.