*
*
Home
Help
Login
Register
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
February 20, 2019, 10:55:23 PM

Login with username, password and session length
Forum changes: Editing of posts has been turned off until further notice.
Search:     Advanced search
275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 127 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
Pages: [1] 2
Print
Author Topic: Misanthropy and game design  (Read 9761 times)
MK Snyder
Member

Posts: 116


« on: November 29, 2002, 08:41:14 PM »

I have to say, I am struck at the many statements made in this forum by designers that indicate that they just don't like people.

That people, in general, are stupid; need simple entertainment; lazy; want instantaneous gratification; prefer passive activities to active; and so on.

These statements are made with no supporting data. I want to point out that:

a.) America is not the entire world.
b.) The North American Media Outlets are not the entirety of America.
c.) The last twenty five years does not represent all of human entertainment potential.

What do you think people did before television?

They told stories, did amateur theatricals, sang, played musical instruments, played games with sticks and rocks and dirt.

How can individuals who don't like people design, not to mention market, games that people will want to play?

I think that's a strong reason that role-playing as a hobby is stuck in a genre ghetto. Because it's the comfort zone for the designers--who are stuck in a genre subculture.

Meanwhile, "The Sims" is on the cover of Time Magazine, because a lot of people *do* want to role-play. They just don't want to role-play in a pseudo-mediaeval setting of angst ridden horror or high fantasy. They want to role play being rock stars, politicians, mafiosi, football players, and strippers. Because they aren't misanthropes.
Logged
James V. West
Member

Posts: 567


WWW
« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2002, 09:03:52 PM »

Iteresting post, Matt.

It is true that people of all ilks enjoy role-playing, as you pointed out with The Sims. And just because most rpgs and crpgs are of the fantasy slant doesn't mean that's the only thing people want (however it is the preference of many--myself included--I prefer the thematic scope of fantasy over the baggage of dealing with real-world stuff like football and the stock market).

My wife likes to find those fashion websites that let you pick out a body, hair color, etc. and then play "dress up". And she claims she loathes role-playing. The problem isn't that she doesn't like it, she's just damn picky about what *kind* of rp it is and how it is facilitated. She doesn't want to pack a big sword around and add up strength modfiers.

Its a great big world out there and the potential markets for rpgs is phenomenal when you consider that we're talking about a medium that has just as much potential for diversity as painting, music, or anything else.
Logged

Clinton R. Nixon
Member

Posts: 2624


WWW
« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2002, 10:35:01 PM »

Quote from: MK Snyder
I have to say, I am struck at the many statements made in this forum by designers that indicate that they just don't like people.

That people, in general, are stupid; need simple entertainment; lazy; want instantaneous gratification; prefer passive activities to active; and so on.


MK,

Interesting post. I don't know where you found these statements, but I'll admit I choose just not to read things that negative.

I will say, though, that the few statements like that that I have seen come not from designers, but from the group of people with an idea and a name - and no real follow-through. I doubt you'll find anyone that's actually publishing games around here that doesn't love humanity. I know I do; I hope my games convey that.
Logged

Clinton R. Nixon
CRN Games
talysman
Member

Posts: 675


WWW
« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2002, 10:56:05 PM »

Quote from: MK Snyder
I have to say, I am struck at the many statements made in this forum by designers that indicate that they just don't like people.

That people, in general, are stupid; need simple entertainment; lazy; want instantaneous gratification; prefer passive activities to active; and so on.


I don't think those statements are typical of everyone involved in these threads, but I remember seeing a couple examples of what you're describing. I consider it to be part of the "fringe defensive reaction".

I've mentioned that I am involved in experimental music. there are certain people in the noise scene who say very much the same thing. it's all part of the "we're special because those other people aren't" attitude that some people love.

about the most I will say is that many people believe they are not creative; I don't agree with this assessment, but I've heard many people say they could never paint/write/play music/whatever. they are afraid, because that's been a long-standing part of american culture. I'm not going to really get into an argument about it, but there are several american pop-culture examples stretching back to the '50s and earlier that denegrate intellectual pursuits. I remember one essay on this from the '60s written by Isaac Asimov, based on his personal experiences growing up as a smart immigrant kid in america. I also remember reading about Adlai Stevenson running against Ike and getting defeated -- mainly because people thought he was too intellectual.

I do think we've seen some change in this attitude in recent years.

I have also said in a couple threads that people prefer simple entertainment, but I do not mean by that to suggest they are incapable of an intellectually challenging game. I mean people don't always want heavy stuff; sometimes they want something lightweight. I recall specifically mentioning coming home from an exhausting day at work and wanting to vege out in front of the tv or play a quick, fun game.

let me make this clear: I AM ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE. I like clever stuff or thought-provoking stuff sometimes, but I also just like to kill time and have fun. I stopped playing D&D and GURPS because they seemed like a chore. I would like people to publish games that aren't a chore. I want instantaneous gratification! but I'm willing to wait for it. what is so wrong with that?
Logged

John Laviolette
(aka Talysman the Ur-Beatle)
rpg projects: http://www.globalsurrealism.com/rpg
Ron Edwards
Global Moderator
Member
*
Posts: 16490


WWW
« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2002, 10:25:34 AM »

Hello,

For everyone: Matt Snyder is the designer of Dust Devils and runs the Chimera Creative forum. His Forge username is "Matt Snyder." Maryanne K. Snyder is a different person with many virtues of her own. Her Forge username is "MK Snyder." This public service announcement is intended to sink very deeply into people's brains.

MK, I guess it's hard for me to contribute much until I get a better idea of your perceptions. What posts or comments, in this forum specifically, lead you to think that such an outlook is characteristic? Bearing in mind, of course, that one person presenting an emphatic or repeated example remains an N of 1.

Best,
Ron
Logged
James V. West
Member

Posts: 567


WWW
« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2002, 11:44:43 AM »

Quote from: Ron Edwards
Hello,

For everyone: Matt Snyder is the designer of Dust Devils and runs the Chimera Creative forum. His Forge username is "Matt Snyder." Maryanne K. Snyder is a different person with many virtues of her own. Her Forge username is "MK Snyder." This public service announcement is intended to sink very deeply into people's brains.



Oops...Sorry about that, MK. I'm used to seeing Matt post, but I've been fairly absent recently and didn't double check the name. Now I know ;-).
Logged

Sidhain
Member

Posts: 160


« Reply #6 on: November 30, 2002, 01:47:50 PM »

Funny, I like people, I get along with people, I work in a service oriented industry and get lots of compliments for that. On the other hand, some gamers think I'm rude--because I ask questions, or because I don't like the games they love (something I don't get, if you say "I don't like your favorite game" what is it to me? Big deal, you don't like it.).

But outside of the odd "fan-atic" of a game who can't accept people have tastes that differ from their own, I get along well with others. I get frustrated, annoyed, and even pissed off at others, but thats rare.
Logged
MK Snyder
Member

Posts: 116


« Reply #7 on: December 01, 2002, 12:43:27 AM »

Quote from: James V. West
Iteresting post, Matt.

It is true that people of all ilks enjoy role-playing, as you pointed out with The Sims. And just because most rpgs and crpgs are of the fantasy slant doesn't mean that's the only thing people want (however it is the preference of many--myself included--I prefer the thematic scope of fantasy over the baggage of dealing with real-world stuff like football and the stock market).

My wife likes to find those fashion websites that let you pick out a body, hair color, etc. and then play "dress up". And she claims she loathes role-playing. The problem isn't that she doesn't like it, she's just damn picky about what *kind* of rp it is and how it is facilitated. She doesn't want to pack a big sword around and add up strength modfiers.

Its a great big world out there and the potential markets for rpgs is phenomenal when you consider that we're talking about a medium that has just as much potential for diversity as painting, music, or anything else.


Umm, you do realize that you're being equally as "damn picky" in your choice of role-playing?

Or am I being unfair in assuming that you don't play at the fashion websites too?
Logged
James V. West
Member

Posts: 567


WWW
« Reply #8 on: December 01, 2002, 06:35:59 AM »

MK, saying "damn picky" was a compliment to her.

By way of the evolution of role-playing games the vast majority of gamers I've ever known are simply happy to go dungeoneering and hack stuff up. It's a wonderful new experience to know someone who dislikes that kind of gaming, but shows a preference for a different kind. It broadens the scope quite a bit.

And, yeah, paper dolls are fun ;-)
Logged

Ron Edwards
Global Moderator
Member
*
Posts: 16490


WWW
« Reply #9 on: December 01, 2002, 07:48:15 PM »

Hello,

Maryanne, I'm still waiting for any evidence that designers in this forum don't like people. Can you provide any specific posts or comments that indicate this beyond some "feeling" on your part?

Best,
Ron
Logged
Clay
Member

Posts: 550


WWW
« Reply #10 on: December 02, 2002, 09:05:47 AM »

Quote from: James V. West
And, yeah, paper dolls are fun ;-)


So are paper doll houses.  I built one for my step daughter over a year ago that she still has.  Relevant?  Possibly.  She finds my paper and dice RPGs incredibly boring, but she's very actively role playing with her dolls.  Her criticisms are reasonable; I get bored playing barbies too.
Logged

Clay Dowling
RPG-Campaign.com - Online Campaign Planning and Management
Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
Member

Posts: 10459


« Reply #11 on: December 02, 2002, 11:22:12 AM »

It seems to me that what Maryanne was responding to was the 'gamers are smarter' and 'Non-RPGers aren't creattive' (I'm paraphrasing a lot) comments that people were making in the threads on what's mainstream. There may be some us vs. them sentiment there, but I don't see it as a general misanthropy (not to say that those comments weren't wrong; just that they come from sme other place).

BTW, I don't know about any of you, but what is the Hero Machine but paper dolls for RPGers?  :-)

Mike
Logged

Member of Indie Netgaming
-Get your indie game fix online.
Ron Edwards
Global Moderator
Member
*
Posts: 16490


WWW
« Reply #12 on: December 02, 2002, 11:30:12 AM »

Hi Mike,

Those are isolated comments from folks who are not necessarily game designers, made during a very emotionally-challenging discussion. I think it's reaching extremely far to characterize game design as misanthropic based on those.

But as ever, I await Maryanne's clarification.

Best,
Ron
Logged
JSDiamond
Member

Posts: 276


WWW
« Reply #13 on: December 02, 2002, 12:56:55 PM »

I think MK's comments are referring to the game designer laments over not knowing how to reach a wider audience, and then blaming pc games and ccgs as killing their chances, followed by the inevitable "well, the customers these days are morons who want to click their mouse for hours on end" rant.

I spoke with Ron about this early in the days of Gaming Outpost.  To wit: Game designers who are so caught up in the academia of making role-play games, game system theory and talking about sales, -that it seemed to me that they almost didn't enjoy what they were doing.  It sounded like a study group for math homework.  

As far as the somewhat off-topic "America isn't the world" list, I submit:
1. It should be.
2. North American outlets provide the best business model and a worthy goal (by sheer volume) to figure out and use (from a distribution and profit standpoint).  What shall I consider?  The distros in Tibet?  
3. On other forms of entertainment; agreed.  But I think this goes back to a few designers trying to justify their less than stellar attempts to 'rock the industry' or whatever, by blaming other forms of gaming as the reason they fail.  It's almost a non-issue.

As to anyone who role-plays (regardless of format), I still stand by my opinion that people who do role-play are generally smarter than people who don't role-play.  So chalk me up as a game designer with respect and appreciation for my audience.  

Jeff
www.orbit-rpg.com
Logged

JSDiamond
Maurice Forrester
Member

Posts: 73


« Reply #14 on: December 02, 2002, 01:39:48 PM »

I don't know about any game designers making the sort of statements that MK describes, but I've certainly heard them from lots of gamers.  This seems to be a common reaction to people who feel that they are being marginalized.     I see it in the use of "mundanes" by some science fiction fans to refer to people who aren't part of the SF culture and I've seen it in gamers who denigrate pastimes other than gaming.  We've all seen it within gaming when proponents of system X make fun of people who play system Y.  Since I've heard these sentiments from so many gamers over the years, I'd be surprised if there weren't some game designers who shared those sentiments.

All this ties into some of the recent discussion on issue of what is mainstream.  Some gamers get insular and misanthropic because they feel marginalized.  The larger culture sees them as insular and misanthropic and so it marginalizes them further.
Logged

Maurice Forrester
Pages: [1] 2
Print
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC
Oxygen design by Bloc
Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!