Plz have constant play, in MMORPGS

Gah. MMORPGS should have some sort of counter that goes off as soon as you start click on ‘enter world’, even during the loading time. And during any loading time in game. And it gives some amount of cash or XP or something during that time.

When I start a game, I start it to play it. Yeah, I could walk off to do something while it loads up, but I’m still waiting to play, whatever I do.

Further, I want this thing ticking away when I’m standing still, or running. I suggested this on the LOTRO forum once a long time ago and they were all ‘Oh, you want something for nothing’ or ‘That doesn’t make sense’. Umm, your health regens as you run along. That’s getting something for nothing (and as to realism – well, actually you do get something for excercising in real life, but I guess you guys wouldn’t know about that…ooh, too snarky).

I want to play, I don’t want to wait to play. I don’t want to wait while I run to somewhere I can play.

And I am aberation – waiting to play IS play, for most of these folks – they’ve gone through hundreds of hours of it and…I’ll cut myself off on that.



  1. Tommi said,

    4 August, 2009 at 4:15 am

    Is gaining experience or gold always play?

  2. Callan said,

    5 August, 2009 at 2:30 pm

    Yes, in terms of myself. It’s measurable, while if you want to call unmeasurable stuff ‘play’, perhaps it is, or perhaps your under an illusion.

  3. Tommi said,

    6 August, 2009 at 2:42 am

    I’m just thinking about reductio ad absurdum; let us say that I build a program that you start and that then displays two numbers, gold and experience, that increase. No interaction, no nothing. I would not call that activity play. The definitions of game that I remember (see Salen and Zimmerman’s Rules of play for a good coverage of the subject) demand interactivity.

    Your definition seems to be a peculiar one.

  4. Callan said,

    6 August, 2009 at 8:49 am

    I was going to add the notion of an occasional, random spike in gold/XP recieved, but thought it would spoil the post.

    It’s a classic poker machine mechanism. Though I’ll grant I didn’t outline that fully in the OP.

  5. Tommi said,

    8 August, 2009 at 3:24 am

    So, would a screensaver where two numbers increase, unpredictably jumping up by large amount, count as play?

  6. Callan said,

    8 August, 2009 at 11:26 am

    You mean snakes and ladders? Yeah.

    Well, it is play for me when I think that sort of play is good enough for me. Otherwise if it doesn’t feel like ‘play’ when I think about it…then I don’t play.

  7. Tommi said,

    9 August, 2009 at 6:12 am

    Snakes and ladders has interaction: You physically grab a die, roll it, and move your piece based on the result. I’m not sure if it is a game, but it certainly is play (by the definitions I know).

    Watching some numbers go up seems a very strange form of play, since it has no interactivity. This is not to say that it can’t be interesting; I can watch an interesting process for a long time and enjoy simply seeing it unfold, but I don’t call it play.

  8. Callan said,

    9 August, 2009 at 8:41 am

    Well, that’s because your being fooled by ‘the interaction’.

    Maybe this will act as an interaction placebo – I double clicked to run the program to run it – there you go, that’s as physical an action as picking up dice!

  9. Tommi said,

    9 August, 2009 at 8:23 pm

    I would not count merely double-clicking to start a program as interaction. With snakes and ladders there is actual interaction: Depending on where you are on the board, you might move your piece forward but then encounter a snake and slide back down. With a screensaver (or the equivalent), you do nothing but watch. No interaction as you simply initiate the program and then watch.

    Note that play is a wider concept than game. Children play with dolls without it being a game (again, according to most definitions I know of).

    Here’s the question I would like an answer to: Do you think there can be play without interaction?

  10. Callan said,

    10 August, 2009 at 5:32 am

    Jeez Tommi, your just watching snakes and ladders as well. Instead of a computer moving the piece forward then the comp checking if it encounters a snake and sliding it down if it does, your doing it. A computer doing it or you doing it, exactly the same thing – your just watching in either case. I’m pretty sure your going to struggle and fight and blur the word interaction over this, because you’ve woven this, thread by thread, into the fabric of your life, and you don’t want to give that life up (

    Play without interaction? Betting on horse racing. But that’s getting into gamism and the guts to gamble, which is probably anathema to you.

  11. Tommi said,

    11 August, 2009 at 12:54 am

    I certainly won’t be blurring the word interaction, but rather separating different sorts of interaction. Confirmation bias is quite a wrong concept here; this is just playing with definitions. I very, very much discourage you from using a link to random online article and claiming the other person is thinking wrong. I could very well do the same to you and the discussion would turn into pointless name calling or defence of one’s integrity. The post below shows some of the defensiveness. If you want, we can of course start blaming each other of various shortcomings, which are probably ill-informed, as we do not actually know each other.

    Rules of play is a book on game design written by Salen and Zimmerman. I heartily recommend it to you, as you are certainly interested in the subject and the book offers several useful perspectives on games and game design.

    For example: Games can be investigated at three levels: Formal, experience or culture. Formally snakes and ladders as played or watched is identical. On the experience level, though, there is a vast difference (especially for the target audience for whom rolling a die and moving a counter is nontrivial): In one case you are simply watching a screen, in other you are physically handling the game components and interpreting the dice and the game board. Vast difference, experience-wise. The formal aspect of games is not the totality of the experience.

    Likewise, snakes and ladders board with snakes and ladders creates a different experience than one where there are slides and ladders, every slide accompanied by a kid doing something forbidden (skating in area with “no skating”-sign, say). At least culturally the games will be different.

    I am also completely capable of distinguishing things I don’t like and things that don’t exist.

    Betting: You choose to bet a certain amount, based on your analysis of the situation, and get feedback from the system by winning or losing. There’s interaction on the formal level, certainly.

  12. Callan said,

    11 August, 2009 at 8:18 am

    I could very well do the same to you and the discussion would turn into pointless name calling or defence of one’s integrity.

    No, I could point out what amount of effort/what things I’ve done to try and disprove my own hypothesis. If I hadn’t done enough in your opinion, you could try and encourage me to do more or we could wrap it up there as I had not done enough in your opinion. It’s on other forums where they think someones personal integrity determines if someone speaks a truth or not, which is absolute absurdity – a king is no more likely to speak truth than a begger.

    Just like the confirmation bias article, I see you developing elaborate hypothesises for something that may be very simple – then, apparently, putting no effort into trying to disprove your own hypothesis. Indeed I just see more effort putting into proving them, like shifting defintions, etc.

    What effort/what things have you done to try and disprove your hypothesis? If it isn’t enough for me, I’ll try and encourage you to do an amount that suits me. If you wont, oh well, that’s not enough for me and I’ll wrap up.

  13. Tommi said,

    11 August, 2009 at 3:20 pm

    I will need to write a somewhat lengthy post on epistemology and logic to state the fact that I have made preciously few propositions in the conversation.

    The propositions I have made: Snakes and ladders has interaction (trivial, since you interact with it physically by rolling the dice and moving your playing piece), play is a broader concept than game (to which I should append “for all definitions I know of”, but it gets sort of tiring), that betting on horses has interaction (non-trivial, but I have explained where there is interaction, which makes the proposition of there being interaction true; the concept of interaction still remains undefined, which makes the proof nonrigorous, but rigorous proofs don’t happen outside mathematics, so I take it as acceptable).

    Those all the propositions I have made. For which do you demand more evidence? Do you want a listing of definitions of play and games, perhaps? Salen & Zimmerman containts a good one and I’d recommend it, but I can write down a few if you really want.

  14. Callan said,

    12 August, 2009 at 10:14 am

    I’m not asking for more evidence, I’m asking how much have you tried to disprove any of those propositions yourself? Even if it’s just having sat and thought about ways it might not be correct, for thirty seconds? I think you’ve written them without a single thought about whether they could be incorrect propositions themselves. Am I wrong?

    If so, I encourage you to try more and if you wont or wont do enough to suffice me, well atleast for me that’s not enough and I’ll wrap up there .

    I’ll give you an exagerated example from the flip side if it helps – what if I said it is play because unicorns exist? Have I bothered trying to disprove my own proposition, or disprove it’s applicability? Have I bothered doing anything? Why can I seemingly say any old thing and put no scrutiny into it myself? Is this two people working on something together, or one guy saying unicorn and putting no effort in and the other guy putting all the effort into challenging/scrutinising/attempting to disprove the proposition?

  15. Tommi said,

    14 August, 2009 at 4:19 am

    In this case, I did not try to prove myself wrong. Thanks for the insight; this led me to consider in which cases I try to disprove my claims and in which cases I do not.

    Preliminary results: In contexts where rigour is possible, I try to prove myself wrong until I am completely satisfied with my proof. This is my preferred means of proving whatever.

    In this case two claims are, as I mentioned, obvious; I won’t bother trying to disprove them. The one that allows disagreement is not interesting, in that any disagreement is about the meaning of the word “interaction”, not about what my meaning is.

    In cases where the meaning of what is being communicated is up to dispute, I am pretty careful, using words like “I think” and doing my best to find smart people who disagree with me and finding out why they think so. (On that note, if you happen to be interested in discussion religion or politics via some medium, possibly non-public, please let me know; we probably disagree about something interesting and I’m interested in what people who disagree with me think.)

    In summary: I’m careful when there might be disagreement concerning the substance, not mere semantics, of whatever is being discussed. Semantics and definitions are incidental.

  16. Callan said,

    14 August, 2009 at 12:10 pm

    Well, I’ll encourage by saying what’s ‘obvious’ that often deserves the most scrutiny. But basically not bothering to try and disprove them isn’t enough for myself, atleast. I’m interested in obtaining something. Chatting, even if it’s interesting, is either a means to that end or a hinderance to it.

  17. Tommi said,

    15 August, 2009 at 5:32 pm

    I’m interested in where you are coming from. I am not particularly interested in investigating what I see as obvious or simple semiotical issues. The words don’t matter (much), the concepts do. Words simply obfuscate the issue.

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