hey muku, that's really interesting! thanks for sharing your experience... - surely the best example for creative gaming in this thread so far!
if you are looking for that "live-in-a-self-written-story experience", something like Armageddon is exactly what you're looking for.
i didn't expect that.
some scifi MUSH which had extremely long (we're talking years) player-created story arcs which simply arose out of in-game roleplaying
that's a completly new dimension of role-playing-games i wasn't aware of! okay, RPGs were never one of my favourite genres, but now i see that JRPGs (like 'Zelda'?) aren't the end of this genre. they are much more role-taking- than role-playing games somehow..
the whole MUD-genre is new to me... now, after some reading around, i've found out that MUDs are even one of the most archaic genre ever in computer game's history (first MUD in 1978
!)... the roots of online-games seem to be quite academic though
after that intense night, I never returned to the game. Perhaps I was too intimidated by it all, or perhaps I really want my gaming to be a tad less edge-of-the-seat and creatively challenging after all?
maybe these hardcore MUDs are too similar to working in real life to be enjoyable...
the main reason why games can be fun is because they offer a *simplified* alternate reality, which the player can enter to get distraction/entertainment/reflection/abreaction/inspiration/training/relaxation/education/medition... stable off-spaces, basically. that's also the reason why people like to have clear objectives in games: nobody can say what the meaning of "first life" really is, but in games, there's (mostly) always a clear answer, reasons for all elements to be like they are (e.g. lines in football and other sports / or when mario can jump only x feets high, there will be no option (thus, no problem) to change this in that game universe / why all this suffering? -> save the princess! and so on). - destiny: all is preconstructed, what is something desirable for the majority of players. they mostly enjoy that kind of reduction of possibilites in games. it gives them concetration: un-focus / re-focus first-life. if this can't be supplied by the setting, it isn't really a game! for example poker, playing with real money, is that a game? (player == real gambler). is a MUD where all has to be written by the players really game? (player == real author). -- i can't see where the boundery is here...
by the way, this OOC-term was new to me too... so, wikipedia said: OOC (Out of character)
/ IC (In Character)
... maybe, this separation could be used to "proof" that real creativity isn't possible in games. - like described above, games seem always to make up simplified, alternate realities (e.g. like in chess). now, if the player is in the game, he will be simplified too, with all his abilities to express himself. if he plays mario, the game will see him as mario too (x, y, velocity, big/small). he can only do what the rules of the game world allow him to do in a certain situation (e.g. one can't fly in chess). this rigid system of rules (which all games have, cause if not, the game would be realitiy itself) makes up this 'in character'/'out of character' distinction. or more general: 'in game'/'out of game'. so, if the game wants to enable really real creative actions, the player would have to exit the game somehow! writing in MUD is something 'out of game', cause the player writes as a real author, it's not something that comes out of the game. equally, the editing in 'LittleBigPlanet' is something which involves the player as real human being, not as a game character. the abilities to be creative can't be supplied by the game-system, cause creativity isn't integrable in a rigid system. but if the system can be changed in the game, by writing stories, changing the world (code/data), then it becomes dynamic, so the players MAKE the game and don't only PLAY the game... conclusion: creativiy is always REAL! (wisenheimer afternoon-dump :S)
(btw: augmented reality games (like GridLockd!
) make this game<->reality / real<->unreal distinction even more unclear... the play-ground is real, the humans are real, but the game is computer-based, dots on a grid...)
hmm, but i don't know if all this blahh really leads somewhere. i should probably stop it now.
for me, three type of new games were on my check-list for a while:
- album games: small/artistic/weird/experimental/innovative/"poetic" games (-> no $$$, needs an open mind -> canceled)
- collabortive/creativitiy-centered editor-games like discussed here (social/complicated/... -> (probably) not possible -> canceled)
- expressive games: normal games stylized/twisted as expressive instruments (like 'Rez'/'Every Day Shooter' -> okay)
i think it makes more sense to make a real game now, before i'll be allowed to talk further about all that, cause i actually have almost no experience in makeing games! (besides ZICZAC) - so please don't take these long posts all too serious, it's just cross thinking around...