Regarding the Recent Controversy

There are, what, 20+ million people playing MMOs? And some 90% of those players are in various refinements of MUD? I think we all owe Richard Bartle a dollar. Is that cool with everyone? Just a buck, from each and every one of us, for getting the ball rolling. Considering how much you have spent on MMOs, it is not a lot. He can work out how to divide the cash with Roy Trubshaw, the less visible co-creator.

Maybe fan faires and whatnot could start that. Have a Bartle Box. We keep doing that until he has $20,000,000. These days, he would probably prefer that in pounds or Euros, but we can start with the Americans. Actually handing him a dollar whenever you see him feels a bit crass, but he would always have cash for cab fare while he was in the US.

Shall we brainstorm?

: Zubon

8 thoughts on “Regarding the Recent Controversy”

  1. In a hundred years from now, assuming virtual worlds may still exist, the first MUD will be remembered as the first real stab at the ideal.

    Others may be remembered as well, I’m betting Ultima Online will be credited as the first ‘massive’ or mass-market online world. Maybe a future MMO will be credited for revolutionary features, it will be one closer to their time, that’s the way things are perceived. The rest will not even be footnotes. I’m not trying to belittle them, that’s just the way it will be.

    Richard Bartle isn’t just some guy with an opinion, nor just a notable figure. He invented this stuff. Whether I like him, whether I agree with him, regardless he’s earned my respect. Not just because of what he’s done, but because he’s still excercising those same muscles. It’s really odd to see people say he’s off the mark when he’s seeing the forest through the trees and they’re upset their favourite tree of the moment wasn’t uniquely identified.

    Respect. Not necessarily worship, I hope people understand the difference.

    I’m sure people could discount how I’ve put it. Thanks for illustrating the point in terms they may understand, monetary ones.

  2. I would totally be behind this idea. I’d gladly give Bartle a dollar. Fill the Bartle Box with Bartle Bucks!

  3. WAR = WoW


    This guy has his pulse on the popular mainstream.

    But, hey I like controversy (been known to start some on my own), and if it gets people talking, that is what matters.

    He is hardcore, but is spot on also.
    Lovely stuff

    Here is my Bartle Buck!

  4. Oh, yeah, right. I did read that interview. WAR = WoW. Ooooh, how controversial.

    Think about it this way. In a hypothetical world, Reiner Knizia, designer of board games as diverse as Tigris and Euphrates, Lord of the Rings and Penguins, gets asked if he’s excited about Hasbro’s upcoming Monopoly: American Idol Edition. He answers, “Ah, Monopoly – I have already played Monopoly. It’s called “Snakes and Ladders”.”

    Yeah, it’s going to matter a whole hell of a lot to some people that Boardwalk is called “My Heart Will Go On – Celine Dion” and that Go! is replaced with Golden Ticket!. The sampler DVD in the box is cool, and the sparkly dice have really high production values.

    But to a game designer without tunnel vision, it’s still freakin’ Snakes and Ladders. You roll dice, trying to score high, with some minor exceptions. Monopoly adds a smidgen of resource management.

    That doesn’t mean it’s a write-off – a good version of S&L is still a better version than S&L, and should get at least as big of a player base. But it’s largely uninteresting from a design standpoint.

    Sorry to the Monopoly: American Idol Edition (WAR) fans, if you thought the game you were patiently waiting for was something new and groundbreaking. Me, I’m happily playing Monopoly: Blood and Titties Edition (AoC). It’s not groundbreaking, but it’s better than Snakes and Ladders.

  5. Ah yes, Monopoly is inherently uninteresting to a game designer because it is just like Snakes and Ladders, rolling a dice to score high and so on.

    Therefore a designer should have no interest in it, because it apparently shows absolutely no original thought whatsoever, and won’t even look at the rules – missing out on the resource management spin, which when combined with the original game mechanic, appear to have hit on some kind of winner.

    (After all, the umpteen versions of Monopoly seem to be doing something positive for someone, or why would they bother putting out so much of it?)

    I’d argue that Monopoly creates a different user experience and invokes different emotions than Snakes and Ladders, even if the basic ruleset is the same.

    For one thing, Monopoly’s goal involves linearly progressing through a circular repeating structure to amass play money and bankrupt the other opponents, while Snakes and Ladders involves being impeded by a circular repeating structure while aiming to linearly progress past these obstacles to attain victory over everyone else.

    Dismissing it all as inherently the same is technically right – all bunch of forest when one desires to see mountains and deserts, but completely misses the appreciation of different species of trees, and the variety – of which some might even have a place turning up on a savannah.

    Choosing to put blinders on and looking only at major biomes limits you just as easily as forgetting there could be other terrain types out there.

  6. Hell, I’d pony-up a buck. I bought his book on designing virtual worlds a couple of years back. I’m not a designer or a developer – just a very curious MMO lover. You hit the nail on the head – respect. I don’t have to agree with someone to show them respect that they’ve earned. I really like the way Capn John discussed it on his blog. We the players, especially non industry types, see the games differently than an insider. Bartle’s point of view is from the designer aka insider POV and from where he sits, the view is very similar. That is all and that is it. It really didnt need to mushroom into a nuke cloud.

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