An interesting topic was raised on Empire Avenue by InGame reader and smart cookie extraordinaire Lyraxsis. Questions were lobbed in the original post, but the thought brought up by Lyraxsis that I zeroed in on immediately was this: “I hear people say that they want innovations in MMO (and other) game design but no one is ever very specific about what they want to see happen.” After some back and forth, I figured a blog post might be in order.
I think the first thing you have to look at is what makes any experience fun at all – novelty. New experiences give the human brain a unique playground within which to navigate. There are slides, those cool bars you can hang upside down from or hand-walk across. There're swings. There's a see-saw. The ground is made of lava. In your brain. That's where headaches come from.
|And nightmares, maybe.|
When MMOs first surfaced, what did we have? MUDs and their like, basically. Here we were, interacting with other living, human brains. Sure, the world was entirely represented in text, but that world was relatively MASSIVE and there were hundreds of others to share it with at the same time. Provided you could read and type, this was a magical playground unlike any other.