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Swampy
Posted: Sun Sep 14, 2008 10:37 am Reply with quote
Member Joined: 22 Dec 2007 Posts: 247
How can you play a game with no pictures.

I like playing terramud. And over the recent months i have taken to playing this game in a study room that myself and several other people frequent. And I have been repeatadly asked the question, "what are you doing?"
"Playing a game." I reply.
the second question varies a litte from "what sort of game" to an odd look and a subtle movement away. One persons next comment particularly stuck in my mind. "how can you play a game with no pictures?" To this I replied, "Why do we still have libraries when every home has a television?"

Indeed the problem that most people have grasping the concept of a mud as a game, is not the gameplay itself, but the interface. A mud's mix of combat, levelling and questing is common and easily understood. It is the interface to that game, ie the text based room descriptions/combat that throw people. A true gamer, when immersed in a game, does not even notice the interface, it is merely his tool to intereact with a virtual world. When playing terramud very often players do not even heed the intricately worded descriptions as they fly pass, much in the same way gamers playing a graphical game do not notice the subtle flaws in the pictures they interact with. The mind fills in the gaps in the world and lets the gamer immerse themselves into a virtual environment. This concept however is a little difficult to explain to someone watching text fly accross your screen and repeated attack commands issued to 2 characters similtaneously.

So what's the point of this this long and seemingly pointless rant? I don't know. Argueably it is to encourage people to stand up for their game. Perhaps it's just i take offence to people's closed mindedness. But i have read many books and to me a text based medium is just as immersive as a pictorial one. It would seem that the people who fail to grasp that concept have never had the pleasure of losing themselves for hours at a time in a book or indeed in anything that relies upon text and the human imagination.
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