Why bother having player races if they have the same abilities?


Tue, 27 Feb 2001

…avatars are modes of expression, character classes are modes of expression, professions and pursuits within the game are modes of expression. So are races. Some people feel more comfortable playing a specific racial type within a game because that’s the mode of expression they prefer in online games period. Rick Delashmit has been playing strong silent dumb types like trolls for as long as I have known him. That’s just his mode of expression.

If your game doesn’t provide some adequate mapping to a mode of expression players want, then they will not play there, because they will not feel welcome–or they will try to create said mode of expression within the game. That’s why you get vampires in games that don’t support it, why orcs and elves popped up in UO despite its supporting only humans, and why Atriarch (which has only newly invented alien species) will have problems. It’s why Furry games are popular (Furries are easily mapped to personality traits) and why people demand a thief class in muds that clearly don’t support the traditional thief class worth a damn (eg, all of them).

They’re all trying to build a mask that presents what they want as their virtual self-image.

Can you map all this onto a human? Sure. We do in the real world, after all. 🙂