New Bartle video interview

 Posted by (Visited 6935 times)  Game talk  Tagged with: , ,
Aug 152011

Got this in the mailbox:

Hello Mr. Koster,

I’m a big fan of your work and reader of your blog. You probably don’t remember me but I briefly met you at GDC Online last year. I was looking for Dr. Richard Bartle, who I did find and conducted an interview with.

A few months ago I released the interview on my Youtube Partner account but forgot to mention to you that I had done so. I thought you might be interested in it.

It’s divided into multiple parts because it was so long and I felt this would be a good way for people to keep track of each segment. Thanks for reading! Hope you enjoy!

I should be at GDC 2011 so perhaps I’ll see you there?


Interested indeed, and I am sure that others may be as well, so I’ve embedded them below the fold:

Continue reading »

 Comments Off on New Bartle video interview

Bartle talks (virtual) religion

 Posted by (Visited 11705 times)  Game talk  Tagged with: ,
Mar 282011

If you "play god" is it blasphemous, or is it fulfilling the notion of being created in god's image?Dr Bartle has uploaded slides from a recent talk that is for “those who wish to see a definition of hubris incarnate” as he puts it: a disquisition on how creating virtual realities opens up religious questions. It’s quite interesting.

The basic premise is that realities are realities — just because one is a relatively crude construct doesn’t mean it isn’t a full-blown reality. Therefore, those who create said realities are gods.

By the time it gets to creating AIs that are self-aware but not knowing whether they are creations, we’re into fairly familiar territory. But it goes beyond that into the notion that perhaps you could create afterlives for these AIs, or allow them to visit your plane of reality using “waldoes” of a sort — a notion that resonates with Ted Chiang’s wonderful novella “The Lifecycle of Software Objects.”


Oct 082010

Messrs Bartle and Trubshaw’s astonishing contrivance.

[edit: Follow along with Richard’s slides available here (PDF)]

Thank you all for getting up early or not having gone to bed yet. Feel free to keep cellphones on so if they ring they can wake people up.

I am going to tell you things that i have never told others before about the origins of MUD.

I am here because i cowrote the first virtual world MUD. Almost all today’s MMORPGs descend directly from them, but that isn’t actually relevant. What mattered isn’t that we were first, but that we were unaware of any others. We would have gotten virtual worlds anyway, the important thing is that when we did it we didn’t have anything to base it on, which meant we had to establish some principles and guidelines, and form views on what we were making and why. Continue reading »

Richard Bartle Q&A log

 Posted by (Visited 5962 times)  Game talk  Tagged with: , , ,
May 262009

The full log of a great Q&A session with Richard Bartle in Metaplace has been posted up on the Metaplace Forums. It was a wide-ranging discussion, attended by over 70 people. Richard’s dry wit was, as usual, on full display.

A typical, provocative, snippet:

[05/26/09 13:13:10] gguillotte: I’ve been watching procedurally generated content for a while. Love comes to mind, a PG MMO. What sort of impact is this going to have, where content generation is automated?

[05/26/09 13:13:45] Richard: it depends if the generation of the content is the game or is filler
[05/26/09 13:14:11] Richard: procedural content can work – I’ve spent many, many hours playing Rogue for example
[05/26/09 13:14:42] Richard: using procedural content to create a canvas for virtual worlds seems a perfectly rational thing to do
[05/26/09 13:15:22] Richard: however, the designer has to put their soul in it somewhere: either this is by modifying the procedural content or by creating the framework that creates it
[05/26/09 13:15:59] Richard: now the former is the traditional way for designers to speak to players; if a designer wants to speak through the content-generation rules, well
[05/26/09 13:16:12] Richard: that would be possible but we don’t have the vocabulary for it yet

[05/26/09 13:16:28] gguillotte: Thanks.

[05/26/09 13:16:31] Richard: that makes it an interesting time for us

[05/26/09 13:16:38] gguillotte: Indeed 😀

[05/26/09 13:17:11] Richard: Metaplace is a similar thing, btw – we’ll see things here that we haven’t seen the like of before

[05/26/09 13:17:21] Cuppycake: (We already have!)

[05/26/09 13:17:24] Richard: which is why I’m so enthusiastic for it
[05/26/09 13:17:55] Richard: I don’t mean new worlds, I mean new ways of communicating through world creation

I am speechless

 Posted by (Visited 8091 times)  Game talk  Tagged with: , ,
Dec 092008

…the Richard Bartle comments on the torture quest in WoW (and subsequent kerfuffle) hit BoingBoing, but nevermind that. Check out this comment in the discussion thread:

For about 9 months I’ve been working on a game that had torture as one of its selling points. Even though half of the team balked at being asked to design torture (“interrogation”) into a game, they still kept pushing it.

In my experience, people will watch torture, but don’t want to take part in it. Watching it is immersive enough. This idea did not go over well with certain people who just wanted that over the top sensationalist type of game.

On top of that, try making torture “fun”. Either you go full immersion, first-person in your face (scare and disgust most of your audience) OR you make it into a stupid mini-game (disgust a similar amount of people, but bore them to death).
Also, none of the choices in games ever amount to much, so the whole idea of “false intel” is flat. If it’s wrong to begin with, you are just going to teach the player that he played the game wrong, the moral lesson won’t be apparent.

Luckily our studio was shut down a month ago, so that game will never see the light of day.

Torture in video-games — a moral dilemma – Boing Boing.