Richard A. Bartle: Players Who Suit MUDs
Richard Bartle MUSE Ltd, Colchester, Essex. United Kingdom.firstname.lastname@example.org Four approaches to playing MUDs are identified and described. These approaches may arise from the inter-relationship of two dimensions of playing style: action versus interaction, and world-oriented versus player-oriented. An account of the dynamics of player populations is given in terms of these dimensions, with particular attention to how to promote balance or equilibrium. This analysis also offers an explanation for the labelling of MUDs as being either "social" or "gamelike". Most MUDs can trace their lineage directly back to Trubshaw's 1978 game (Bartle, 1990b; Burka, 1995) and, perhaps because of this heritage, the vast majority are regarded as "games" by their "players". It is worthwhile considering for a moment whether MUDs (as they are generally played) really are games, or whether they're something else. Are MUDs games? Or are they a combination of all four? i) Achievement within the game context.
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