Tuesday, November 27, 2007

White Text on Black Screen

Whatever Yomi and/or Lance need from me, I'm more than willing to do.


In a nod to Zork (which I never played) and that whole MUD gaming genre, I'm going to try to write a narrative that has to do with my character's experience in the MUD I've been playing, Threshold. It's a roleplay-mandatory game, so the storyline is quite a bit more involved than with other MUDs, at least that's what I can assume.

The point of my final project would be to cut out the assuming. I'll research early MUD history and how involved the games have become or whether or not they've gone downhill since the creation of games with awesome graphics. I found a couple articles on the psychology of MUDding and whatnot. The point of the narrative would be to follow the story and to explain the technical, psychological and... other... stuff that's involved in playing this particular MUD. There would be a set of footnotes that would be technical, historical stuff (some stuff I'd probably make up, too) and then another set that would be me, as the player, commenting on the things that happen (like my character "going to visit her father" for a month because someone had pissed me off out of character).

This is another shot at proving that something is interactive narration. I would probably even include some things from the actual logs (yeah, I save the logs, shut up, Lance was right when he said we're geeky) and blah blah blah.

The idea fits together a lot better in my head.

Questions? Concerns? Ideas?


LSack said...

Personally Nik, I like this idea. Why do people do half the shit they do in a MUD as opposed to doing it within the confines of their own life? I see plenty of complex psychology there for different related actions (like why do people have simulated sex on a forum/MUD when they just can go out and not be so damn choosy?) and I think you could make some nifty references in House of Leaves in the process. To be specific, I'm thinking of the three different theories that Dianielewski generates for the book... how they would relate to whatever psychological findings you get from your research and/or similarities they share would just make your project even more relevant to the class-- almost obnoxiously so, and that is AWESOME!

A. Benevent said...

Well, I cut my teeth on MUDs way back in the day before skipping out for greener pastures (Ultima Online, you kicked so much ass before they completely destroyed you), so I feel qualified to respond to this, even though I hated RP-mandatory games.

I think what might be an interesting idea is to just take one of the sessions from your game that you've got logged, or maybe an all new one, and from there, use footnotes to show the research you've done and the comments you've made. In a way, it would be a lot more flush with the way HoL is supposedly written.

Think about it-- Zampano writes the book. Johnny finds it and comments on it, as do the editors. Just as Johnny's going through the text written by Z, and making footnotes, you're going through the story of your character, making comments and personal anecdotes, too.

Take it or leave it, just seemed like a neat idea to me.

Adam Johns said...

Nik -

I endorse this idea in its current form. Has anyone ever done a meta-MUD, by the way? It seems like these days you could do a MUD in which your characters play in other MUDs (opening up a terminal within your terminal, as it were)...

Both Alex and Lance's comments seem good. I'm enjoying the competition between you two, or whatever it is, exactly.