An Objection

Monday, December 19, 2005

"Your game design does not exactly recreate the kind of fun play that my group is already doing therefore it is of no interest to me."

"Your game design does not exactly recreate the one kind of play that I define as 'role playing' therefore it is a bad design that no one will like."

These are the same objection, really, just said in different ways. The first way is understandable and clear. The second way makes you sound like a jackass.

My new year's resolution is to treat people who say the second thing more like I treat people who say the first thing. Buddha give me patience.



Anonymous Anonymous says:  

Ah but they do differ. The second example makes no assertion that the person stating the objection is actually having fun of any sort.

Blogger John Harper says:  

Wil, your prize is in the mail.

Anonymous Anonymous says:  

Those aren't at all the same argument. #1 is (at least sometimes) an honest self-assessment: "I am happy with what I have already, and please don't bother me with anything new." It may be somewhat stick-in-the-mud-y, but it does not contain the sheer solipsistic arrogance of #2 "My tastes are not only sufficient for me to know that I personally have no interest in your game, but in fact All Right Thinking People will agree with me."

You will do yourself and them no good whatsoever by giving #2 a single moment of your time.

Blogger Matt Wilson says:  

Chris: Ever played Max Payne? That's how John treats them.

Dual Ingrams!

Blogger John Harper says:  

Yes, Mark, of course you're right. I was being a bit coy when I said they were the same. The second one qualifies as narcissism.

And ignoring them is certainly the simplest answer.

Matt's right about the Ingrams, although a shotgun makes a more satisfying sound. Thus the New Year's resolution: No more murder. Or less, anyway.

A more serious answer is: I try to be patient and not psycho-analyze them in public. Something like, "Well, it's not meant to appeal to everyone," is usually all I can manage. Which is usually answered by them patiently explaining to me how my game will "do better" if I make it appeal to more people, often in the tone of voice reserved for small children. As if the equation of more sales equalling more money had somehow escaped me. As if game design, as an enterprise, existed to please their personal taste rather than achieve the design goals of the project.

That's about when the murder starts.

This is how you know you've found one of the good ones: they can say this: "Well, that's not really my kind of game, but I think you've got something interesing with this Grudge mechanic..."

Ahhh. What's the opposite of murder?

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