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Old 05-02-2008, 01:16 PM   #41
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Re: Determining the Origin and Meaning of RPI

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Originally Posted by shasarak View Post
Or, in victorian writing, you might encounter a sentence describing a man running around "ejaculating furiously". That roughly translates to "exclaiming furiously" or "shouting furiously" in more modern English. Of course you're perfectly at liberty to use this sort of victorian terminology if you wish, but you can't expect most users of modern English to understand what you mean if you do.
No, I wouldn't say that "exclaiming furiously" is what comes to mind...

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Old 05-02-2008, 02:02 PM   #42
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Re: Determining the Origin and Meaning of RPI

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After seeing this go 'round and 'round, I think it can be boiled down to this: the RPI folks are trying to create a "brand" or "trademark" well after the creation of their "product".
No one's trying to "create a 'brand'...well after the creation" of anything. The "brand", to use your term, was well established. The term is not a new one. The "brand" has existed since the term RPI was created. It was created to specifically describe a group of games sharing a similar code and policy philosophy. The second interpretation of the term really wasn't some long evolution over time but a rather sudden one over a period of a few years. The problem seems to have stemmed from other games who began to use this term, a term which was established in its use, primarily because they either a) didn't understand it and mistakenly believed it referred to a subjective assessment of the quality of role-play, or b) deliberately attempted to capitalize on the belief that the quality of role-play found on RPIs was of a higher degree than found elsewhere. In most cases I suspect it was the former though in a couple I'm not so sure that it wasn't the latter that motivated and continues to motivate them to use the term. Either way, the use of the term was established to denote a particular style of game even though no one bothered to spell out just what that style entailed. It was sort of like that definition of pornography: "I know it when I see it."

Quote:
However, the term they used originally has been co-opted by the community at large. Furthermore, the term RPI, unlike "monkey", is formed of 3 words that have generic meaning, and even the order is nothing special as other terms like "RP enforced" and "RP accepted" is the common way to describe a MUD.
The order is important however, because if they'd called the first RPIs "intensive role-play" MUDs/code/games, the meaning would match the now-erroneous interpretation. They did not however and there is a difference between "intensive role-play" and "role-play intensive". The placement of a word in such a phrase means everything.

An example would be if I were holding a flower petal and said, "I am holding a rose-red petal." In no way does that imply that the petal is from a rose. However, saying "I am holding a red rose petal" would indicate a completely different meaning. In the first example, the petal could be from any flower but in the second example it is from a rose. The order of words in the English language does determine their meaning. Thus, "Role-Playing Intensive" is not the same thing as "intensive role-playing".

Personally I don't think it's an unreasonable expectation that people in a text-based gaming community be literate, at least not those for whom English is their primary language (and no, this is not intended as a flame). I don't know when they're teaching it nowadays but when I went to school this stuff was drilled into our heads by the time we left junior high.

Additionally, the misconstrued use of the term RPI to denote "intensive" role-play is actually something that can't be assessed objectively (or at least not easily, if at all). As has been pointed out by all sides, the quality of role-play, including how "intense" it is, is a matter of opinion. Thus, it's meaningless as a term for describing a game's role-play quality because such a designation is a purely subjective one and relevant as a designation only for the person using the using it.

Quote:
Why are brand names nowadays usually some sort of "made-up" word? Because of this very reason, I think. You can't get people to consider a branding unique if they already have an understanding, right or wrong" about the words you choose, unless you are very, very successful and ubiquitous.
There is no evidence of an understanding in the general community before the term was created. Perhaps there was an understanding of the term "intensive role-play" though I would wager that the term didn't find its way into use until after "Role-Play Intensive" debuted and was misinterpreted. When you look at the way in which RPI code was developed in comparison to other role-play MUDs, you can see very clearly that the design followed the function they wanted. It wasn't H&S code with a role-play policy and a world design molded to fit the existing code parameters. They didn't have policies of "ignore the levels" or other such rationalizations to deal with unwanted code nor did they have to create elements of theIt was role-play intensive in design, concentrating on their goals of the role-play.

Quote:
Or maybe, drop the notion that the "I" means "intensive...and say that it just means "RPI". Or if you want, pick a new word, like "Initiative".
What good does RPI mean if others continue to use the ungrammatical interpretation to describe their games? We're still left with RPI being used in two different contexts, one of which would remain a based on a grammatical error to support a subjective opinion really only valid to the person making the claim.

Perhaps Newworlds' "IRP" designation is a good alternative so far as creating a vague term to describe a subjective opinion of an aspect of a game that really can't be assessed objectively. It really means nothing which is pretty much the same thing the present misinterpretation of RPI means. So long as the distinction between RPI and IRP is made clear, MUDs could continue to hype their games with that term. Though the similarity between the two might still confuse some, it might alleviate some of the confusion.

Quote:
I imagine there are legal ways to protect your brand, and ways to license games to use it, but I don't know the specifics.
Trademarking a term costs money and there are other considerations that must be met beyond the simple desire to possess a trademark. I do have some experience with this having gone through the process myself with the name of my MUD. Speaking of which, I need to make a call about that....

Jason
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Old 05-02-2008, 05:18 PM   #43
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Re: Determining the Origin and Meaning of RPI

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Originally Posted by incognito9 View Post
That's really interesting...

Now, for the sake of argument, how did you try to be one? Did you work on a really good backstory and try to encourage the right players to come by, or did you just try to implement a specific set of features?
We did both. The mud never got off the ground while I was staffing it, but we did decide to implement features like permadeath, short descriptions, barriers between IC and OOC, and so on, features common in MUDs you'd associate with the RPI term. We also put a lot of time fleshing out the world and cultures and backstory.
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Old 05-02-2008, 05:31 PM   #44
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Re: Determining the Origin and Meaning of RPI

The really dead horse is the word 'groovy'.
It was kinda co-opted from the jazz culture, shortened from 'in the groove'. Interestingly enough, people who used the word 'groovy' ... weren't. I can only recall the Brady Bunch using it. And just see if you feel 'groovy' listening to Simon & Garfunkel's 59th Street Bridge Song (popularly called "Feelin' Groovy").

But, people were trying to relate an emotional set in language. I remember all the hubbub (okay, I don't because there really wasn't any) when 'in the groove' and hence 'groovy' gave way to 'in the pocket'. I mean, come ON, the groove, as everyone knew, was when the music got really -sweet- and made you feel good, although some people erroneously thought it meant 'in the groove of a vynil record album'. What does that have to do with pockets? That much larger and inferior bunch of people obviously were confused by people who had nothing to do with jazz. Damn hippies.

'In the pocket' enjoyed a pretty long run, even though it was broadened to mean a a foregone conclusion (billiards), a bribed official, or a secure location, but it did still retain a meaning about finding that little niche of emotions close enough to its original meaning that it wasn't entirely lost (even though jazz had given way to rocknroll, which gave away grudgingly to disco, which finally died a much-needed death only to be replaced by friggin' hiphop). By this point, however, no one was even saying 'groovy' any more, although it was clear the Brady Bunch was going into eternal syndication. Marsha Marsha Marsha!

But the -final- straw was 'in the zone'! How DARE people clinicize 'groovy' into such a banal generic term like zone??? It lacked artistry, and it usually meant 'oblivious to everything around you but the task at hand'! How could that -possibly- be groovy?

Yeesh!
I'm just glad the military doesn't give a rip that 'RPG' has be 'co-opted' by people in a relatively short span of time. I mean, Rocket-Propelled Grenades vs. Roleplaying Games...I don't want -those- guys mad at me.

I guess I'm playing the 'age card'. I've seen the language change drastically in a generation (I remember when you only heard the word 'gay' in a Christmas carol, and it meant 'happy', not 'homosexual' or 'generally bad'), so I just don't get my 'knickers in a twist'....no wait (modernize, Dis, Modernize!)....'undies in a bunch'....erm...that's dated....what is it now? "Panties in a wad"?
Next year, when the expressions change to 'in the chip', I won't get my 'thong in a noose'.

...because it just doesn't feel groovy.
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Old 05-03-2008, 04:32 PM   #45
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Re: Determining the Origin and Meaning of RPI

It was requested that my previous post be pulled because it 'contributes nothing to the topic at hand.'
While I disagree with that notion, since my post makes sure that the topic is groovy, I thought I'd add something, a comment on the -nature- of the topic, and post a link that encapsulates a very rational perspective on the stated and perceived motivations for the discussion in the first place.

The Forge :: GNS and Other Matters of Role-Playing Theory, Chapter 2
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Old 05-03-2008, 10:30 PM   #46
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Re: Determining the Origin and Meaning of RPI

Dang Dis, I should have posted the link before I gave it to you. You beat me to the punch.

From what I see, the RPI thing is basically a simulateonist movement, that is committing the "* Mistaking the part for the whole, for all of role-playing: claiming that a particular sort of Simulationism is role-playing (and nothing else is)." mistake mentioned in the article. Let's take Delerak's listing of required features for an RPI mud, for example:

"1. Permdeath: This is not disputed, 99% of all RPI players/admins will agree to this."

Permdeath is a clearly simulationist feature. The dead don't come back in real life, thus they shouldn't in game. The neccessity of perm death for narrativist or gamist play is highly debatable. Simulation is the only one that really requires it.


"2. Description-based: Meaning there are no names displayed, you need a short description, main desription, and long description. Also characters need to be well-described as well as with a good background."

This is another simulationist feature. You don't recognize somebody unless you the player know what they look/act like. In a narrativist game, your character may recognize some people, despite you the player not recognizing them.

"3. Account based: RPI muds should use accounts to keep track of their playerbase, as well as their characters. Considering this, RPI muds should only allow 1 character active on players accounts at any given time. Accounts also allow the staff of the RPI to make notes and keep track of your characters you've played so that in the future perhaps you will be considered for a special role based on these notes."

This has nothing to do with being "role play intensive" whatsoever and only serves to highlight the ridiculousness of the label RPI.

"4. No levels: Since levels are an OOC concept, RPI's should not have them."

Another simulationist feature. Because levels don't appear in reality, they shouldn't appear in game. Levels are obviously fine from a gamist view, and can work from a narrativist view as well.

"5. Extensive, player controlled emote system - Players may create open-ended, custom emotes and have commands to help create these emotes. Stock emotes are not present."

This may seem narrativist at first glance, but it isn't. Open ended custom emotes are definitely narrativist. However, "stock" emotes contribute heavily to the theme of a game, and narrativism is all about theme. If you want to create a light hearted game, adding some funny stock emotes is a good idea. If you want a gritty game, adding some stock emotes for common swear words and cursing might help towards that goal.


"6. Slower Paced World: RPIs should have a slow pace to the game in order to allow for and promote extensive emotes and reactions between players. This should be accomplished by slow paced combat and crafting systems and promoted heavily by administrators."

This one is actually a narrativist feature, which is a nice change.

"7. Items are descripion based: No Swords of Ultimate Doom, or Spears of Destiny. Every item has a description much like players are forced to have."

Another simulationist feature, and I'd actually call it an anti-narrativist feature as well. Calling a weapon "The Spear of Destiny" is a very narrativist thing to do.

"8. Immersive code: Via scripting an RPI mud should but isn't necessarily required to have various things that immerse the experience of the player, such as coded echoes that happen at certain times of the day, the sun setting, the sun rising. Also room descriptions should have a day description as well as a night description."

Again, a simulationist feature.

"9. Mechanics Based World: Coded systems should be in place for most gameplay systems such as combat and crafting, and these systems are fully supported by code.
This will help differentiate it from more MUSH/MUX type games."

This is an effort to identify RPIs as a mud, which is pretty reasonable.

"10. Open PK - An RPI mud must have an open PK system that allows for PK at any time and any place."

This one is pretty gns neutral.

"11. No Global OOC channels: This is debateable"

This is another admin issue and isn't really about rp.


From the GNS perspective, this list of features is HIGHLY simulationist biased. Attaching the "role play intensive" label to this list of requirements is going to annoy the heck out of any serious rper that doesn't value simulation as highly as they do gamism or narrativism. The idea that this set of features is "role play intensive" is ridiculous. Simulation intensive is what it really is, and simulation is absolutely NOT the whole of rp.

Last edited by outsider : 05-04-2008 at 04:45 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 05-04-2008, 05:37 PM   #47
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Re: Determining the Origin and Meaning of RPI

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Originally Posted by outsider View Post
Dang Dis, I should have posted the link before I gave it to you. You beat me to the punch.

From what I see, the RPI thing is basically a simulateonist movement, that is committing the "* Mistaking the part for the whole, for all of role-playing: claiming that a particular sort of Simulationism is role-playing (and nothing else is)." mistake mentioned in the article. Let's take Delerak's listing of required features for an RPI mud, for example:
Firstly, the linked article is only one theory on the breakdown of roleplaying. While I don't really have a problem with it, it's not a definitive text from what I can tell.

However, I'll play along with the premise outlined in the article, because it certainly has merits. With that in mind, I'll just say that you seem to make the same mistake as Delerak, in that you're emphasizing narrativist as more integral to roleplaying than simulationist. I don't know that that was your intention, but that's the way your post came off to me.
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Old 05-04-2008, 07:55 PM   #48
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Re: Determining the Origin and Meaning of RPI

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Originally Posted by Bakha View Post
Firstly, the linked article is only one theory on the breakdown of roleplaying. While I don't really have a problem with it, it's not a definitive text from what I can tell.

However, I'll play along with the premise outlined in the article, because it certainly has merits. With that in mind, I'll just say that you seem to make the same mistake as Delerak, in that you're emphasizing narrativist as more integral to roleplaying than simulationist. I don't know that that was your intention, but that's the way your post came off to me.
Ah, that certainly wasn't my intent. I'll flat out admit that the type of RP I enjoy(lots of game and nar, not much sim) isn't more integral to RP than other types. It's just what I prefer. I don't think I really indicated that narrativism is more "role play intensive" than simulation. I just indicated that they are different, and that the RPI requirements actually focus on simulation to the point that they sometimes damage narration in the process. Whether that is a good thing or not is in the eye of the beholder.

As far as this being a theory though, it's a pretty solid one and I think it really gets at the crux of the RPI argument. Different people are looking for different things from RP. That's okay. The things I am looking for aren't neccessarily "better", "superior", or more "role play intensive" than the things you or Delerak or Milawe are looking for. It's all RP, just emphasizing different aspects.
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Old 05-05-2008, 03:00 PM   #49
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Re: Determining the Origin and Meaning of RPI

Grassy Plain [North East South]
You aare standing on an endless field of grassy plains that extend toward the horizon. Small insects leap amidst the low laying grass, while larger animals have trampled wide sections into discernible paths. Sunlight warms the dusty earth, a light breeze occasionally floating gently through the area.
A shaggy ox is here.
Jorag is here.

Jorag frowns at you.

>smile
You smile.

Jorag says, "Best not be huntin' my food, traveler."

[CHAT]: does anyone know how I can buy water??

>say Oh, just thought I'd try to get some hunting in before dark. Getting low on meat.
You say, "Wasn't aware that it was yers, fella. You own these grasses, do ya?"

Jorag grins evilly.

Jorag nods.

Jorag wields the Spear of Destiny.

Jorag says, "So you best just be on your way, unless you want trouble."

[CHAT]: Try going to the well in town and type "buy water"

Jorag brutally CLEAVES a shaggy ox on the neck with the
Spear of Destiny.
Jorag brutally CLEAVES a shaggy ox on the neck with the Spear of Destiny.

Jorag dodges the horns of
a shaggy ox and steps aside.

Jorag brutally CLEAVES a shaggy ox on the neck with the Spear of Destiny.
A shaggy ox dies!

[CHAT]: lol, I was trying fill skin and fill water and get water, nothing worked -- thanks!

>frown jorag
You frown at Jorag.

>say Well, I'm not here to quibble with you over oxen -- but I do need meat, long as we stay out of each other's way then?
You say, "
Well, I'm not here to quibble with you over oxen -- but I do need meat, long as we stay out of each other's way then?"

Jorag smirks.

Jorag says, "I'm not worried about you gettin' in my way."

>nod Jorag
You nod at Jorag.

------------------------------------------------------------
Grassy Plain [North East South]
You aare standing on an endless field of grassy plains that extend toward the horizon. Small insects leap amidst the low laying grass, while larger animals have trampled wide sections into discernible paths. Sunlight warms the dusty earth, a light breeze occasionally floating gently through the area.
A shaggy plains ox is here, grazing.
The stout, raven-haired man is standing here, crouched near a plains ox.

Rising from his crouch amidst the grass, his lips turning into a deep frown, the stout, raven-haired man says:
"Best not be huntin' my food, traveler."

>emote offers a friendly smile toward ~stout, holding up his hand gently.
The slender, sun darkened man offers a friendly smile toward the stout, raven-haired man, holding up his hand gently.

>say (gesturing idly toward the surrounding grassland) Wasn't aware that it was yers, fella. You own these grasses, do ya?

Gesturing idly toward the surrounding grassland, you say:
"Wasn't aware that it was yers, fella. You own these grasses, do ya?"

Clenching the grip of a long, bone bladed spear, the stout, raven-haired man spreads a feral grin.

His chin lifting in a curt nod, the stout, raven-haired man says:
"
So you best just be on your way, unless you want trouble."

The stout, raven-haired man brutally stabs a shaggy plains ox on the neck.
The stout, raven-haired man wounds a shaggy plains ox with a vicious stab to the head.

The stout, raven-haired man swiftly dodges the shaggy plains ox's gore.

The stout, raven-haired man brutally stabs a shaggy plains ox on the leg.
A shaggy plains ox cries out in pain.
A shaggy plains ox crumples to the ground.

>say (sighing as he begins to walk westward)
Well, I'm not here to quibble with you over oxen -- but I do need meat, long as we stay out of each other's way then?

Sighing as he begins to walk westward, you say:
"Well, I'm not here to quibble with you over oxxen -- but I do need meat, long as we stay out of each other's way then?"

A faint smirk crossing his lips as he begins skinning the ox, the stout, raven-haired man says:
"I'm not worried about you gettin' in my way."

>emote nods slightly and begins treading west across the plains.
The slender, sun darkened man nods slightly and begins trading west across the plains.

--------------------------------------------------------------------

Some people will prefer the properties of the first environment, while others will prefer the second.

As a matter of personal preference, I'd never be able to take the first MUD environment seriously -- nor glean from it what I want out of an RP atmosphere. When people talk about RPI's and some of the factors that go into them (i.e. lack of levels, color, stock emotes, proper item names, OOC chat channels, etc...) both characters might feel as if they were RPing the scene, but it's hard for me to compare the two and NOT notice the difference in both quality and immersion.

Players in both games may have been taking their roles seriously, but that style of environment doesn't seem very friendly to maintaining the suspension of disbelief and immersing yourself in the game world. And that's where the personal preferences enter the picture regarding terms like RPI; it's not just whether RP exists or doesn't exist, it's many of the game mechanics and presentation that help reinforce the RP atmosphere that can weigh into whether the experience is presented in the same way.

The example above was not presented to slam other MUDs, just to demonstrate what many of the people who I typically see favoring the RPI term see as the main differences. And it's probably one of the reasons why a term like RPI was chosen to describe the feature set that not only described the role-play, but also defined and differentiated the environments and how they could impact levels of immersion.

-LoD

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Old 05-05-2008, 04:27 PM   #50
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Re: Determining the Origin and Meaning of RPI

I tend to agree that I would prefer the second example, mainly because of the annoying color scheme of the first one.
What I suppose seems lacking from the example is that ambiguous one, wherein a mud, lacking this 'defining set of characteristics' is used to its fullest.
I've played such muds, and much of what defines the "RPI" one from the "non-RPI" one can be handled with some simple toggles or a little typing.

>disable ansi
You will no longer see ansi color variants in your text output.
>chat off
You are no longer subscribed to the chat channel. You cannot turn this channel on again for 15 minutes.
>emote rises from his crouch amidst the grass, his lips turning into a deep frown, and says, "Best not be huntin' my food, traveler."
OTHER GUY
>clench spear
emote etc etc (or create a single emote line)


There's really nothing to be done to save the spammy, single-response-line combat, though, and I agree this shallow presentation wouldn't likely hold my interest for very long.

I note that both examples contain a typo in the roomlong. And it's a three-letter word. STRIKE ONE.

I could also post a log from an "RPI" or "near-RPI" where a series of random room emotes, coupled with sun/moon movement emotes and idle oxen emotes, would've dominated such a short scene.

The sun travels westward on its course toward the horizon, and its possible to imagine (DEITY)'s chariot drawing it along.
The moon (INSERT RANDOM VOWELS AND CONSONANTS TO MAKE A NAME) rises in the northwest, its gibbous face gleaming impartially on the world below.
Flatulance does not appear to bother the oxen, and the large male demonstrates this loudly.
Rippybirds call out trillingly from the nearby grasses.
Etc.

It's not that I miss some of the intent of the OP to 'define' a subset of features as more conducive to RP. It's that even in this pair (now trio) of examples, we -still- see some poor slob just trying to feed himself, and a cocky swaggerer trying to make that more difficult or even make sure that the slob knows he poses no threat level to the swaggerer. Sure, I could get immersed in the scene, but the scene itself precisely exemplifies why distinguishing 'superior' RP from 'less so' RP can be somewhat futile.
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Old 05-05-2008, 05:06 PM   #51
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Re: Determining the Origin and Meaning of RPI

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Originally Posted by Disillusionist View Post
>emote rises from his crouch amidst the grass, his lips turning into a deep frown, and says, "Best not be huntin' my food, traveler."
OTHER GUY
I'll just quibble with this detail, and maybe someone can educate me as to how other muds get around this problem. Most RPIs (and muds for that matter) have various languages. One of the powerful aspects of the ability to emote within says is that it takes language code into account.

Sorry to nitpick, but this stood out because, on Armageddon, newbies sometimes use emotes like the above example as a means of conveying speech. Unfortunately, they don't realize that in doing so, they're circumventing the language code. As such, it's considered a "twinky" (probably not a good word, as they aren't doing it on purpose) action. Are there muds that look for the "say" and maybe other signs of speech such as quotations and commas in an emote and run it through a language scrambler in order to get around this problem?
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Old 05-05-2008, 07:18 PM   #52
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Re: Determining the Origin and Meaning of RPI

The example I posted was a straight emote. If you copied and pasted it to many games I've played, it would come out as would any emote with speech imbedded. Granted, it's a little more work, and looks junky if the person typing it doesn't punctuate well, but that sure seems like an exercise in hair-splitting.

Not that it's relevant, but I've used such emotes even in a game that had commands for say, sayto, address, recite, sing, orate, proclaim, whisper, groupwhisper, intone, yell and chant, all of which were coded speech modes. I did it because no matter how encoded the verblist is, nor how modified, emote is the only truly customizable way to do this.
[Edited to add] In fact, the game I played for ten years had a 'possessive emote' coding, so you could truly customize the emote.
>emote 's voice trembles as he asserts, "You own these grasses?"
Or you could modify the speech verb with an adverb, such as >say shakily. >say fearfully (cautiously, etc.)
No matter how encoded emotes are, or speech is, it's been my experience that such things only make typing easier, and do very little measurably to upgrade the quality of emotes. (With the acknowledgement that the example used earlier does allow sentences to start with something other than the character's name.)

I'm a little amused that this is considered somehow 'twinkish'. 'Circumventing the language code' seems sort of...I don't know...an excuse to view someone as twinkish. I could see that being a legit beef if the character in question was hard-coded to be mute or stuttered, or emoted speaking in a code-supported language he didn't know, or did so to circumvent coding for a magic spell that silences an AoE. I could definitely see someone's thong in a noose if said emote exactly emulated a spell's prep words or feigned a special attack battlecry, although I'm sure in some cases, such an emote might be perfectly reasonable.

In that -very- specific example, I -might- see that someone would object, since the emote indicated a posture change (rising from a crouch), if postures are hard-coded, but that would be the case in both an "RPI" or a "non-RPI", unless there's some really complex emote codes out there I'm not aware of. In such cases, most people would just type 'stand' right after the emote, to take care of the mechanics of posture, or re-word the emote to 'begins to rise from a crouch', for the genuine purist who says, "He stood up twice! Twink!"

Most games I've ever played had pretty well-defined rules on emote abuse, and most people understand intuitively these boundaries, but I'd never heard that emplacing speech within an action for facilitating a better sentence was some borderline violation.

Last edited by Disillusionist : 05-05-2008 at 07:28 PM.
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Old 05-05-2008, 08:07 PM   #53
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Re: Determining the Origin and Meaning of RPI

Speech in emotes would work great, if the emote code is robust enough to know to convert whatever is inside quoted text into speech, and make necessary translations based on language.

If I know elvish, and I do emote smiles and says "Hi, friend.", then two things can happen:
1. In the presence of a smart emote code, the code takes "Hi, friend.", determines how well I speak the language I am speaking and how well listeners understand it, and translates or garbles the text as needed. This is great if the MUD supports that.
2. In the presence of an emote code that doesn't account for language, "Hi, friend." is sent to everyone who can hear regardless of if they don't understand the language, or even if they are deaf, or if the speaker is muted. This is circumventing the code, and is bad.

I think the second case is what Bakha was talking about, as speech-embedded emotes aren't possible on Armageddon. However, you CAN do the reverse and embed emotes in speech:
say (rising from his crouch amidst the grass, his lips turning into a deep frown) Best not be huntin' my food, traveler.
==> Rising from his crouch amidst the grass, his lips turning into a deep frown, Jherlen says: "Best not be huntin' my food, traveler."
The output is slightly different as we're using different verb tenses, but the affect is the same.
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Old 05-05-2008, 08:40 PM   #54
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Re: Determining the Origin and Meaning of RPI

Quote:
Originally Posted by Disillusionist View Post
The example I posted was a straight emote. If you copied and pasted it to many games I've played, it would come out as would any emote with speech imbedded. Granted, it's a little more work, and looks junky if the person typing it doesn't punctuate well, but that sure seems like an exercise in hair-splitting.

Not that it's relevant, but I've used such emotes even in a game that had commands for say, sayto, address, recite, sing, orate, proclaim, whisper, groupwhisper, intone, yell and chant, all of which were coded speech modes. I did it because no matter how encoded the verblist is, nor how modified, emote is the only truly customizable way to do this.
[Edited to add] In fact, the game I played for ten years had a 'possessive emote' coding, so you could truly customize the emote.
>emote 's voice trembles as he asserts, "You own these grasses?"
Or you could modify the speech verb with an adverb, such as >say shakily. >say fearfully (cautiously, etc.)
No matter how encoded emotes are, or speech is, it's been my experience that such things only make typing easier, and do very little measurably to upgrade the quality of emotes. (With the acknowledgement that the example used earlier does allow sentences to start with something other than the character's name.)

I'm a little amused that this is considered somehow 'twinkish'. 'Circumventing the language code' seems sort of...I don't know...an excuse to view someone as twinkish. I could see that being a legit beef if the character in question was hard-coded to be mute or stuttered, or emoted speaking in a code-supported language he didn't know, or did so to circumvent coding for a magic spell that silences an AoE. I could definitely see someone's thong in a noose if said emote exactly emulated a spell's prep words or feigned a special attack battlecry, although I'm sure in some cases, such an emote might be perfectly reasonable.

In that -very- specific example, I -might- see that someone would object, since the emote indicated a posture change (rising from a crouch), if postures are hard-coded, but that would be the case in both an "RPI" or a "non-RPI", unless there's some really complex emote codes out there I'm not aware of. In such cases, most people would just type 'stand' right after the emote, to take care of the mechanics of posture, or re-word the emote to 'begins to rise from a crouch', for the genuine purist who says, "He stood up twice! Twink!"

Most games I've ever played had pretty well-defined rules on emote abuse, and most people understand intuitively these boundaries, but I'd never heard that emplacing speech within an action for facilitating a better sentence was some borderline violation.
You're missing the point. Person A may not speak the language that Person B speaks. If Person A emotes out their pose with a say included, then Person B suddenly speaks their language. It negates the whole purpose of a language code.

And just in case you think this is all "simulationist" nonsense, imagine the possibilities here of the proposed scenario:

The disputed animal is an ox. A human and an elf are the two characters in question. The human stumbles upon the elf about to kill the ox and says something, in a language the elf doesn't understand, while emoting a rapid gesture. The human was actually saying, "I'll be off." The elf saw, "M'iI ow kee" with a rapid gesture. The elf decides that the human is trying to kill him and glances up saying (in the human's eyes), 'With an angry slam of fist into palm, the lean elf says, "Mi Lie ite ielos liesoit.'" The human now decides that the elf is trying to start a fight and he becomes more and more aggressive. Woah! Suddenly we have something very real, possible, and deep: racial and cultural misunderstandings playing out before our eyes. Something very... narrativist in my opinion.

Much better than the human doing:

emote with a rapid gesture, the swarthy human says, "I'll be off!"
And suddenly all the language and racial barriers are instantly cured via the emote code.

Edit: Firstly, this post was made under the influence of Cinco de Mayo margaritas. Secondly, I looked back and saw that you acknowledged the language barrier issue in your post. I guess that on the muds I play, this is much, much larger of an issue and much more important than on the muds you play. As it's not something to just dismiss flippantly as no big deal. Once again, it just shows the wide range of roleplaying experiences we all seek.

Last edited by Bakha : 05-05-2008 at 09:37 PM.
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Old 05-05-2008, 09:53 PM   #55
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Re: Determining the Origin and Meaning of RPI

I'm not disagreeing that language get-arounds are not legit use.

Conversely, I've run into scenarios where the language-coding was implemented, and 20 reps of the identical phrase, "Hello, how are you?" will have 20 permutations. Even if the 'simulation' of language is there, it just doesn't account for the lack of realism inherent in just about any simulationist situation.

I'm not anti-simulationist. Those types of game have definite perks. But when someone takes the time to sit down and make a list of must-haves to 'qualify' to be an "RPI", it just seems futile and in some of the cases made for simulationist RPIs, more sizzle than steak.
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Old 05-05-2008, 10:16 PM   #56
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Re: Determining the Origin and Meaning of RPI

Quote:
Originally Posted by Disillusionist View Post
I'm not disagreeing that language get-arounds are not legit use.

Conversely, I've run into scenarios where the language-coding was implemented, and 20 reps of the identical phrase, "Hello, how are you?" will have 20 permutations. Even if the 'simulation' of language is there, it just doesn't account for the lack of realism inherent in just about any simulationist situation.

I'm not anti-simulationist. Those types of game have definite perks. But when someone takes the time to sit down and make a list of must-haves to 'qualify' to be an "RPI", it just seems futile and in some of the cases made for simulationist RPIs, more sizzle than steak.
I get you. I was thinking about this earlier today while on a run (help me, please, I'm thinking of discussions on TMS during my day). The real problem here, in my opinion, is that the people in this discussion are approaching the issue from two different directions.


The RPI crowd (Jason, Delerak, Jazuela, etc...) don't really care that their acronym stands for "role play intensive" (well, maybe Delerak does, he doesn't really speak for the community, though). They care that their acronym stands for a specific type of game which, over time, has been assigned the label of RPI. In another thread, I posted a usenet post dating back to 1998 that shows this was the way, historically, RPI was used.

The other crowd, on the other hand, cares only about the meaning of the acronym, "Role Playing Intensive." They see this and think, "My game has roleplaying. My game is intense. I'm RPI." It's just people approaching the issue from two different sides of the fence.

Edit: In looking back at this post and considering what's been said on this and other threads already, I have to say that this was a "duh" post. Other people have articulated the same thing, but I guess I just needed to type it out for myself.

Last edited by Bakha : 05-05-2008 at 11:45 PM.
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Old 05-05-2008, 10:17 PM   #57
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Re: Determining the Origin and Meaning of RPI

LOD:

That is a great example. Stellar.

It pretty much comes down to 'do you prefer first person or third person narrative?'

Steven brust or stephen donaldson? Anyone?
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Old 05-05-2008, 11:41 PM   #58
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Re: Determining the Origin and Meaning of RPI

Oh god, here comes a Cinco de Mayo, Margarita-fueled analogy from Bakha:

I recently read the Omnivore's Dilemma. This debate reminds me of the trend Pollan outlines with organic food. Back in the 60s, during the initial heyday of organic, the term meant some very specific, but unarticulated things. It was about an entire mindframe of growing food. Not only did one need to not use pesticides, but one needed to grow small, cleave to polyculture over monoculture, depend on local suppliers as much as possible, strive to maintain as "natural" (whatever that means) of a growing environment as one was capable of obtaining, and basically try to work harmoniously with nature in the production of food. Nowadays, however, organic has become a marketable commodity. As such, all of the other, unspoken, considerations of what organic means have fallen by the wayside for the literalist interpretation of the term. If you don't use chemicals, you're organic. The "new organic" growers have adopted mass-production models and abandoned all of the unspoken rules of organic in favor of mass production and great efficiency. Now, all of those who "stayed true" to the initial unspoken code of the movement are decrying the interlopers who have turned the business model into a successful, albeit not necessarily totally inline with the original model, industry. Now, after the fact, the original organic crowd is seeking to distinguish themselves from the "new organic" by calling themselves "beyond organic" to designate that they're actually the ones who still carry the torch for the original intention of the term. The newcomers, on the other hand, see nothing wrong with their procuring of the organic term because they are, technically, organic.

I guess what this points to, as the anti-RPI crowd has recommended, is that the RPI crowd needs to come up with a new term. The original term of RPI has already been diluted to be, basically, meaningless. You can sit around and fight the subcultural flow, or you can buck up, do something practical, and put forth something new.

Edit: I realize that I've probably passed some value judgements with my analogy. For that I am sorry, but I am part of the RPI crowd, so it's natural that my sympathies are going to align with them.

Last edited by Bakha : 05-05-2008 at 11:48 PM.
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Old 05-05-2008, 11:44 PM   #59
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Re: Determining the Origin and Meaning of RPI

I can't really agree that it comes down to narrative POV, simply because POV changes in almost any feature set.

A third-person feature set would get annoying pretty quickly in my opinion. Are there even any third-person formats out there?
In every game I've ever played, the POV changed, depending on whether you were using code-supported verbs, or just emoting, but is done to emulate a first-person experience as much as possible.

>smile broadly
You see: YOU smile broadly.
Others see: YOURNAME smiles broadly.

>emote rubs HIS salt-and-pepper temples.
YOU emote: YOURNAME rubs HIS salt-and-pepper temples, and glances at OTHERGUY.
You and others all see the same output as the emoter, even the OTHERGUY target, who should technically be seeing 'glances at YOU', instead of his name.

The POV changes within the same sentence, and this is true even in some "RPI" feature sets.

My one-line catchall stance for this discussion is that assigning a very strict set of "RPI" features will marginalize some games that lack perhaps 1 or 1.5 of the features on the list, and in that light, is misleading, both to me and others. I know of one game that has this set of issues:
1. No mandated permadeath (although permadeath can be enacted on a character by admins for IC consequences, and more importantly, CHOSEN AT ANY TIME by a player, for any reason.)
2. Global channels, although each and every one of them may be toggled off, including adding the off-toggle as login output with most clients, so getting rid of globals is a one-time effort.
3. Stats for combat, although it has a customizable output to ditch the numbers if you don't want them.
4. Names, instead of descripts. I grant that this can be jarring for some, and I'm not advocating whether names or descripts are more or less conducive to RP, but this is the only solid feature at this particular MUD example you can point to that isn't on this list of must-haves. And yet, nothing prevents a RPer from pretending he doesn't know someone's name that he doesn't know. I overcame that pretty easily with colored highlights, which seems no more or less cumbersome than a coded introduction system.

A game like this wouldn't qualify as an "RPI" by "definition", although 90% of the salient features of RPIs are there, and it has the added quality of making the personal playing experience customizable by player choice, in every case except one.

By the proposed definition of "RPI" following a specific feature set, I'm certain most of the RPI-advocates would say "Not an RPI", and it wouldn't be, because that will have been defined by a preferential (and somewhat malleable) feature set. This 'miss-by-a-millimeter' demographic of games are the ones that would be hurt by such a narrow distinction, despite the very high quality of RP that can be found there (which really is NOT the focus of this debate), and perhaps for no more reason than the term "RPI" has seen its day come and go, having never been truly defined from the beginning.

Retroactive attempts to exemplify RPI-alikes as more conducive to RP, and therefore more deserving of what seems like an elitist distinction.

That's my opinion.
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Old 05-07-2008, 12:10 AM   #60
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Re: Determining the Origin and Meaning of RPI

Like I've said before, I play on MUSHes/MUXes, and all the "emoting" is very free form. In fact, we can essentially dictate the complete output that others see, which includes poses that do not identify the speaker or emitter. There's not a lot of concern about people spoofing things.

As for language, some games have a language system. Here's one that I've seen:

+speak
+speak <language>
+say <text>

The first command, '+speak' checks to see what language you have set and which you know (if any). To reset your present language, '+speak <language>'. To use that language, '+say <text>'. NOTE: One can use : or ; in there (EG: +say :waves, "Hello!"), and | can be used to attempt an emit.

EXAMPLES: (where you're speaking Gaelic, which Bob doesn't know)

+say I'm the plumber. I'm here to fix the sink.
To Bob> Anton says "<..something brief in Gaelic..>"
To You> Anton says "I'm the plumber. I'm here to fix the sink." <Speaking in Gaelic>

+say :walks in, "I'm the plumber. I'm here to fix the sink"
To Bob> Anton walks in, "<..something brief in Gaelic..>"
To You> Anton walks in, "I'm the plumber. I'm here to fix the sink" <Speaking in Gaelic>

+say ;'s in a plumber's uniform, "Yo." The sink is soon fixed.
To Bob> Anton's in a plumber's uniform, "<..a single word in Gaelic..>" The sink is soon fixed.
To You> Anton's in a plumber's uniform, "Yo." The sink is soon fixed. <Speaking in Gaelic>
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