…and this particular comment reply chain format very tedious.
I’m posting this new entry so that the reply chains can begin anew below. Will reply (but only in response to comments on THIS blog entry prolly) until the comments reach 50 or so. Very hard to deal with formatting problems much beyond that point.
(I would change the template entirely, but this is easier for now.)
Some highlights from the distances of the scroll:
First, let me say that accounts of Twixt behavior being spread about are hugely distorted. There’s little I can do to counter such an enormous quantity of rumor-mongering. I would ask that you either read the paper closely or investigate on your own the mechanics of CoH pvp play to separate what can/cant/does/doesnt happen in RV.
This msg chain is on my site. I keep it as a reference point. You can see the entire thread there — containing both my msgs and the replies I received. It’s been archived on my site for some time.
It was one of the longer and more active msg chains on the Freedom forum at the time, especially after I decided to add my kill logs to it during roughly Feb-Mar 2008, the last two months (of about 14 months) of observations I describe in my paper.
I think this data is very interesting and I used some of it in my paper. It shows, in written/verbal form, the style of attack and approach that Twixt took (more physically and silently for much of his time inside RV) — playful, factual, direct, oppositional.
If the pvp game in CoH had been only of the forum/flame war variety, this would have been Twixt’s only option in a game rules vs. social rules confrontation. This flame-warish confrontation between Twixt and his opponents came after his opponents had been using the forums against Twixt for some time — and, of course, they continued to do so after Twixt quit posting in this thread (sometime around March 2008).
The other msg thread of interest, which I dont have archived on my site, is a long msg chain that resulted from revealing my identity to the CoH community in an attempt at a more genial debriefing process. That attempt was met by the same sort of response you see in the gamer forums now: emotional and personal attacks, extremely similar to those Twixt experienced in-game. I manage to discuss some things and answer a few questions about the study in that exchange, but not much unfortunately. You can see that results of that exchange in some of the earlier comments about Twixt posted on this blog. I have left all these comments intact.
Currently, I have no firm beliefs about the consequences of social groups codifying knowledge for group members. I only have my observations inside CoH: social group rules decrease exploration and innovation; they prioritize conformity to social group rules; they de-prioritize (ignore) game rules. Games destroy social structures — and very much vice versa, it seems.
The game in RV was a game, it was designed as a game, sold as a game, it had game rules, it had game players, it even had game fun. Then the social rules came crashing down.
The rules of games — real games — specifically set up boundaries between society and game. “Magic circle” sort of thing. If the game rules aren’t protected and sacrosanct (doesn’t mean they can’t evolve and change), then you don’t have a game, you have the pretense of a game.
the difference is that I did not choose the rules so that I would have an advantage during play; the game design chose the rules of the game and I abided by that design; my opponents didnt just choose any rules randomly, they consciously [chose] rules in which their characteristics and powers could be used to their best advantage. This forced them, simultaneously, to ignore the game rules.
The important part is that the socially transgressive play was, simultaneously, game rule compliant. That is, I did not choose to be socially transgressive; I chose to be game compliant. The socially transgressive part came, unwanted, with the territory. Don’t you find it odd that social rules contradict game rules rather than reinforce game rules? What’s up with that?
“admit to exploiting the game’s mechanics”
Never. Where do people get this idea? Blatant falsehood. Tping into geometry, for instance, is exploiting game mechanics. Never did. Using spam tells to clog opponents com channels, exploit. Never did.
Also, exploiters, like Fansy the Famous Bard, for instance, never die. They have a guaranteed win strategy. Twixt never had that. Twixt killed a lot of people, believe me, but then a lot of people killed Twixt too. I really don’t know where people get these ideas that Twixt was exploiting something. Very annoying.