Doing a quick search to try and follow up on some of the 'cheating' in the book I just reviewed, I happened across a couple of interesting blog posts on playing 'evil' characters in MMORPGs.
This post follows up on a comment that to play evil characters you have to be evil in real life. The decision in the post is that no, you don't actually. And actually, the most 'evil' you can be is to behave badly in the game because that affects the other players.
On this one it's the comments section that is almost more interesting than the post. There are several very interesting comments, including:
- "I do *not* agree with a ruleset that includes ganking and betrayal, neither tacitly nor otherwise." (ganking appears to be killing another player...) This would be the kind of ruleset that Graham Chapman was concerned we wouldn't be able to have in an online game, where players wouldn't be able to steal from each other or scam them.
- "I don't get it. I thought the only evil thing one can do in a *game*, is cheating. Anything within the game's rules is fine." Which is really interesting in the context I was actually looking for.
There's also a long comment on the importance of immersion.
This post says that roleplaying a character that is not the way you would normally play is hard. So he claims even when he knows a different outcome is possible if you play a different way, he can't bring himself to do it. He also discusses three ways to play games: what would you do, what would your character do, and what's the most 'lucrative'. I think by lucrative he actually means potentially in experience points rather than necessarily in-game cash or anything like that, but could feature.
Just making a note for future reference.