Monday, July 03, 2006

The Commandments of Online Worlds

Oh the gamer gods are on good form these days!

Raph Koster gave us his 40 Rules just t'other day and now he has been up Mount Improbable and extracted these Ten Commandments from inside the corpse of poor old Ernie (Well, he said he found two tablets in Dead Earnest)(Ah please yourself ;) )

Now, anyone fancy printing these out and sticking a copy on the cubicle wall of every dev at a certain MMO company?

The Commandments of Online Worlds

  1. Thou shalt not mistake online worlds for games, for they encompass far more; nor shalt thou forget that play is noble, and game is no epithet.
  2. Thou shalt not disrespect thy players, nor treat them as mere database entries or subscriptions, but rather as people, for thy power is granted you by them.
  3. Thou shalt not remove fun or implement unfun for the sake of longer subscriber longevity, nor shalt thou consider thy sort of fun to be the only sort of fun to be had, for many and mysterious are the ways of enjoyment.
  4. Thou shalt not blindly do what has been done before, but rather shalt know why all is as it is, and how it could be different.
  5. Thou shalt create and follow rules that bind thyself as well as the players, for thou art of the community, not above it.
  6. Thou shalt not make thy world a place for players to do real harm unto one another, or for thee to do harm unto players.
  7. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s userbase, but instead be true to thine own userbase, for thou hast made them a garden, and thy job is cultivation.
  8. Thou shalt make every activity within thy world one that stands alone enjoyably; if it be a game, then thou shouldst make it a fun game on its own merits; if it be other, then thou shouldst make it true to itself. Thy world doth not make boring things into enjoyable things merely because it is thy world.
  9. There shalt be no number nine.
  10. Honor thy ancestors, for they solved most of thy design problems.
( (C) Ralph Koster, July 2006. First published:

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