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General Discussion Forum » The Pub at MMORPG.COM » Can quests teach us something

9 posts found
  greenreen

Hard Core Member

Joined: 11/19/12
Posts: 1512

 
OP  2/09/13 12:18:50 PM#1

Was thinking about quests today. While they tell a story, they tell one of fantasy. I stopped reading fiction books years ago because I thought they were filling my head with things I couldn't talk about with other people unless they had shared the experience. Facts, trivia, and history have always worked as better conversation topics to people that haven't read the book you did on fiction.

I think that while we like the fantasy combat and fantasy scenery, we don't need the fantasy story. Some may despise this idea and that's ok. This is they way I see it, the mundane quests are something that could change space and affect little of the gameplay experience on being in another world. You are then in the other world with our world information injected inside, the two coalesce.

The topic sends me back to the first day I heard about Wikipedia. It was on NPR and they were just starting, they were soliciting people to start using the site. I was with my boyfriend coming home from school, as he turned off the vehicle not noticing I was engaged in what they were saying, I ran into the house and immediately turned the stereo onto the radio station telling him to stop talking to me because I wanted to hear it. I was in a zone about the subject. When I first heard of it I KNEW it would be a hit. I thought this was the best thing to come to the internet in a long time. A base of information is what people had been trying to do with personal sites for years.  They were sharing snippets of known information especially on .edu site but the consolidation wasn't in place. This would bring it all together. It was the ultimate resource.

My question is, can we bring knowledge sharing into games and would people even play a game like this? Quests seem the logical route, people are used to them and they can offer text along with choices. Quest lines that went down different knowledge paths would give us reasons to be interested in a quest line. I suppose it could be used in schools but I'm thinking personal advancement. As for replayability, that would take you down different topic lines if you didn't want the repetition of the same topic or you could test your previous retention by running the same quests.

The first question to you is - Would you play an MMO where part of the RPG was about real life instead of the fantasy land? Can the two mix for you.

The second question to you is - Which source of knowledge would you petition to get involved as the source of all the text data in the quests? Would you base it on an encyclopedia type of reference or would you go to specialists and experts in their fields as examples. Credibility of information might be an issue along with changing information in certain fields like archaeology.

 

 

 

  Ortwig

Advanced Member

Joined: 4/20/12
Posts: 1074

2/09/13 12:45:52 PM#2
TSW is set in the modern day, and many of the quests point to real-world historical facts, bodies of music or literature, and  real-world cryptographical puzzles.  Had me translating Egyptian glyphs at one point.  Puzzles and thinking problems are fun in a games in general, and I see no reason why they can't be in MMOs as well.  I think they key word here is "fun" -- no one wants to feel like they are at work/in school, but I do think there are many ways you can both teach and be fun.
  nilden

Hard Core Member

Joined: 4/26/05
Posts: 993

2/09/13 1:00:38 PM#3
My first responce would be yes quests teach us how lazy and unimaginative every company that makes MMOs is. Kill 10 rats quests at the front of the pack for useless quests that might as well not even be there. While The Secret World has some of what your talking about in its investigation quests it's really all I can think of and it still has tons of kill x. Your giving these games way too much credit past kill it or click glowy.

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  greenreen

Hard Core Member

Joined: 11/19/12
Posts: 1512

 
OP  2/09/13 1:04:52 PM#4
Originally posted by Ortwig
TSW is set in the modern day, and many of the quests point to real-world historical facts, bodies of music or literature, and  real-world cryptographical puzzles.  Had me translating Egyptian glyphs at one point.  Puzzles and thinking problems are fun in a games in general, and I see no reason why they can't be in MMOs as well.  I think they key word here is "fun" -- no one wants to feel like they are at work/in school, but I do think there are many ways you can both teach and be fun.

Sounds fun, I'll read more about the game.

  Ortwig

Advanced Member

Joined: 4/20/12
Posts: 1074

2/09/13 1:07:05 PM#5
Originally posted by nilden
My first responce would be yes quests teach us how lazy and unimaginative every company that makes MMOs is. Kill 10 rats quests at the front of the pack for useless quests that might as well not even be there. While The Secret World has some of what your talking about in its investigation quests it's really all I can think of and it still has tons of kill x. Your giving these games way too much credit past kill it or click glowy.

Granted, not many MMOs do it -- TSW is the only one that does, really.  But plenty of single-player games use puzzles and thinking pieces, especially older-school games such as Myst.  I think these things come and go in cycles, and it would be a welcome change to see more of it.

  maplestone

Novice Member

Joined: 12/10/08
Posts: 3109

2/09/13 1:13:32 PM#6

Entertainment and truth don't tend to play well together.  You can see a bit of this in the way established IPs tend to drift further and further away from the spirit of the original source material over time. My fear is that a history-flavoured MMO would drift further and further into fiction, then fantasy, over time.  You also run into a problem that people sometimes have pretty strong feelings about history (there's one particular historical-themed console game out there that ran ads all through Christmas that was like nails-on-chalkboard for me)

  Ortwig

Advanced Member

Joined: 4/20/12
Posts: 1074

2/09/13 1:42:36 PM#7
Originally posted by maplestone

Entertainment and truth don't tend to play well together.  You can see a bit of this in the way established IPs tend to drift further and further away from the spirit of the original source material over time. My fear is that a history-flavoured MMO would drift further and further into fiction, then fantasy, over time.  You also run into a problem that people sometimes have pretty strong feelings about history (there's one particular historical-themed console game out there that ran ads all through Christmas that was like nails-on-chalkboard for me)

Yeah, I think the key is to not be too much of a scolding schoolmaster regarding the truthy bits of content, but just make it as interesting as the subject really is.  If it's too lectur-ey, you're moving away from the fun factor, but if you are fictionalizing it, you may want to question whether you want factual puzzles.  I guess try to choose subjects that are interesting in the first place.

  Loktofeit

Hard Core Member

Joined: 1/13/10
Posts: 12405

Currently playing EVE, SMITE, ArcheAge, and Combat Arms

2/09/13 2:42:37 PM#8

"My question is, can we bring knowledge sharing into games and would people even play a game like this?"

  • NASA MMO - http://ipp.gsfc.nasa.gov/mmo/
  • America's Army - http://www.americasarmy.com/

Both take the route of making education a two-way street by disseminating information through missions and objectives but also by encouraging collaborative and cooperative experiences.

Definitely doable. Currently Walt Disney Interactive is working on "Disney Connected Learning" which is taking the approach of being a game you learn in, as opposed to being a learning game with contrived 'fun' overlayed. 

"And wikipedia is as accurate as Britannica. Wikipedia is very reliable. You would be hard pressed to find a more reliable source for these kinds of things." -fivoroth

  Rossboss

Novice Member

Joined: 10/26/10
Posts: 241

2/09/13 3:36:27 PM#9

I actually used to learn much more than you'd think from video games. Turn-Based Strategy games were great to help me learn how to actually plan out my plan of attack/defense/progression without getting overwhelmed. I also learned a whole lot of vocabulary from video games, especially fantasy ones. They tend to use less common words like zounds or bolster and they probably increased my vocabulary exponentially. We definitely learn from video games now and always will if we pay attention to the details and key moments.

 

I definitely see potential in making an MMORPG where players learn things as they play instead of being an "Educational Game". This would be a great way to sneak in some math/vocab/other learning concepts like learning from your mistakes and fixing issues before they happen. Giving players broken quests where they won't work unless you can befriend the NPC would be interesting. There are some different ways that you could accomplish the learning process while hiding the actual learning part in a fun experience.

 

I do not think using real world information in the game would be a great idea. Most people play video games to escape reality and doing so would deter many players. I do think bringing some reality to the gameplay elements we find mundane would be a good way to work in some concepts though. Using credible knowledge from experts would be absolutely perfect for MMORPG style game play. When players reach "End-Game Learning Level", the content will be dynamically changing and increasing to adapt to the developing field. Example, if you were to start a game about programming, players would learn about programming in different aspects and how to program in different languages. However, when these players reached the end of the game or learning cycle, you could introduce new languages, new uses and new innovations for the field to keep players coming back for more.

 

Some larger universities use World of Warcraft and other MMORPGs to actually give players an immersion experience in learning foreign languages. Players join the foreign country's server and have a guild with a voice chatting service set up to keep in contact with fluent speakers to test their knowledge. It's an excellent way to promote learning other languages while the players are enjoying the game. I think hiding the motive of learning would go over much better than making it the main motive to play the game.

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