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Ugh, stop twitching
codability
coding Posted 2005-11-08 04:52:40 by Jim Crawford
Chris Crawford has a pretty convincing article in this week's The Escapist describing how men evolved to be hunters, giving us the desire to aim carefully and track prey in first-person shooters, whereas women evolved to manipulate people into caring for their children, giving them desire to watch “chick flicks” in which the insightful female protagonist sororizes her way out of complicated social situations.

The purpose of the article was to provide a fresh perspective on how to make video games appeal to women, but frankly, I still don't see how to do it. How do you make social reasoning into software? Did anyone find the socialization aspect of The Sims satisfying? I know I didn't. Social reasoning challenges will arise when you throw a bunch of people into a game world, of course, but what value can the code add to the experience?

Computers do easy stuff. They can do arithmetic and they can reason their way out of delicate social conundrums like determining whether 2 is equal to 6. Using these tools, it's relatively trivial to determine whether the player has successfully shot his opponent in the head. How does a computer determine whether the player has ... hell, how would the computer even know what the social reasoning challenges are? They're set by the player! When the player's lives run out, how do you know whether to ask for her initials for the hall of fame?

We need a girl to weigh in on this. One who can write a subroutine to determine whether the player has shot his opponent in the head but would find it more entertaining to convince the opponent to care for her child.
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