[ExI] simulation as an improvement over reality

Adrian Tymes atymes at gmail.com
Fri Dec 24 04:55:02 UTC 2010

On Thu, Dec 23, 2010 at 4:01 PM, Mike Dougherty <msd001 at gmail.com> wrote:
> I'm not really sure what keeps millions of Facebook users clicking on
> [pet|farm|etc]-ville games.  My guess is that the herd mentality can
> be understood and exploited in a way that both the players and played
> both enjoy.

Well, one thing: in those games, the individual performance is immediately
presented to the user based on the user's individual actions.  If there is a
hive effect at all, it is secondary, and does not interfere with this.  In your
Pong example, the collective effort is the only thing presented to each
individual user.

A better example might come from Team Fortress 2.  The primary scoring
mechanic is killing enemies and capturing control points - but there is are
two player classes, Medic and Engineer, which rarely if ever do these
directly.  Instead, they are intended to heal and support others who do
these things.

How, then, do they score?  They are rewarded when those they are
presently supporting, score - and this feedback is directly given to said
supporter.  If those others do a poor job, the Medic or Engineer can simply
choose to support someone (Medic) or something (Engineer) else instead.

(To those who have played TF2 and are confused by my analogy, think of
an Engineer's turret guns as things outside the Engineer proper, which
the Engineer can heal like the Medic heals other players directly.  Spies
certainly think of turrets this way.)

On Thu, Dec 23, 2010 at 2:33 PM, BillK <pharos at gmail.com> wrote:
> My speculation was that after a thousand lifetimes they might run out
> of interesting things to do and just switch off.

I don't see any basis for this speculation.  It has been well demonstrated
that, in our present human lives, anyone who is bored but has a keen
enough mind can always find new things to ponder, new topics to
explore, new fields to study and learn.  History records that it has been
this way since at least the days of the ancient Greeks, and the sum
total knowledge available to mankind has only increased exponentially.
One single being with a vastly accelerated lifespan might learn all that is
presently known in a thousand lifetimes (though even that might not be
enough) - but a community of them would likely come up with new things
to keep pace with their lives, just as humans do today.

Further, most of the major industries today did not exist when the oldest
today were born, and that trend appears to be accelerating.  It has been
widely documented that a college student today has a good chance of
working, 10 years hence, in a field that does not today exist - higher
odds if they are in any sort of technical major.

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