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Godus lacks a chat function to help foster community

Thursday, 20th March 2014 20:46 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

Godus will not contain a chat function in order to help foster a community, according to 22cans founder Peter Molyneux.

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Speaking to Polygon GDC 2014, Molyneux said chat could lead to a form of passive bullying by more experienced players, and ultimately intimidate casual players.

“Passive bullying is the big problem when you’re trying to get casual gamers to play with core gamers,” said Molyneux. “Now the last thing that would enter my mind is to bully you, but the very fact that I say I play computer games 20 hours a day is a form of bullying because it’s intimidating.

“Most casual gamers don’t think they’re good enough to play multiplayer games, and this is what we found with Curiosity. Curiosity was an exception because they felt safe. There was no way to chat. They could hide in a cube and their taps were invisible, so they didn’t feel intimidated.”

Molyneux said he wants players to be comfortable, confident and to form a community. The only way players will be able to interact, is through trading.

“My little followers will trade with your little followers, and that’s it,” he said. “Of course, I have no idea how it’s going to all turn out. It may turn into anarchy, but I don’t think it will.

“I still think that most of the world will want to be nice. And provided we don’t over-cook it … then I think something amazing could happen.”

Godus is currently in beta and will released on Mac, PC and mobile devices next month.

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1 Comments

  1. TheWulf

    This is actually a good thing, it helps. I’ve often found that language gets in the way of community, really. If you only have a handful of emotes you can use to ‘say’ things, then ultimately you’re going to have a better community. I remember how in FF XI I used to hang out with Asian people more than English-speaking people, because I didn’t know their language and we had to commune via preset stuff.

    It really fostered a sense of camaraderie. Humans are competitive creatures by nature, we have a primal, deep-seated urge to destroy things we see as a threat to us. We actually have to push that down and bury it, we have to make an active effort. It manifests itself often as bigotry and tribalism, discrimination against all kinds of people whom you consider a threat to your genes. It’s in our nature. Unless we see someone as something we’d sacrifice our own genes for, we tend to see them as competitors for that spot in life.

    Most people aren’t aware of this, so they don’t actively spend time consciously fighting those urges. They don’t realise how competitive and tribal they are. There’s always one group trying to destroy another. I mean, the ‘console wars,’ anyone? All you have to do to see this is true is look around you, when you become aware of it, you can make the conscious choice to just say ‘NO’ to that part of yourself. I’ve said this before, but the Paarthurnax thing in Skyrim was funny because he’s an allegory of humans, and ultimately dragons have absolutely nothing on the evils we’ve committed.

    We literally are born “evil.” By which I mean that we’re born to survive at the cost of everyone and everything else. Constructs like culture, society, and tribalism means that we’re not fighting every other person, we just band into bigger groups and fight groups with groups. But you can also choose to not be a group or fight a group, that’s a thing you can do.

    Some people need help with this, though. Sometimes, if a game doesn’t give you the means to be competitive, even vocally, it results in a better game. This is why in many online games I will turn off the /say channel, or voice, or whatever, and I’ll just either communicate via emotes or not at all. Words tend to make things toxic, because a person can choose to be toxic with words.

    So this actually is a good idea. I’d love to see more MMOs and games do this. I wouldn’t want it to be forced on anyone because I don;t like anything being forced on anyone, people can make their own choices. But it would be nice if it were an opt-in system, to just remove all English (or whichever language) and just communicate via other means.

    #1 6 months ago

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