Over at games.slashdot.org there is a story entitled, “Drug Addiction Integrated Into Achaea MUD” that while doesn’t have many details, talks about an interesting gameplay element that the MUD has recently added. While not the first online game to add adiction (according to a couple posters over at slashdot A Tale in the Desert also has addictive drugs.
The addition of addictive drugs which have negative consequences is an interesting subject. What is the purpose of having such a thing in a game? Is it to lend it a feeling of reality, to make the gameplay experience more realistic? Is it moralistic and attempting to teach us the drugs are bad? Does it turn addiction into entertainment?
I’ve not played either game, so I don’t know how the drug addiction is implimented except from what is written over at slashdot, and I can’t offer any great insite. However it is certainly worth pondering what this does to the gameplay experience, especially in a world where we are told that some drugs are bad and yet every other commercial is for a drug that we are supposed to ask our doctor about. Are there good drugs in these worlds? Are there fairly harmless stimulants? As the games we play become more complex, there are more complex question that need to be asked.