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Gamasutra Expert Blogs: From Lack of Fun to Lack of Skill

In the latest highlights from Gamasutra's Expert Blogs, industry notables comment on an overdose of fun, whether level design is the same as game design, a social deficiency in MMOs, and more.
In our weekly Best of Expert Blogs column, we showcase notable pieces of writing from members of the game development community who maintain Expert Blogs on Gamasutra. Member Blogs -- also highlighted weekly -- can be maintained by any registered Gamasutra user, while the invitation-only Expert Blogs are written by development professionals with a wealth of experience to share. We hope that both sections can provide useful and interesting viewpoints on our industry. For more information about the blogs, check out the official posting guidelines. In this particular round-up, industry notables comment on an overdose of fun, a social deficiency in MMOs, and more: This Week's Standout Expert Blogs Say No to "Fun" Nels Anderson Is "fun," in the traditional sense, really as all-important a qualifier to games as it is commonly made out to be? Nels Anderson argues it's not, that there are other adjectives that might be worth pursuing as well. Level Design is Game Design Martin Nerurkar With the increasing complexity of game development, designers have become increasingly subclassified into specialties, like "level designer" and "game designer." But Martin Nerurkar thinks they aren't as different as their job descriptions might imply. The Importance of Skill Alexander Brandon More a reflection than a concrete point, Alexander Brandon's blog post about evolving attitudes in game development with respect to difficulty prompted a lengthy discussion thread about the topic. Designing the Solution Space David Rosen Using 3D graphs that appear more intimidating at first glance than they actually are, David Rosen takes a broadly conceptual look at the importance of crafting solution spaces that gradually lead the player in the right path, without excessive hand-holding. Bring Real Socialization Back Into MMOs Or Else! Edward Hunter What does roleplaying have to do with most massively multiplayer online roleplaying games? Arguably not much, at least from a social point of view. Edward Hunter discusses what's wrong with that picture, and why it needs to change.

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