Twitter Man, thank goodness you came!

Syp got all snarky yesterday about plans in Champions Online to introduce in-game tweeting (I know this works from being spammed a bit in twitter by beta testers already :) ).

I have no idea at all why I’d want to twitter from a MMO. I usually play in windowed mode anyway so if I wanted to twitter I’d just do it. And even if I did I don’t understand why I’d want to broadcast only and not receive. But that isn’t the point. Maybe someone else will find something cool to do with that functionality.

So often devs try to guide players by holding their hands every single step of the way in an MMO. Thou shalt level by killing 10 boars. Thou shalt do PvP on Tuesday mornings and Friday afternoons. Thou shalt raid, whether thou likest it or not. Thou shalt have thy weekly rant at Blizzard for not putting a defence trinket on the badge vendor. And so on.

The games where this is less common are called sandbox games. And a sandbox is a place where kids get to play however they want, within the limits of the box.

More freedom isn’t a bad thing for players. Devs putting cool stuff into the games just because they’re cool isn’t a bad thing either. I like the notion that sometimes we can get off the tour bus and just play with our toys. Throwing the players some cool stuff to play with, just because, isn’t a bad thing.

And it made me look again at Champions Online. If they’re willing to add random cool functionality just because they can, and trust players to find something to do with it, what else might they be willing to do? That type of thinking appeals to me.

(Note: If you want to follow me on twitter, I’m on as @copperbird )