Text Based Games – Why They Beat Graphics
By Christopher Davis
Text based games require more than just hand and eye coordination; they require you to open your imagination, each sentence another line in a great novel of fantasy. You can only go so far with graphics. Your mind is a powerful tool that can weave together intricate images that surpass anything a processor could do. Text based games not only get you into the story, but they make you an intricate part of it. There is only an end to your adventure when you choose to stop playing. Every time you log in to a text based rpg game a new experience lurks around the corner. You have full control of what happens to your character. Your own actions determine how the rest of the online text game world interacts with you. If you prove to be an annoyance a god might see fit to destroy you for your insolence. Or you could choose to worship a god and join their order. There is nothing linear about these text adventure games.
Graphics create limitations, imagination is endless with possibilities. The depth is unimaginable with the number of options you are given to lead your life. For example, most text based games give you the traditional choice of races you come to expect from the fantasy genre, such as human, dwarf, and troll. Additionally most online text games have a selection of unique races, such as insect or reptile breeds. The variety of classes is just as impressive. In graphical games you normally have a small list to choose from, but the opportunity for dozens of different combinations paired with races is possible in a text based rpg, or MUD. MUD means multi-user dungeon and the acronym is often paired with fantasy games that rely on text.
In text based games, opportunities are limitless with the options set before the characters you create. Along with the customization available it's possible to decide what path you take. You can become a shifty politician, dark knight, powerful merchant, benevolent priest, or anything you can dream of. You can use your character to interact with the world in a way that games with graphics cannot provide. You not only find yourself using your mind, but your heart as well. Intense emotions influence what you do and can bubble to the top when other players interact with you in these online text games.
Organizations exist on a deeper level of role-play that set themselves apart from the mundane MMORPGs that you play where it is more common to see out of character remarks. You can join organizations that help you along the way and consist of real players that keep it going. Decisions aren't made at random by a computer; they are made by people just like you that have decided to choose the alternative of a real time fantasy book. The level of realism is so great that politics can heavily effect the text based rpg game world's environment.
When you can experience not only an adventure but an entirely different life filled with many emotions you will begin to realize graphics can never amount to the depth and beauty that are MUDs. That is why text based games beat graphics.