I’m parsing/archiving some old discussions. This comment from Jon Carver caught my eye:
In the world vs. game debate I think that worlds should be built and then games can be made within those worlds. When you have a world you have the possibility to create many different kinds of games.
My reply back than was:
For redundancy and to simplify my opinion the transition to the Virtual Worlds happens on the placement of the “game” parts. That’s the difference, how the elements are placed. Their position to form a complex system. Where the elements aren’t all detached and independent but strictly belonging to the same structure.
What builds a world is the ties between these parts. It’s not that a “world” has many different “games” instead of focusing on one. The real definite trait is that in a world the elements are put in a context, they affect other parts, there is an interdependence.
All the suggestions Darniaq listed here are still just about combat or movement. Still they directly make a “world”. This is a demonstration of why it’s not a matter of piling up sub-games, but just putting those elements in a self-consistent relationship.
The keyword can be “relationship”. Relationship between the players, between the players and the world and back from the world to the players. The more ties your game has between its parts, the more it moves near to a Virtual World.