Kaitlin wrote:IC housing and work/living spaces are very important to me because frankly a large portion of the gorean life in the series was "inside". You will find far more storylines about family dynamics, specialized caste practices and shops than you will about infirmaries, "scriberies", warrior halls, and aimless street meetings.
The books tend to follow those moving in fairly 'high circles'. They often deal with people with important positions in cities. So, it is only natural that most 'time' is spend describing events in private surroundings.
I believe that the closest historical parallel to Gor would be the classical world. In cities there, the upper class would also spend most time in 'private' environments. But the 'common' people would spend far less time 'inside' private homes and far more time on/around public streets or semi-public spaces like enclosed courtyards, halls, barracks and such. And a lot of time in the open if they lived in villages or estates. I think the same would be true for Gor (though that seems to lack the sort of grand estates outside of cities we know from Roman times).
But those considerations aside, I think that if you think it terms of gameplay, RP, sims that do not have suitable and used 'public' meeting spots tend to fare badly. Even urban sims that depict modern western city life (in which most people only walk on the streets to hurry to their car or means of public transportation to go to work, drop the kids off or get groceries) seem to focus on the RP taking place 'in the streets' or at least in publicly accessible locations (bars, for example). An RP sim in which most of the RP takes place behind closed doors is just not going to generate a lot RP relationships that didn't exist before, is not going to draw people in, create a sense of community, ensure that people get to know one another.
Like I said, I get why people like private housing. I like it, myself. But if private housing is the focus, people RPing there, or people using it to talk in IMs or be afk or whatever, the traffic on that sim is not going to translate into a sim that 'does well' in generation RP for the people spending time there. It won't produce a long-term viable sim, I think.