[MUD-Dev] Life

Caliban Tiresias Darklock caliban at darklock.com
Sun Jun 1 22:09:27 New Zealand Standard Time 1997

On Sun, 1 Jun 1997 09:39:00 PST8PDT, Adam Wiggins
<nightfall at inficad.com> wrote:

>If I kill you within the context of the game and you take it personally,
>than YOU are not playing the game correctly.

'Within the context of the game' is the key there. Let me give you an
example. A player I know decided it might be cool to play a six year
old. Just a regular everyday six year old. She was having great fun with
it for about six months; it opened a lot of RP possibilities for herself
and others.

The problem is, she ran into a character whose character background and
concept indicated that he was a child molester. Entirely in keeping with
his character, he kidnapped, molested, and killed her character. Just
because she was a child. He managed to get into the same area with her
on a deserted street, and called a staff member saying he was kidnapping
the child by knocking her over the head. He then simply dragged her off
and said 'Okay, I'm basically going to kill you, and there's nothing you
can do about it'. This was true. Logically, she had no options. He was
rather expert at it, after all. But the player -- in fact, a LOT of
players -- were up in arms about this. His argument was that this is
what his character would do. The staff supported this by saying that
unfortunately, he was completely in character and completely justified
within his character concept and the abilities available to him. 

Now, the question that I have is, was that really fair? Did she have a
right to be upset? I certainly think she did. My argument is that he
should NOT have killed the character; his argument was that she could
have identified him. This is true. However, why in a world theoretically
full of children that are NOT being played by participants in the game
did he have to do this to a player character? Should the player just go
'oh well' about the loss of a character she had played for six months,
just because she happened to run into someone who could come up with an
excuse to off her? 

>Now, I'm a human being.  Human beings are fond of conflict.  In most
>cases, we consider situations where everything is hunky-dory to be downright
>boring.  We like challanges, which is why we do pretty much everything we
>do, including playing games.  

Where's the challenge in conking a six-year-old over the head and
killing her? It certainly didn't make his life any easier. Those of us
with powers beyond the human norm hunted him down and killed him. We
left no trace. Not even a body. We didn't even give him a chance to do
much; under the same situation, something around a dozen of us hustled
him into an alley. One of us put him to sleep, and then we called staff
and said we were taking him to my basement.

I'm not the nicest guy either. My basement has a lot of very nasty
little machines in it. We gave the phrase 'getting medieval' an entire
new twist. Without the other player's participation. We did bring the
six year old's player in to observe, just for her own peace of mind,
that this sort of thing was not going to be tolerated. The major
difference was that he had done something to deserve it.

>I find it pretty refreshing to enter a raw, basic world which is both
>dangerous and vital.  The conflicts here are closer to the basic elements
>of survival.

In a world with permanent death, killing another player's character is a
lot different. You seem to think that every game is just like a MUD,
where death means you lose your equipment and a few experience points
but you can go back and get your corpse. There are a LOT of games out
there where death is completely different; dead is dead, after all, and
it ruins the logical consistency of some game worlds to have dead people
show up again. In that context, death is a lot more serious than a few

-+[caliban at darklock.com]+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-
 I am here to grind your eyes harder into the miasmic bile of life; to 
 show you the truth and the beauty in the whisper of steel on silk and 
 the crimson scent of blood as it rises to meet the caress of a blade. 

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