[MUD-Dev] Life

Jamie Norrish jamie at sans.vuw.ac.nz
Mon Jun 2 18:47:34 New Zealand Standard Time 1997

Adam Wiggins writes:

> This is another thing I have a problem with. People expect their
> characters to live forever.

Do they? I don't think you can infer that from the six-year-old
child example. Being upset at a particular end to a character -
particularly with no former warning - seems to be a perfectly
'reasonable' reaction.

That is, a player may be willing to have their character die, but in
an appropriate fashion at a time more of their choosing. Or any number
of other options.

> Lastly, yes I do expect people to just say, 'oh well'.  It's a game.
> It's a character, a figment of your imagination.

Yes, and no. Figments of the imagination can be very powerful. I know
of one deeply IC roleplayer (not a MUDder, to my knowledge) who loses
part of herself, in a sense, when a character of hers dies - she can't
go back into that particular mindset, etc. It's all very well to say
"oh well", but that doesn't mean there isn't a problem.

Now, I think this is all basically a matter of game contract. If the
contract allows for this sort of behaviour, and everyone is informed
about the contract, then complaining about that fate would be
pointless - though that doesn't necessarily mean it isn't upsetting to
the player concerned. I do think, though, that contracts could be made
more explicit than they are on many MUDs, which would most likely help
to avoid some of the difficulties that example brings up.

> You don't cry when you get to the end of a good book, or a good
> movie, because it doesn't go on any longer

Speak for yourself.

> - you think, 'Wow, that was a great book. Think I'll go buy another
> one now.'

Which is not incompatible with the above, please note.


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