[MUD-Dev] Life

Caliban Tiresias Darklock caliban at darklock.com
Thu Jun 5 00:06:46 New Zealand Standard Time 1997

On Tue, 3 Jun 1997 19:15:37 PST8PDT, clawrenc at cup.hp.com wrote:

>To me the interesting question:
>  What if the first player in question had instead played a 90 year
>old hobbling grandmother who had been knocked over the head and done
>away by another character playing a mugger?

The response would likely have been the same. The problem was not
specifically the child/molester interplay, it was the idea that one
player would just waste another player's character. Few people on the
games I play choose to portray 90 year old grandmothers, and equally few
choose to play children. Many of them play muggers. Some of them play
people with very nasty backgrounds (which is a GOOD thing: where would
we be if there were no bad guys? There was a mention of HappyMUD(tm) a
while back which was a good illustration). But there was a need here for
a real world non-theoretical (imagine if...) example, which I gave. If I
had just said 'Imagine you have an old grandmother and a mugger', the
immediate point a lot of people would make is that no one in their right
mind plays an old grandmother. Well, that's probably true, but likewise
very few MUD players choose to play writers, which we have a definite
surplus of on some of the games I play.

>I suspect that the majority of the upset was centred on the fact that
>first player was playing a child, and thus if they had been playing an
>adult it would have been viewed with much greater cynicism.  

Actually, the child entered into it in the sense that as a child, she
didn't have any options. An adult can hold his own in a fight,
generally. A child often can't. 

>Child molestation is a culturally charged item, more so than murder. 
>Was the real "crime" the fact that that a child was involved, or was
>it that a character had been done away with in a disfavourable manner. 
>By your message content you infer the latter.  By your choice of
>emotive adjectives you imply the former.  Which is it?

I did not *choose* the emotive adjectives. I illustrated an actual
situation. It *was* a child and a child molester. It was *not* Joe Wimp
and Mister Badass, nor was it Old Granny and Mean Mugger. I could have
needlessly generalised, of course. Player A killed Player B under the
logic that it was what his character would do if he met Player B. But
that would have raised all kinds of 'why' questions: Why would Player A
just naturally want to kill Player B? Why didn't Player B defend
himself? And so on and so forth. I was specific to give a clear picture
of the situation as it happened. Since such situations are rare, I
didn't exactly have a huge portfolio of them to choose from.

-+[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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