[MUD-Dev] New Topic: Butthead features

clawrenc at cup.hp.com clawrenc at cup.hp.com
Mon Aug 18 17:31:13 New Zealand Standard Time 1997

In < at mail.tenetwork.com>, on 08/15/97 
   at 04:51 PM, Jeff Kesselman <jeffk at tenetwork.com> said:

>At 04:16 PM 8/15/97 PST8PDT, JCL wrote:

>>My explicit hope would be that the justice system would degrade to a
>>case of verdict by biggest bully or last character left alive, with
>>both cases encouraging the accused to define that condition.

>Thsi is demcoracy ALA Gilbert and Sullivan's "Trial by Jury".

Wonderful!  I had suspected I was the only G&S fan aboard.

>Funyn as hell but im not so sure its a workable system to build a
>society on.

As I recall, which isn't terribly well having never been called or
served, Island's justice system was an equivalent farce.  It didn't
work.  It wasn't intended to work.  It was meant as an object of
amusement and equivalence.  Among other things it provided a vehicle
for the minor actors to attempt to pull down a major (and
occassionally do it).

The difference is implicit in one of Raph's comments: you're going to
get the society no matter what.  Its implicit.  You *can't* avoid
getting a society of users.  The trick is to give that society and
culture formative structures that encourage the sort of cultural forms
you prefer.  The other trick of course is to get a large enough user
base that to actually viably form a society.  

I suspect that the real argument here is the extent that the game
machanics form part of your interaction with the game.  As you,
Jaimie, Caliban, and several other of the immersive/hardline/whatever
RP'ers have commented, the actual mechanics of the game form variously
little of your game experience.  The game instead exists as a sort of
shared fantasy for which the game mechanics are used (almost?) merely
as incidental supports.  Your stated difference in the manner in which
an RP'er would handle bugs as vs a GOP'er illuminates this well -- the
old DIKU gold coins bug would probably for an ideal example in point
(DIKUE used to let you drop any number of coins as long as you had
some coins, and then pick up the number you dropped):

  > i
  You have 50 coins.
  > drop 10000 coins
  > get coins
  You get 10000 coins.
As I understand it, an RP'er might know that he could exploit the bug
to gain infinite wealth, but wouldn't as that wasn't the purpose of
his game, and would remove the immersive aspect of the RP, which was
the purpose of his game.  The GOP'er of course may or may not report
the bug, but sure as hell would be tempted to take advantage of it as
it does define advancement toward his goal.

The same difference I think holds true in the societies formed (or
expected to be formed) within the game.  The RP'er (for wont of a
better term) expects to import a socieity, or to pre-form a mental
image of a society (book, game model, scenario, WoD, WoT, etc) and
enact it within the game constructs (syntactic difference).  The
GOP'er conversely doesn't expect a society, but finds that he
implicitly creates one due to his very interactions within the game.

J C Lawrence                           Internet: claw at null.net
(Contractor)                           Internet: coder at ibm.net
---------------(*)               Internet: clawrenc at cup.hp.com
...Honorary Member Clan McFUD -- Teamer's Avenging Monolith...

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