[MUD-Dev] Character evolution

Jon A. Lambert jlsysinc at ix.netcom.com
Mon Aug 25 23:06:58 New Zealand Standard Time 1997


On 25 Aug 97 at 17:42, Marian Griffith wrote:
> On Thu 21 Aug, Jon A. Lambert wrote:
> > > Caliban Tiresias Darklock <caliban at darklock.com> said....
> > > Jon Lambert wrote:
> 
> > > > Here are some random thoughts/questions on the matter.  Would liasons
> > > > be possible between PCs only or combination of PC/NPC?  
>
> > > I just want to make one comment here.
> > > Do NOT under ANY circumstances build rape code into your game. It's just
> > > not an amusing option, and can have some serious repercussions for
> > > survivors of such incidents.
>

But what about the other matter.  Are legitimate marriages/liasons 
with NPCs plausible/playable?  Perhaps NPCs created on the fly for 
just such a purpose.  Assuming you may have an objective here to 
implement a way of achieving character immortality through natural 
means and that character ageing plays an important limiting and 
playability factor.

I'm also interested in the depth of character/family/sibling and 
political/social background this could generate naturally.  Ala 
"Montagues vs Capulets" for instance.  By "natural" I mean a player 
rather than administrator function of building history.

> Neither the Greek nor Lovecraft  were particularly interested in the
> emotional and mental state  of the female survivors of the incident.
> They were creating (hi)stories where the rape / forced attention was
> part of the dramatic development.

Perhaps such material only is suitable for NPC/NPC relations and 
background history.  I do have higher expectations of the maturity of 
my playerbase to, at a minimum, handle this in the framework of 
historic background.

> When
> developing games  you must be careful  not to make the same mistake
> some players make  when they justify their actions with: it's only a
> game. Traumatic experiences do not care if it you are playing a game
> or not.

Isn't it odd that murder, stealing, racial hatred/genocide and 
demonology are quite frequent and acceptable in muds.  Does vampiric 
feeding with all it's WoD thematic connotations constitute rape? 
Just a thought...

> This discussion however is hardly suited for this list.
> Dark theme or not, there is little valid reason to include this kind
> of commands  that potentially run roughshot over the emotions of the
> players,  and a lot of valid reasons  to exclude them from your game
> without becoming overly politically correct.
>

It has been many moons since the college days of FRP.  I can't say
that I've ever participated in a session in which rape occurred.  
However there have been many games where torture of NPCs and, on
occasion, torture of PCs had occurred and were all done IC with no
OOC baggage.  I once game-mastered a session where a group of good 
characters led by a paladin was attacked by a band of "charmed" 
children (along the lines of an evil pied piper of Hamelin).  All but 
one of the characters handled the situation well.  The paladin in his 
anger dispatched the offending character.  
Basically, I don't mind challenging characters emotionally rather 
than merely through power and puzzles.  The players moreso enjoyed 
scenarios with IC moral dilemas.  It was at these times that they 
felt they really played their character to the hilt.

The commands for this despicable activity have long been available 
via 'emote' on most muds.  But short of reading the paper about 
the MOO incident, I have never witnessed anything remotely like 
this in OLRPGs.
I think in some sense it is a valid administrative issue for those of 
us wishing to run muds.  Especially when the issue of sexual 
harassment is raised by players.  I have witnessed situations where 
an unbidden "kiss" or "fondle" social has resulted in such a hue and 
cry on the mud that one would have thought a rape occurred.

I have strong views that this sort of activity can be resolved within 
the context of the game through increasing player freedom to respond 
and not through limiting player freedom of response because of the 
few who transgress.  This is the core of my design philosophy 
(and life philosophy).  I strongly suspect that that my views on this 
matter are diametrically opposed to Jeff Kesselman's views on this
aspect of player/human nature.  

Thus we spar to no end. :)

I also do not buy into the argument that you have to "be a woman" to 
completely understand the issues here.  It would follow that that 
there are also issues that you would have to "be a man" to 
understand.  That would imply gender inequality.  That would...

It's not just to be contrary. I honestly hope to provoke creative 
thought not hinder it.

Sorry I have rambled off the list again...

Jon A. Lambert



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