[MUD-Dev] Re: PK and my "Mobless MUD" idea

Jon A. Lambert jlsysinc at ix.netcom.com
Sun May 17 02:53:32 New Zealand Standard Time 1998


On 11 May 98, J C Lawrence wrote:
> On Wed, 6 May 1998 12:01:06 -0700 
> John Bertoglio<alexb at internetcds.com> wrote:
>
> > As I said before, killing for real is just an (unfortunate)
> > extension of killing for fun inside of games. I do think an online
> > world CAN help people learn to get along with careful structure and
> > a well thought out reward system. But "womp-em and take what you
> > want" is hard coded into our genes.  We always need to be aware that
> > the process of civilization simply overlays a risk-reward system
> > which favors the supression of those instincts and desires.
> 
> I have a very hard time with this -- quite simply I just do no see a
> reasonable relation between killing in-game and killing IRL -- even in 
> a game with perma-death.  
>

Agreed.  
 
> There is an underlieing reason: Especially in the western world, the
> conviction is that this life is all you have, there is no here-after
> in any form.  Lose your life and you are gon, period, finito, no
> reprieve.  Certainly the western (especially American) current
> cultural imperitive is that any belief in such a here-after or other
> religious or philosophical tenet is far less important than one's
> immediate life (which seems soobviously and blatantly false and
> unsupportable to me that I have to wonder how that idea has managed to
> survive so far).  "Life" is considered expensive.
>

There is a sizable segment of the American population that has been 
indoctrinated through public education  and subjected to daily 
bombardment via TV with something I would describe as sectarian  
antinomianism.  The antinomian replaces morality with the pieties 
of his belief system, and no longer recognizes any obligation to 
abide by the rules established to make a communal existence possible. 
For many it is more the display of compassion for life that is valued 
and celebrated more highly than the life itself.  Having the 
characteristic of compassion gives one free license to commit the 
most selfish of deeds.   

> However games are not like that.  Get blown up in Space Invaders and
> another life is merely a token away.  Ditto for Quake, Doom, almost
> all MUDs, and UOL.  "Life" is cheap.  In a game with perma-death, life
> never actually ends -- only the currency of that character.  Another
> "token" raises another character with a new currency.
> 
> <<This is BTW a very good argument for why life is a game>>
> 
> Talk to the Coast Guards who've picked up rafts from Cuba, or the rat
> packs leaving Vietnam and Cambodia.  "Life" is cheap.  Very very very
> cheap.  Cheap enough to throw at an off chance.  
> 
> This is not to argue that there is no loss in a PK.  Certainly not.
> Character "currency" can be a considerable expense.  However, that's
> hardly an argument that mass in-game PK'ers are repressed RL
> sociapaths.

A true sociopath always wears the mask of compassion.  I posit one is 
less likely to find RL sociopaths/psychopaths playing the part of 
PKers.  A brief perusal of any psychiatric handbook used in diagnosis 
should support this claim.  <kof>  The RL sociopaths/psychopaths 
are more likely to be found in the warm and fuzzy environs of a 
"friendly" chat room. 

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