[MUD-Dev] Re: CGDC, a summary

Joel Kelso joel at ee.uwa.edu.au
Fri May 22 10:18:51 New Zealand Standard Time 1998


Koster, Raph wrote:

> J C Lawrence [SMTP:claw at under.engr.sgi.com said:
> > Translation:  You have created a framework which allows system-based
> > public record keeping for vigilante justice.  You have also officially
>
> > sanctioned bounty hunters.  Interesting.
>
> Exactly. Then again, you could argue that this is exactly what a police
> force is: officially sanctioned hunters of criminals, whose "bounty" is
> their salary. The sole difference is that they are officialized under
> some governmental label.

You _could_ argue this, but I think it's quite a stretch.  Police aren't
justgovernmental labeled bounty-hunters.  Their motivation isn't primarily
personal profit, and they don't make money "on commission".
They have a responsibility  to protect particular community.  They don't
have a personal choice of which criminals and crimes they hunt down.
Bounty hunters don't have any motivation to deter or discourage crime
... mind you, all of this is of course "in an ideal world".

Policing probably isn't exiting enough for most players, consisting of
a lot of walking around and talking to people.  The UO town guards
are a good use of NPC, since they do a good but essentially boring
job.  Bounty hunter is more exiting for players, but you wouldn't
want to make it the basis for justice in a real-world society.

I suppose that we shouldn't really expect to see mirrors of real
societies in virtual ones, since one of the things that makes good
escapist fantasy is the valuing of exitement over safety, which is
pretty much the opposite to what we choose in real life.  Perhaps the
PK vs non-PK (or "action MUD" vs "talker") divide is caused by
what different participants are seeking in the experience: exitement
as an escape from the safety (and boredom) of real life, as
opposed to escape from the pressures of real life to the safety
and community of the virtual world.

Joel Kelso

-- joel at ee.uwa.edu.au -----------------------------------------------
"Wasn't it a four-year-old this time ? It makes me feel like standing
 in the middle of the Atlantic with a megaphone and shouting:
 'America!  We know you're in there!  Put the guns DOWN!'"
    - Overheard Conversations
-- http://ciips.ee.uwa.edu.au/~joel ---------------------------------






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