[MUD-Dev] Re:(fwd) Re: Multiple currencies

Michael.Willey at abnamro.com Michael.Willey at abnamro.com
Fri Jun 5 16:39:15 New Zealand Standard Time 1998

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Subject:    [MUD-Dev] Re:(fwd) Re: Multiple currencies
Author: J C Lawrence <claw at under.engr.sgi.com>
Date:       6/5/98 5:57 PM

>On Wed, 3 Jun 1998 18:00:13 -0500
>Michael Willey<Michael.Willey at abnamro.com> wrote:
>>That seems to create the illusion of a 'real' economy, which
>> for our purposes is as good as having the real thing.
>It is not actually a player currency -- there are no values created,
>maintained, and manipulated by players.  Instead the system maintains >and
manipulates token values, and allows players to intercept some of >those
machinations.  This is a faucet->drain economy where tokens >magically
appear at in-game production sites, wander thru various >mechanisms in the
game world, and then magically disappear later in >some token-consumer.
Which is of course how nearly all "economies" in >current MUDs work.

Absolutely true.  Our goal never has been to simulate a complete and closed
world in any aspect, but to run a game.  This system does simulate some of
the interactions of different currency, but the underlying model isn't
significantly different from other muds.

>Contrast the use of special heads in Habitat.  Heads actually formed >a
player-based and valued currency whose manipulation was entirely >within
the  closed system of the game.  They were competed for, >highly values,
trade, status, and display items, very much like the >Egg, but with the
caveat that there was only one Egg and there were >many heads.  Similarly
for Legend's "strings", or the guild hall >bolt-ons that Lambert recently
referenced.  Those are real currencies, >and exist outside of any notion of
script, coinage, or mechanical >models enforced in the game world by the
Imps.  Instead they are >player constructed and valued constructs whose
value exists in the >significance the players attach to them, and not in
the in-game >mechanical model that supports them.

I certainly appreciate the difference here.  These examples create a closed
and perpetual world - a stage and a few props that encourage players to
invent their own game.  The currency here is just a prop.  What it is isn't
as important as what it represents, and that idea of what it represents is
created by your players.

Here's a question:  What collective feature of these examples engages the
player imagination and inspires this status game?  I could just as easily
see an attempt at creating a player currency flop spectacularly.  What does
it take for a simple perpetual prop to become a player currency, and how
can we incorporate these ideas into our own MUDs?

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