[MUD-Dev] Re: WIRED: Kilers have more fun

Joel Kelso joel at ee.uwa.edu.au
Tue Jun 30 11:16:17 New Zealand Standard Time 1998

Dr. Cat wrote:

> Raph Koster wrote:
> > > From:       Dr. Cat [SMTP:cat at bga.com]
> > > I feel like the question of how these issues play out in an
> > > environment
> > > with no combat coded into the system is glossed over or ignored on
> > > this
> > > list.
> > >
> > As I said before, "to grow beyond a very elite audience, it will need to
> > direct players very firmly along predetermined ethical lines." Leaving
> > combat out is exactly that.

<snip bit about "pose-everything" vs "combat-enabled" worlds>

> > > There was some earlier mention of the notion that in games without
> > > combat, verbal harrassment, banishing from certain areas in response,
> > > etc. serve as the functional equivalent of combat.  So I presume it's
> > > implied that the situation and the way it plays out are "pretty much
> > > the
> > > same" in that context.
> > > I couldn't disagree more.
> > >
> > I am one of the people who has made that statement. They are all forms
> > of aggression. They differ in degree, in nature, in details, sure. But
> > they are nonetheless forms of aggression. And If you code away the one,
> > then you are differentiating by degree, nature, and details, but not, to
> > my mind, addressing the root issue of "ways to handle aggression."


> Are the pkiller, the obscenity shouter, the game-crashing hacker, the
> entrance blocker examples of "agressor"?  Or are they examples of "thief"?
> Somebody who is stealing the information-age currency of "attention" from
> you without giving the tradional sorts of payments, like being interesting,
> friendly, or helpful?  To me they are immature people, who can't do well
> with the socially-acceptable ways of accomplishing the goal most people
> desire of "getting atttention for a lot of people".  Or don't want to
> bother to try, if they think there's a quick and easy way.

Has anyone read Greg Egan's "Diaspora" ?  It describes a mainly"post biological"
future: most of the main characters are personalities
that live in shared environments running on supercomputers ("Polises").
One of the conflicts in the novel is between a Polis (Konishi Polis) where
the citizens can interact visually and verbally, but not physically; while
another Polis (Ashton-Leval, I think) has a more "realisitic" model that
conforms to many more physical laws.  The citizens of Konishi regard
the very idea of physical laws, which disallow two objects occupying
the same space, as being coercive by their very nature; while Ashton-Leval
regards physical laws a neccessary to provide a link to the physical
universe, without which a Polis will degenerate into a kind of mindless
introverted solipsism (sp ?).

<long facinating discusison on combat, realism and virtual worlds>

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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