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

Dr. Cat cat at bga.com
Thu Jul 2 17:55:59 New Zealand Standard Time 1998


Raph wrote:
> Not at all! As Dr Cat rightly points out, solutions such as ostracism
> are very powerful. Of course, given the fluidity of identity, ostracism
> is hard to implement. :(

The level of fluidity of identity in muds & other online environments 
isn't a constant, it's a "design consideration".  A classic example is 
The Well, a conferencing service which decided everyone would have to 
provide their real, legal name in order to be allowed to be a subscriber 
to the service.  Everybody's name appears on every post they make there.
It makes for a huge difference in social dynamics when compared to 
systems that allow total anonymity.

Fluidity of identity has beneficial aspects too, of course.  One of my 
policies on Furcadia is that fluidity of identity is a privilege, and 
that serious harrassment of others can be grounds for loss of that 
privilege.  There's a variety of forms that could take.  Denial of the 
right to create characters any more, while still allowing someone to 
continue to play their existing character(s), "outing" of the other 
identity of someone who made a "just for being rude" alt to the people 
who were harrassed, etc.

*-------------------------------------------**-----------------------------* 
   Dr. Cat / Dragon's Eye Productions       ||       Free alpha test:
*-------------------------------------------**  http://www.bga.com/furcadia
  Furcadia - a new graphic mud for PCs!     ||  Let your imagination soar!
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