[MUD-Dev] Re: Affordances and social method (Was: Re: Wired Magazine...)

Adam Wiggins adam at angel.com
Fri Jul 10 16:24:29 New Zealand Standard Time 1998

On Thu, 9 Jul 1998, Marian Griffith wrote:
> I have been thinking about this a bit and came up with the following idea.
> I do not know how well it would work on a larger scale but suppose that a
> player must purchase  (through registration, if not necessarily involving
> money) a limited number of characters. Death is not permanent, as on most
> muds, but to reincarnate a character some bodypart is needed,  and a kind
> of community ritual.  With those conditions a player has an infinite num-
> ber of lifes  and should not need to invoke the additional characters her
> registration entitles her to. If a player ostracises himself from society
> however then death is a potentially permanent, and those players may very
> quickly run out of characters,  forcing them  to contact the staff again.
> And possibly having to explain  how they managed to run out of characters
> so quickly. The staff can then grant a new registration or delay that for
> any amount of time, or downright deny it.  In any case the players have a
> little social control over other players without having to resort to vio-
> lence, simply through denial of service.  If you add into the mix  that a
> character needs food, clothing, shelter to survive then you also have the
> basis of an economy which further strengthens the player society.

Yes, I agree that this would be an ideal solution; however, we are once
again faced with the Fluidity of Identity Problem (FAQ canidate?).  Email
registration is now the next thing to pointless with so many free email
providers.  Credit cards aren't bad if you're a commercial venture; but
are you going to tell me that most people don't have more than one credit
card?  Ha.  IMO the best screening is that performed by story-based muds;
since you have to spend a lot of time crafting a character and then
getting approved by the staff, you're not going to like just throwing them
away on a whim to annoy some people.  Of course, this will never work for
any sort of even semi-mass-market venture; by doing this, a mud is
restricting themselves to a very specific (elite?) group of players.  Of
course, that's the desired effect, unless you're trying to make money.


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