[MUD-Dev] Re: Marian's Tailor vs. Psychopaths

apocalypse at pipeline.com apocalypse at pipeline.com
Sat Oct 3 11:56:40 New Zealand Daylight Time 1998

>From Marian Griffith :
>Maybe it is interesting  for you.  But have you ever spent  much time
>thinking how it is for your victims? If you have not then you are not
>acting  but behaving like a sociopath.  Somebody who is self centered
>and not empathising with others. In the case of a pathological socio-
>path there is a real unability to do so. In muds it, like (I think it
>was) Raph said, is because the lack of communication makes it easy to
>ignore that there are real people with real feelings behind the text.
>You are not a sociopath,  but the effect you have on other people  is
>the same.

Im going to have to interject that I think this issue has been taken
magna extremis. I cant believe that even a moderate size of the
mud population is going to have any amount of psychological
damage because they were "pk'ed" or they lost their "great
shiny ring of happiness" in an online game.

Raph Koster :
>> What I would
>> define to be bad would be when the players within the mud do nothing to
>> solve the difficult situation on their own, and instead whine at the gods
>> and the admins to take the player away.  Part of my enjoyment on the
>> only mud I play is to in-character solve such problems.  When I was a
>> player, I was twice hunted by massive players.  My reaction was not to
>> or cry, but to instead grow at a rapid rate until suddenly they were the
>> small player by comparison.  Very effective method of keeping someone
>> killing you.

Substance at last. Does anyone actually perform a psyche eval. on the
oncoming "demon class" cruisers' crew in subspace before it blows
your tiny ship to little bits? The topic of a model for better mud
administration warrants study, wether it be hard-coded procedures and
player commands, or human intervention.

Marian Griffith :
>The whole point of the Tailor Scenario is what do we do for players who
>can not, or do not want to, play that kill or be killed game?

set_bit(player,no_pk); /*This player does not wish to attack, or be attacked
by humans*/
It could also encompas attacks by charmed mobs, and "flame channels"

Marian Griffith:
>1- A lot friendlier. (After all you can talk to people without having to
>   assume they are out to kill you)

I doubt it. Just because a person dosent have the option to kill another
player in no way means friendlier. They can verbally, publicly (chat)
privately(tell),physically(emote/social), and with charmed mobs,
be VERY unfriendly. If the guy has a bad day, and wants to take it
out on someone, just because he cant kill someone, dosent mean
he is just going to sit there quietly wallowing in misery.

>2- Much more realistic. (How many sociopaths have you met? And those who
>   do have a tendency to die horribly, not enjoying the experience.)

Uh, Jefferey Dahmer? Charles Manson?  They didnt kill everyone they met,
only the ones who tasted good with fava beans :), or the ones who thought
they were god. You, in your neighborhood, have, on the average, at least
on such individual. And as far as meeting one, im quite sure, we have all
met several, and never known it. The statistics are common among FBI
profilers, and other organizations that track such patterns.

>3- Playable for all players, instead of only those who are interested in
>   becoming the biggest bully,  and taking whatever comes at them  until
>   that goal is reached.

Id say thats definately not on the mark. Even on the HUGE muds (150+ players
at all times), they dont have this mass hysteria of killings, and by
definition, as the populace increases so will the potential. All the player
has to do (if its coded) is request that non-pk flag.

Marian Griffith:
>Killer or not is not the real problem. Being social/empathic or not
>is.  Random (or excessive) Killing is just the most obvious symptom
>of players  who are not social.  However this will perhaps (!) only
>make players "toe the line" as it were.  It will not help in making
>them more empathic towards others.

Again, just because they PK in no way means they are not social.
Hungry wolves eat their own kind...does that mean they arent
social? no..they are highly social. And here is where my
magna extremis argument comes to bear. I dont think a mud
should try to or is able to, enable anyone to be more empatic
than they are. Once the computer is shut off, and tommy goes
back to school, and gets beat up by those nasty boys in gym, he
is surely not going to do a psyche eval on them. He will probably
go home, and vent his angst/tension on some alien invading race
in one of his many escapes from reality (games).

Raph Koster:
>> 5) Quests that require members with unique skills, so that no
>>      one player can accomplish all goals single-handedly.

Marian Griffith:
>Not just quests really. Gameplay in general should require groups.

Require groups? Isnt that a little bit far? what about late night
when there are consistently 2-4 people on who cant log on during
the "normal" crowded hours?
Ill agree that generic quests have flaws for high powered characters
but I cant see mandatory grouping as the general rule.

Marian Griffith :
>I'm not sure if the problem of lack of empathy with other players
>can be solved through  in-game solutions.  The real problem is in
>the players not in the game.

Should a game, operative word game, try to solve someones
RL problems?

Marian Griffith:
>As long as people continue to ignore
>the fact that there are real people with real feelings behind the
>characters and that to others it may -not- be 'just a game' to be
>attacked the problem of virtual sociopaths is going to exist.

I doubt the  player ignores it, im sure they are counting on it.
For what other reason, than to try to pawn off her bad feelings
on someone else?
Im sorry, but even mother nature kicks the baby bird out of the nest.
Everyone sulks, everyone has temper outbursts, and everyone,
even those 80 year old plinths of wisdom have either acted out
or contemplated revenge (socially, or physically).

I thought the point of a game, was kind of like therapy. To escape,
and deal with outside issues, by doing things that you cant do
in everyday life. What about the healing process of releasing angst
through gameplay? Humans have done that since the dawn of time.

I can speak from experience when I say that trying to add
more than a little psychological analyzation/re-action, to a game
can seriously jeopardize its playability. One of my co-workers' wife
is a psychiatrist, and his brother is a psychologist. When we meet to
play games, there have been many times that the table has cleared
out (and not just the guys) due to far too much analysis, it really ruins
suspension of disbelief, and the ability to supress the tawdry issues
of everyday life and outside influences thereby ruining gameplay.


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