[MUD-Dev] Re: Psychopaths

Koster Koster
Mon Oct 5 10:07:25 New Zealand Daylight Time 1998

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Ola Fosheim Gr=F8stad [mailto:olag at ifi.uio.no]
> Sent: Sunday, October 04, 1998 4:11 AM
> To: mud-dev at kanga.nu
> Subject: [MUD-Dev] Re: Psychopaths
> Koster, Raph wrote:
> > The statement was made before that violence will occur on=20
> your mud even
> > if you don't support a combat system. The classic case to=20
> point to is
> > the LambdaMOO case described so well in Julian Dibbell's=20
> article "A Rape
> > in Cyberspace"--a link should be in the FAQ. This sort of=20
> violence is
> > also completely impossible to block using the flag you=20
> described above.
> > :(
> Why are developers so eager to embrace the more=20
> hysterical/stereotypical
> writings on muds? (Dibbell, Bartle...)

Well, they also happen to be two of the best things written about muds,

I've seen MANY incidents just like the one described by Dibbell. They
didn't lead to the same dramatic mud-changing events, but the actual
actions are quite common.

I find Bartle's paper useful in that is classifies and presents some
classic dichotomies clearly. Like all classifications, it is inexact =
cannot be regarded as an absolute. But it serves as a great springboard
for discussion.

> The so called "virtual rape" can for sure be prevented by=20
> providing a secure
> identity and secure protocols. It is a problem which can be solved by
> design.

Can you explain what you mean? Clearly, the "spoof" object and the like
cannot occur on most mud systems, but similar actions can nonetheless =

> Some problems cannot be fully solved by design: people=20
> threatening to commit
> suicide, pedophiles, homophobiacs, racists, sexism.  That is, people
> projecting a disturbing image of a physical self.  People=20
> distracting other players from the fun.
> Problems which can only partially be solved by design:=20
> persistent harrasment
> communicated indirectly. (hanging up postings, rumours...)

That sounds very much like what the heart of the Bungle case was.
Specifically, projecting a disturbing image of another player's self,
thus distracting from the fun, as a form of harassment.


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