[MUD-Dev] an essay on PK

J C Lawrence claw at varesearch.com
Fri Sep 17 16:22:36 New Zealand Standard Time 1999


On Fri, 17 Sep 1999 13:50:15 -0700 (PDT) 
Adam Wiggins <adam at angel.com> wrote:

> I ran across this while browsing the Shriner web page.  (The
> Shriners, as you may or may not recall, were a clan on Arctic MUD
> who were quite famous for their frequent PKs, and of which I was
> briefly a member.)

> http://netech.dynip.com/shriners/pk%20editorial.txt

I like:

--<cut>--
The Tao of the Hunt

I enjoy pkilling. While after 20 years of gaming (mostly RPGs) I always
appreciate the game, of course (or why bother playing it), there is
something specific that draws me continuously back to the hunt of another
player.

I'm not going to attempt to play morality games with you and justify what I
do . you are mature enough to read this, and I'm sure you can draw your own
conclusions. I'm simply going to give you a glimpse into that which you
loathe, despise and yet, are oddly curious about.  All I ask is that as you
read with scorn and derision, you ask yourself why you persist in applying
real-world morality to the gaming world ... are you so desperate in your
beliefs that you cannot accept that part of the fantasy as well?

I'm not evil by nature, certainly not in real-life. One thing you have to be
careful of is disassociating the game world from the real. It's a game. Some
play to roleplay, some play to be part of a community, I play to be feared.
I enjoy those other aspects too, of course, but they pale in comparison to
the thrill of the hunt. But if you find yourself upset in real life because
you were pkilled, or displaying any other abnormal feelings or traits that
give you pause while you pkill, step back, breathe deeply, and play some
Tetris or something.

Does it bother your sense of reality that I'm just a normal, every-day guy,
working behind a desk 50 a week and married?  That I have short-cropped hair
and wear collared shirts? That I have more suits than t-shirts? That I have
degrees on my wall, and a group of normal friends?  Ahh, you expected
Charles Manson, perhaps.  I wish I could help you, but I'm not wired
"wrong," or anti-social, or sacrificing cats in the background to the light
of red and black candles while chanting the 32nd Psalm backwards.  In fact
I'm listening to CNN right now, typing this, while my wife works out to the
latest 'Tai Bo' tape in the living room.  I'm not working out my agression
on you, or emptying my "harbored angst at the world" into our shared
fantasy.  I simply "am."  And you will deal with me, because the minute you
entered this game you made your choice.

There is no honor in gaming period, regardless of what some tell you, so I
won't argue whether this thing is honorable or not . I simply enjoy the
heart-pounding chase, the imagined panicked look in the player's eyes as he
desperately cries out for salvation and finds only a seeking blade. I thrill
in the turmoil my soul enters as I smile wickedly, looting your corpse of
all of your worldly possessions, while at the same time some vestige of
real-world morality plays the Golden Rule game with me. And then I pouch
your goods and with a rejuvenated spring in my step, begin the search for a
new target worthy of my attention.

Does it bother me on some level that I've destroyed that which you worked
for, that if we take it outside the boxes connected to each other that I
have in some way harmed you, as you keep reminding me in between all the
"fuck you's" and their ilk? No, because my alphabet, unlike yours, has 26
letters . someone obviously forget to put the G, A, M and E in yours. I don'
t pity you. You made a choice to come here . I exist simply to remind you of
your choice.

I won't reply to you if you ask me "why?" when you re-enter the game. I won'
t return your goods. I won't listen to your threats, or your promises, or
your whining. You are forgotten, lest you raise my ire again, another name
on a long list of people who asked the same questions you now ask. I won't
give you back your imagined sense of safety that I destroyed, standing over
your corpse. The online world is not all pretty pictures and safety, and I'm
your tourguide inside the shadow.  The laughter you hear in the night, as
you flee for safety?  You know who's come calling.  Run or die.

I don't gloat, or taunt, nor do I brag. I simply do, and I do so with
methodical, calculated precision. It's not personal, and it's not business
either. It's what I enjoy.  I won't rub my deed in your face after-the-fact,
because you are defeated, and that crosses a line I simply don't want to
cross.

Ironically, you created me. You came to my game, where PvP is law. You
thought you could handle it, that the risks didn't apply to you, that your
friends would protect you, that no-one would harm you because you harm
no-one else, that although it said it was a PvP game, that you would be
safe. You're wrong, very, very wrong. It's you I come for specifically, with
enlightenment at the end of a pointed blade, with a nightmare ambush from
the empty shadow, with a lesson of the harsh reality of this game written in
crimson hues on the ground as you crumple for the last time.

Don't whine. Don't bitch to the game masters and admin. Don't ask me to come
fulfill your sense of indignant righteousness and fair-play by dueling you,
or "fighting you fair." I already did, because nothing's fair here, so
everything's fair here. If you cannot defend what you have from the
predator, then you don't deserve to have it.

Do not bleat at me, little sheep, for this path you chose of your own free
will . you knew the wolves lurked here, you simply chose to ignore them.
Well I didn't ignore you, regardless of the cloak of illusion you cast about
yourself as you seek your place in this world.

- A Shriner

--<cut>--

--
J C Lawrence      Life: http://www.kanga.nu/   Home: claw at kanga.nu
---------(*)                Work (Linux/IA64): claw at varesearch.com
 ... Beware of cromagnons wearing chewing gum and palm pilots ...


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