[MUD-Dev] players who "take away from the game"

J C Lawrence claw at cp.net
Mon Nov 8 18:56:06 New Zealand Daylight Time 1999


On Fri, 5 Nov 1999 16:55:42 -0800 (PST) 
Matthew Mihaly <diablo at best.com> wrote:

> On Fri, 5 Nov 1999, msew wrote:

> I would phrase it as: If you detract more from the world than you
> contribute to it, see ya.

Despite the fact that I agree with you, you are treading on very
fragile ground there.  

  Is it a game?
  It's a SERVICE. Not a game. It's a WORLD. Not a game.
  It's a COMMUNITY. Not a game. Anyone who says, "it's
  just a game" is missing the point.

Communities enclude people you don't like as well as people who do
things you don't like.  The defining line between "don't like" and
"damaging" is entirely subjective.  Realise that you opinion of what 
the game definition and purpose are, are not likely to be shared by
your players to any level of detail, and in fact your players will
have slightly more opinions about what the game is really about than 
there are players.

  J C Lawrence's "stating the obvious" law
  The more people you get, the more versions of "what
  we're really doing" you're going to get. 

Consider the function of a a social predator.  He does "bad things".
Yet, conversely, he prompts the development of the society in new
and potentially interesting fashions, and can in fact be the
catalyst which invokes a society and a sense of group from an
otherwise disassociated group of individualists.Yet that social
predator does all the things we consider otherise abhorrent.

Individually the social predator detracts far more from the game
than he contributes.  Yet, he creates far more value in the game by
the reactions against him than he damages.

Which is it?

Now this is not to argue moral nihilism, just that you have to be
very rigorous in forcing yourself to take very pan-determined views
of players, their functions, and their activities within the game
world.  Additionally you'll have to bear in mind that your players
are actually the ones who define the game in any substantive sense,
not you.  You may be the originator, but all you did was to supply
copious quantities of manure.  The players breathed life into that
pile of horse puckey.

  J C Lawrence on Utopias
  Don't strive for perfection, strive for expressive fertility.
  You can't create utopia, and if you did nobody would want
  to live there.

Agreement doesn't always equal correctness.

--
J C Lawrence                              Internet: claw at kanga.nu
----------(*)                            Internet: coder at kanga.nu
...Honorary Member of Clan McFud -- Teamer's Avenging Monolith...


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