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

Matthew Mihaly diablo at best.com
Mon Nov 8 22:34:49 New Zealand Daylight Time 1999

On Mon, 8 Nov 1999, J C Lawrence wrote:

> Matthew Mihaly <diablo at best.com> 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.

This logic fails, I think, when applied to obnoxious ooc jerks, of which
there is no equivalent in real life communities. I run a very permissive
game, and the players have a LOT of latitude in doing things to each
other. I will accept nearly any in-character action because I agree
completely with the fact that social predators play fantastic roles in
society from the story/excitement point of view. I don't baby my players,
and they just have to accept that sometimes good people get killed or
abused too.  But, at least in a roleplaying world such as mine, permitting
people to be ooc-ly obnoxious is simply detrimental to the entire spirit
of the game, and they need squashing immediately.

> 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?

A nicely-played social predator adds tons of value. Hatred is good. An ooc
obnoxious predator is detrimental, because there instead of hatred
combined with perhaps grudging respect, is hatred combined with annoyance
in the manner of which one is annoyed with an eight year old running
around whacking people with a stick.


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