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

Matthew Mihaly diablo at best.com
Wed Nov 10 13:32:11 New Zealand Daylight Time 1999


On Wed, 10 Nov 1999, J C Lawrence wrote:

> On Tue, 9 Nov 1999 16:26:11 -0800 (PST) 
> Matthew Mihaly <diablo at best.com> wrote:
> 
> > Well, when the admins do nothing to stomp on the sort of problem
> > player we are talking about (ie ooc jerks) then the emnity WILL
> > end up on the admins, as they are shirking their duty to the
> > world. If you run an rpg, people who are obnoxious out of role
> > simply have no place.
> 
> I'm going to ignore the RP aspects of this debate as it is not a
> value system I know well.
> 
> I advocate a different style of game operation:
> 
>   The admins responsible for ensuring the logical consistency and
> mechanical functioning of the game world.  Period.  Players are
> responsible for all social structures, conflict resolution and
> behaviour.  Admins and Imps have no business or reason to operate in 
> that space.  

Well, this discussion is a bit pointless if you ignore the rp aspects of
things. Our admins/imps are all (aside from one who never is visible to
mortals) in-role Gods also, so they definitely do have business and reason
to operate in social space. They are players too.

 
> Okay, let's clarify here:
> 
>   I can log on, get together with a couple mates, define ourselves
> as the sole members of a new society which we define, go out in the
> boonies and declare some area our new empire, write a set of laws of
> our devising and capriciousness in respect to our society and which
> will only be applied to interactions with members of our society,
> define a justice process as ludicrous and impractical as we may care
> for that society, and then enact them -- all without ever requiring
> the presence or cooperation of an admin in any regard?

Yep, go ahead. You better be sure you can enforce the laws that you make
though, as the game isn't going to help you with it any more than it will
help the "lawbreakers". In this respect, it's exactly like real life. You
want to set up laws and enforce them? Better make sure you're strong
enough to do so.

> 
> > Basically, the problem I see with formally instituting detection
> > methods is that very very few crimes can be automatically
> > detected. For instance, let's say the law is: No murdering of
> > innocents. How is the system to define innocents?  
> 
> Quite.  The problem is that the implied "innocent" adjective is a
> subjective definition.  The mirror problem is that requiring rules
> based on absolute terms only invites manipulation of the absolutes
> in question.

Right, definitely. I rarely make "hard" rules about behavior like
acceptable player-killing because it just encourages the players to go run
up to that line in the sand on a regular basis and expect  never to be
punished.

> 
> > Or what if the law is that one may not attack a fellow citizen
> > unless that citizen has insulted your honour first. 
> 
> Another subjectively defined adjective.

Nod, my point was the subjectivity of it all.

> 
> > I don't see how a system can be coded to automatically detect such
> > things. The rulers of most of our guilds and cities have written
> > up codes, but just like in real life, events are never black and
> > white. 
> 
> Which is why you retain the ability for the members of a society to
> report violations of that societies rules.  This has the added and
> not insignificant benefit of allowing false accusations, threats of
> accusation, framing of the accused, etc.

Sure. I have no problem with that. My problem with your justice system was
that it's too codified and forces a trial even if the community whose laws
were broken isn't strong enough to punish the offender on its own. The
weak get tromped on, rightfully so, just like in real life (a weak person
in america isn't really weak, as they have the entire governmental system
on their side, at least if they are rich and white *g*)
--matt




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