[MUD-Dev] Admins as Mortals twist

Chris Jones cjones at one.net
Wed Nov 24 21:25:43 New Zealand Daylight Time 1999


"Sellers, Michael" wrote:
> 
> Raph wrote, in response to JC:
> > > My assertion is that the only real approach is to make the
> > > administration both invisible undetectable within the game world,
> > > and generally contactable only in the abstract outside of the game.
> >
> > I have a counter-assertion, which is that you need to humanize your admins
> > as much as possible. When admins screw up (which they will) and when they
> > get corrupt (which they will) and when they abuse power (which they will)
> > players tend to be more forgiving of actual people than of a faceless
> > bureaucracy.
> 
> I dunno Raph.  I agree that all those problems will happen, but I'm not sure
> I agree about 'humanizing' the admins.  I've toyed with the idea of making
> all the admin-avatars interchangeable, so you never really knew who you were
> talking to, only that you were talking to an admin.  Of course they could
> tell you their name, but heck, they might be lying or give a general answer
> or something.

And I've been toying with the idea of giving the admin the minimum
powers
necessary. An admin could possess any character, become invisible,
become
invulnerable, hop around the world, make a limited number of a limited
set
of objects, and cast any spell in the system, but that would be it.
(Sounds 
like an EQ guide or UO counsellor.) More expressive work (new areas, new
NPCs, new quest items) would have to happen with a non-logged in Admin
to
minimize the chances for corruption.

The idea would be to minimize what an admin could do. I'm concerned
about
having admin's intentionally gag other users and what that could mean 
with potential lawsuits and ownership of material transmitted by users.
I 
believe that in most cases it's more effective to give players effective
"ignore" tools.

Additionally, I don't want to have to see admins become the instant
solution to any game problem. Unless it's a real bug, the user has to
live with the choices he or she makes. Harassment is probably best dealt
with at a personal level--the admin should be more interested in making
sure that the environment works as expected and seek to compensate those
players who have been injured because of bugs.

I like the idea of anonymous admins, though. An admin isn't a
personality,
it's a position of responsibility like being a system administrator.
Individually, your sysadmin can have a wild personality when he's
offline, but when logged in to the root account, I would expect any
admin to behave in a responsible, considered manner.

Can you tell that the MOOs I've admined on have mostly been limited
audience or academic/educational?

<!--:d$-->

Chris Jones



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