player politics (was RE: [MUD-Dev] An introduction...)

Sellers Sellers
Mon Jan 10 12:22:57 New Zealand Daylight Time 2000

Dave Kennerly wrote:
> Perhaps some members of the list could point out--to me--some informative
> no-nonsense writings on player politics: in depth analyses of techniques;
> not fluffy caricatures.  For good example, the justice paper that was in
> Game Developer's magazine sometime in the last year (sorry link unfound).
> For bad example, "Implementing God":

If you find anything like what you're looking for Dave, please let us all
know!  This issue is of perennial interest.  Though frankly, I think such a
paper has yet to be written.  There have been some good, if limited,
analyses of player politics on LambdaMOO and from a few MUDs that have tried
this, but (IMO) the implementation and/or prior state of the game has always
gotten in the way.  I think this is one of a few areas with some pretty
juicy PhD theses waiting to happen.  

My own research has led me right back to the basics: for example, the
creation of the Magna Carta, the Plymouth Compact, and Penn's Frame of
Government.  Seeing how even just these came about, what issues people were
responding to, how they were handled, and how well they fared, has been very
instructive for me.  Of course, I now have an even keener interest in
Jefferson's philosophy than I did before. :)  

As you say too, a grounding in anthropology and other forms of social
science will help a lot.  It's also been helpful for me to think of my task
in this area as designing the bedrock systems out of which player political
systems can grow, rather than trying to design the political systems myself.
I believe he less central planning we attempt here, the better.  

Mike Sellers

MUD-Dev maillist  -  MUD-Dev at

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