[MUD-Dev] Community Relations

Ola Fosheim Grøstad <olag@ifi.uio.no> Ola Fosheim Grøstad <olag@ifi.uio.no>
Wed Jan 19 15:07:09 New Zealand Daylight Time 2000

Matthew Mihaly wrote:

> things for the sake of creating them.  Whatever the reason, all are goals,
> and it's not for us to say whether the goals are valid or not. In fact,
> that's a meaningless statement. If someone has a goal, that goal is valid,
> for if it were invalid, it couldn't exist as a goal, and it does.

Let's be really pedantic. It is clearly possible to have invalid goals.
You will never reach it, but you can still act and believe that what you
do will get you there ("there" is ill-defined). That said, it isn't
obvious that people act in order to satisfy explicit goals.

It is rather obvious that for ethical reasons, the MUD should somehow be
beneficial to the players and at least not damaging to them.  This is
the criterion which the validity of most systems are judged by in a
democracy, and I see no reason for why MUDs should be different.  If you
create a social interaction system then it is rather irresponsible to
claim that you are irresponsible! If enough stupid people act
cluelessly, perhaps with suicides as the outcome, then a law is passed
and a bad practice has became illegal.  Do you need laws to be passed
in order to act responsible??

You may of course claim the anarchist religion as your belief system,
but that doesn't really fit with the way you seem to run your mud ;).

> Poorly phrased by me. My point is that regardless of where the content is
> coming from (players or creator), the fact is, the world is _owned_ by the
> creator (or his assignee). He does not have any real responsibilities to
> his players unless he chooses to accept them.

I hope you realize that the idea of "ownership" is as culturally
dependent as that of "moral". So basically you cannot dismiss
responsibilities assumed by a culture without also dismissing the
validity (or connotations) of "ownership".  So the basic issue is which
"system of beliefs" is most sound and rigorously thought out? I'll claim
that you probably will have to look at philosophy and
cross-cultural/cross-religious invariance to find a decent answer.

Is is rather obvious from a psychological perspective that some admins
choose their belief system based on what is convenient in that
particular situation. They would probably choose a different set of
beliefs in a different situation. This is generally not viewed as having
high moral standards?

You are indeed responsible the moment you open your system to the
general public, even in the legal sense of the word (depending on how
"public" is defined).  Perhaps you even explicitly invite people, making
promises? How can you then deny responsibility? You assume more
responsibility when you are public than when you run a private closed
MUD where the players can be assumed to understand the premises.  Do you
refute this?  A MUD is not a party in your private house, and you are
in fact not allowed to abuse visitors to your private home either.
A club is perhaps more fitting for analogies.

I'm starting to believe that when you say "right" you actually mean: it
is "legally possible". A lot of bad stuff is possible and legal,
depending on which country you live in. So that is really not
appropriate base for discussing ethical issues.  Or maybe what you are
saying is "I am making a lot of bad decisions that make other people
miserable, but I want to deny this feeling of guilt, therefore I assume
the position that all goals and practices are acceptable"?

I hope we can avoid recreating this old thread in it's entirety.


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