[MUD-Dev] Community Relations

Ola Fosheim Grøstad <olag@ifi.uio.no> Ola Fosheim Grøstad <olag@ifi.uio.no>
Thu Jan 20 01:09:55 New Zealand Daylight Time 2000

Dundee wrote:
> Ola Fosheim Gr=F8stad <olag at ifi.uio.no> wrote:
> > Most admins will justify anything they do (I had no choice, it is my =
> > he asked for it, it would have happened anyway...), and that's rather=
 typical of
> > people that acquire positions where they can exercise.

..power. For the record, that sentence wasn't meant to target you
specifically, I was aiming at some attitudes that has been aired on this
list... since forever.

> right.  I still don't think that I *did* deal with it.  I think I tried=
> couldn't do it, and finally banned the player just to shut him up.  I p=

Mmmh, but if I got it right, you didn't cause the real problem which was
that banning was used in the heat of the moment by a person that (as far
as I can tell) probably shouldn't have held those powers in the first
place? I think perhaps only one calm person should have access to such
functionality, and that you need policies for how to deal with such
situations before they happen?

I can't tell you what to do explicitly, due to my lack of admin
experience (and I don't want it either, if I can avoid it), but if you
are interested in the theme, then I really think you ought to look at
some literature on group dynamics and pathological communication
(psychology, marriage counselling etc). That ought to provide some tools
for understanding why things went the way they did.

The Smith book chapter could be useful too, as it suggests that you have
a mediator that handles admin-player conflicts. It was obviously
difficult for you to resolve the conflict because the player had reasons
to distrust the admins ("how can such a bad admin be allowed to stay in
his position?"). A (very) skilled person which both parties trust can
through "arbitration" or some similar strategy suggest a

You should look at the Suler papers too. I am not sure if I agree with
everything (do I ever??), I think the "bad boys" paper is too biased
towards the admin perspective, but...

Another area to look for ideas for administration is decision/control
systems used in organizations (how to avoid bad decisions, risk analysis
). Maybe certain actions should only be executed by two admins etc.

> But I'm not happy with that solution, and I don't like the aura of fear=
> sense now on the game message boards and such.  People are afraid to co=
> now - even about legitimate problems with game mechanics (and they were=
> shy about reporting these problems before).

So how does your experiences as an admin compare to your or your
friends' experiences with "bad admins"/"clueless designers" on UO?  What
does the other side of the fence look like, so to speak?

> > I am personally in favour of the empathic/autonomous/peerage with no =
> > admin, but that assumes a design without serious flaws...
> I think we're stuck with the fascist model.  heh.

When thinking about it, it is probably only the autonomous model that
requires a fairly flawless design. Empathic seems to go with fairly
small and tight community?

> prevent it.  We still don't even have a code of conduct posted, for eit=
> players or admins.

I wonder if such work for players (Do they read them)?  It ought to be a
requirement for admins.  If you don't act consistently then you probably
can expect to be accused of favouring your friends. If you don't have a
policy applicable to most situations what is there then to prevent an
upset admin to make an ass of himself.

> I wish there was a check-list somewhere.  Setting up a mud: a) Post thi=
s, b)
> Post that, c) Decide this or that, d) etc.

Maybe Raph could get you one? :)


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