[MUD-Dev] Community Relations

Matthew Mihaly diablo at best.com
Thu Jan 20 20:12:13 New Zealand Daylight Time 2000


On Thu, 20 Jan 2000, Jon A. Lambert wrote:

> I really like the police analogy.   Administrators in general behave very 
> much like civilian police.  They are just as likely to overreact or make 
> assumptions when it comes to a known "perpetrator".  I'l bet a lot of
> administrators even use "profiling" (i.e. users coming from AOL domains).
> A crime against a fellow officer invokes swift and harsh retribution.  
> Constant complainers may endure longer response times, "domestic 
> violence complaint again over at the EvilPK clan headquarters, who 
> wants to handle it?".  

Chuckle. A BWD (Bashing While Dwarf) vs. a rl DWB (Driving While Black).

 
> Assume that the role of the administrator is solely that of a police officer
> or executive government.  They may even be ranked in some heirarchy
> where there's a single authoritarian figure or committee at the top.  This 
> sort of administrator doesn't have anything to do with coding, building, 
> security.  Their roles are primarily behavior control, enforcement of law.   
> And they have the means and level of trust to perform that role without 
> recourse to a higher power.  And what if these adminstrators were elected 
> and deposed directly by users, and came from the user population.  

I'm currently writing an article for Gamasutra on this topic, more or
less. It's what I call "dynamic politics" (ie where players have real,
though not total, power over other players, and it is difficult for other
players to completely opt out of the system, or at least they lose
advantages they might otherwise have had by opting out). I don't advocate
having a single hierarchy though. I advocate multiple, competing
hierachies (basically like nations in the real world), because it's more
interesting and slightly less prone to the occassional abusive player
government.

 
> This does not eliminate dissent, partisanship, corruption, and injustice,
> obviously.  We're back to human nature again.  And it definitely does
> not guarantee "good governance/good administration".   However it
> does put power in the users' hands, perhaps a sense that this is our
> mud, we run things here.   I suppose the one could accuse the owner 
> of abject laziness and a total abrogation of responsibility.   Is it really?
> Or have they given the users a valuable gift?

And thank god it doesn't eliminate those things! They are what make
politics in muds EXCITING. Heck, one thing we are always trying to do
(subtly of course) in Achaea is ensure that peace between the various
"nations" never breaks out for long, so we always sabotage any treaties
they make by suggesting things that we know at least one party to the
treaty will eventually find completely intolerable, and thus break the
treaty, leading to exciting conflict.

 

--matt




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