[MUD-Dev] Community Relations

Jon A. Lambert jlsysinc at ix.netcom.com
Thu Jan 20 22:46:31 New Zealand Daylight Time 2000

Marian Griffith wrote:
>> "Thy shall not insult or offend any member of the administration"
>> and
>> "Thy shall not insult or offend any player"
>> Note that the former is usually enforced with great enthusiasm, while
>> enforcement of the latter is haphazard and oftentimes explicitly 
>> non-existent.
>> Any thoughts as to why this is so?  
>That is easy :)  The person's capable of executing the punishment are
>all falling  in the first category.  So insulting an admin  means you
>are angering somebody capable of immediate and definitive retribution
>Insulting a player means the victim must convince the same admin that
>the insult was indeed worthy of being banned for. Unless you are very
>creative or persistent  the admin will have a lot more room for sober
>reflection in the second case.

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?".  

There are differences though.  Civilian police (generally speaking)
exist theoretically "to serve and protect".  They don't _own_ the town, 
the citizens do.   The must respond to demands and maintain their integrity. 
And that often breaks down.  A badly adminstered mud can be very 
much like a corrupt town police force/government.  IRL, Citizens usually 
have the power to take up pitchforks, overthrow the system and turn the 
buggers out.   Something quite rare in the mud world, no?   This is 
something Ola has posted quite frequently on.   There are a lot of posts 
on this thread about ownership, who _owns_ the mud.  I think Travis' game 
shop analogy is the best. (mostly because I'm familiar with a local game 
shop with that exact setup--- and has very mud-like problems...  :)
I have argued for and been in the camp of implementor ownership over
user ownership.  The other seems unnatural to me...that is it is antithetic
to my held ideologies.  I DO NOT want to discuss that here though, 
the roots of things, and whether they are rights or wrongs are don't 
matter here.   But I do want to posit a setup that might be interesting, 
although I'm not certain how _stable_ it would be.

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.  

Now it would take quite a bit of patience for an implementor to sit
idly by and wait for some stable form of social structure to develop on 
the mud, if ever.  There may be some audiences (playerbases) with
which it might be more effective.  (something akin to the population 
of MOO/Mush world comes to mind though I may be wrong).

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?

An interesting experiment?  Has anyone attempted anything like it?  
Is "the LambdaMOO" run anything like this?

--*     Jon A. Lambert - TychoMUD Email: jlsysinc at nospam.ix.netcom.com     *--
--*     Mud Server Developer's Page <http://jlsysinc.home.netcom.com>      *--
--* "No Free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms." Thomas Jefferson *--

MUD-Dev maillist  -  MUD-Dev at kanga.nu

More information about the MUD-Dev mailing list