[MUD-Dev] Community Relations

Jon A. Lambert jlsysinc at ix.netcom.com
Fri Jan 21 22:57:52 New Zealand Daylight Time 2000

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

I've thought along those lines, but it doesn't resolve one of the common
problems of administrating a space.  In particular, the multiple heirarchies
approach doesn't address the problem of the complete expulsion of a 
particular annoying user from that mud space.  The toading or banning 
of a player completely from the mud.  I assume you reserve that power.
I'm talking about giving that power over to the general user administrators
as well.  

>> 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.

Sure the many nations may address user enjoyment along the lines of high 
drama and political intrigue, etc, etc.   I think competing administrative
hierarchies will likely fall into the hands of those directly at odds with each
other along the lines of good play, good behavior.  I'm thinking more along 
the lines of a mud space as local club and the notions that they will come 
to a common (fairly stable) code of conduct in whatever game they happen
t be playing.  Obviously high political intrigue and exciting conflict do exist 
"in game" within the framework of many owner-administrated mu*s.   
Often the owner defines certain actions that will not be tolerated at all within 
the space as detrimental to playerbase in general.   They could be along the 
lines of profanity, harassment, cheating, killing, etc.   
That's what I mean by user ownership.  They decide how they want to play, 
and the penalties for not playing their way.  It's their collective ball and they 
decide who can play and who can't.

--*     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 *--

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