[MUD-Dev] Community Relations

Lovecraft dave at darkages.com
Thu Jan 27 16:31:49 New Zealand Daylight Time 2000

> Geoffrey A. MacDougall wrote:
> > Has this strategy ever been successfully applied?
[empowering players with political power]
Matthew Mihaly wrote:
> I've never heard of it being applied, but I'd really like to see someone
> do it

*waves his hand* Hi.  So have I.

I had naive love and luck to do it.

Dark Ages gives players limited administrative power in in-game context.
Some players enter a hierarchy of political positions.  There are no other
direct administrators; although there is a method of owner control, which
I'll state last.

Dark Ages mechanics of politics are a game within the game.  Players "vote"
every day to support or to attack someone attempting political power.  Each
vote adds political power points, called "Clout."  Enough clout allows one
to attain office for a term.  (details are well summarized by a player in
the Dark Ages Library: http://www.darkages.com/atavism/lore/ -> Click
"Politica Dominca").

This displays a previous issue far back in this thread: partial voting.  One
can vote every day.  Technically, every twelve hours.  A citizen can vote
for multiple persons, or for the same person several times.  A citizen can
also use the mechanics to vote more than once, by spending Clout.

For administrative changes, for example, to how politics itself works, I do
what's best for the community.  If I am undecided, I hold direct citizen
Example: http://www.darkages.com/news/991212.html

> Geoffrey A. MacDougall wrote:
> > Checks and balances.  Limitations on power.  Certain acts require the
> > consent of multiple administrators...

I recently had to do change political mechanics to require assistance from
another player for some acts, such as Exile or Remove Official.  Checks and
balances have been the goal.  My understanding of political science
continually needs upgrading.

> > Matthew Mihaly wrote:
> > > It's not
> > > so easy as just letting them vote straight out though, and
> > > then vesting
> > > all legislative/executive/judiciary power in one hierarchy,
> > > because you
> > > will end up with tyranny of the majority.
> >

What is an example system that is less corrupt than the tyranny of the

I agree with Matthew's statement about the advantage of competing
hierarchies.  Dark Ages has two hierarchies.  There are two villages.
Village officials only have jurisdiction over the village.  The greatest
threat is exile, which means the criminal cannot enter the village's
territory.  As the community grows, the other villages will be given to
player control.

> Geoffrey A. MacDougall wrote:
> > An effective charter of rights (as defined in my previous posting) goes
> > long way in avoiding these problems...

> Who enumerates what rights the players have? I must have missed this in
> your post. The way I recall the system being described was that the users
> themselves would decide on such things. Also, such a charter requires
> human interpretation, presumably by the players, in such a system.

Dark Ages gives direct legislative power to players (above and beyond the
Terms of Service agreement).  I was immediately impressed by talented
legislation while playing Dark Ages; I walked out of Mileth Village to read
the Mileth Law Board where Mileth Demagogues posted their laws.

Corruption, like a weed, lives.  Since I am a developer and the only level
editor/writer/operator/scripter, I don't directly administer.  When I
receive a report of a crime, I refer it to a player Guard or Demagogue
(legislator).  When I receive a report of Guard or Demagogue corruption or
neglect, I investigate.  When necessary I remove the corrupt official.
In-game the mundanes (NPCs) have just removed the corrupt official.  One
example exists on Mileth Political Discussion Board in Dark Ages.

Similar to Dr. Cat (far back in the thread), I walk in the world as a normal
player.  I keep my real-life identity unknown on the characters that I play
for fun with.

Dave Kennerly
Dark Ages Director

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

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