[MUD-Dev] distributed objects

Charles Hughes charles.hughes at bigfoot.com
Tue Feb 15 23:44:47 New Zealand Daylight Time 2000

On Tuesday, February 15, 2000 10:11 PM, J C Lawrence [SMTP:claw at kanga.nu] 
> On Tue, 15 Feb 2000 18:40:06 -0500
> Charles Hughes <charles.hughes at bigfoot.com> wrote:
> > In a normal game, such a system ("cheat all you want...") is not
> > possible.
> What is your definition of "normal"
>   -- Is the definition of the game to achieve certain goals thru the
> use of only pre-defined methods, or authorised manipulations of
> those methods?

I was referring to this for the purposes of my posting.

> Or
>   -- Is the game the provisioning of a base set of mechanics (the
> game world and server mechanics) within a larger context of
> mechanics (RL), and the accomplishment of goals within that
> arrangement?

No, for the reasons you state below.

> The first demands some level of active cooperation from the players
> in sustaining the fantasy.  The latter is a free-for-all where
> running smurf attacks against other players and hacking their
> clients, network connections, bank accounts, etc are all "fair play"
> (modulo RL legal systems).

There is a third definition which you did not consider, but which
I considered to be cheating for the purposes of my post.

> I'd argue that there is a sliding scale here with few to no hard
> drawn lines or end points.  The more this discussion continues (this
> is not its first time on the list) the more I come to the view that
> the analytical divide needs to be made cleanly at the VR/RL divide.
> The game provides certain mechanics.  Anything possible within those
> mechanics, as they are ___implemented___, is "permissable".

That's not the same as the first or second definition you gave.
Specifically, you left out a third definition:

	-- Is the definition of the game to achieve certain goals thru
	the use of pre-defined methods and their interactions?

If a player executes one or more pre-definied methods but the result
is not what the game developers intended, it is unreasonable (yet very
very common) to accuse the player of cheating.  Such examples are quite
simple to think of - buying a negative quantity of goods for instance.

> Manipulation of out of band data for in-game benefits (eg DoS
> attacks against other players) is not permissable.

That is covered under your second definition, and definitely cheating
from my point of view.

> Now, for say a particular game (eg StoryTelling, RP, etc), you may
> further restrict the available in-game mechanics to a smaller set
> than are actually implemented, but the initial divide, the initial
> base set of what you will accept players doing, always starts at the
> VR/RL divide.

Absolutely.  Stepping outside the VR puts a player in the position of
a god with regard to the VR.  It should not be possible for a player
to cheat while playing inside the VR.

I'm tired. Good night. :)

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