[MUD-Dev] Trouble Makers or Regular Citizens

Par Winzell zell at alyx.com
Mon Mar 27 12:42:48 New Zealand Daylight Time 2000

Justin Rogers writes:
 >      Ok,  What could a single person do that would warrant a ban.  I've
 >  read the many things this particular person has done via his TFC memoirs
 >  or whatever you might call them.  It seems this person spends a bit too
 >  much time online and may take your worlds far to seriously.  Since this
 >  person lives in your world they try to impose changes as they would in
 >  the real world.  They want to make the world you offer them more
 >  realistic and fair.

I've heard this sentiment expressed so often, but I never understood it.
I don't think you can correlate the 'quality' of a player to how deeply
they live their character at all, and I think the urge to do so is a bit
condescending. Of course, a player who doesn't really give a damn about
your Mud is unlikely to care about specific things you do to it, but I'm
not sure this is the attitude to encourage. :)

When I run a Mud I want my players to live the reality to the fullest.
Yes, this means that when the rules of the reality change for the worse
(to them, subjectively), they get upset -- and that's right and proper.
If they wake up one morning half as strong as yesterday, they do right
to not only question why, but to wave their little mortal fists at the
skies and curse the powers that be. I'll even acknowledge that it's not
so easy to maintain in your mind the distinction between doing that and
OOC bitching and moaning...

But, that's the important distinction, and in my experience the people
who indulge in the latter are essentially brats; the ones who don't are
not. For those who us who had their formative Mudding years back with
our fellow university students, the devastating drop in mental age over
the years is difficult to see as anything but the death of a great era.

It's certainly not only a matter of age; I know lots of adults who write
long essays about the injustices of the archwizard departments, and many
teenagers who play with commitment and grace. But then, I also think of
that adult as tragically infantile and hold the teenager in high regard.

Self-centered complaint is a cornerstone of recent culture. I'm reminded
of a spoof WW2 headline from the guys at The Onion: "Returning G.I.'s vow
to spawn whiniest generation ever."  The verb 'whine' is useful in that
Yiddish way; its definition would take pages of explanation and examples,
but people immediately understand what it means. You say the banning and
or kicking of a player's accounts can send them into utter depression;
I say it is one of the majestic effects of Muds that they can give some
high school kid one last chance at actually growing up.

The most important personality trait a Mud god can possess is arrogance.
Players respond instinctively to a genuine alpha personality. The second
most important one is fairness -- if the god lacks it, the Mud will not
be a good one. But if the god lacks boundaries, the Mud won't even be a
Mud -- it will be a circle jerk.


PS. There is a degree of devil's advocate in this posting.

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