[MUD-Dev] Trouble Makers or Regular Citizens

Todd McKimmey rufus at wombatgames.com
Mon Mar 27 13:57:12 New Zealand Daylight Time 2000

----- Original Message -----
From: "Justin Rogers" <justin at mlstoday.com>
To: <mud-dev at kanga.nu>
Sent: Monday, March 27, 2000 1:22 PM
Subject: [MUD-Dev] Trouble Makers or Regular Citizens

> [Compliments of Matthew Mihally]
> > You were banned for repeatedly and willfully ignoring the warnings you
> > were given. Paraphrasing what Gordon Walton said at a GDC lecture, "Ban
> > them by the hundreds." (referring to troublemakers, particularly
> > gamer troublemakers).
>      Ok,  What could a single person do that would warrant a ban.
>       So if this person is doing nothing more than speaking his mind then
>  maybe your MUD, your programming, or your mind is not ready to accept =
>  the idea that many people regard your MUD as their world now and not as =
>  an escape or past time.  Just as AD&D became lifestyle for many people, =
>  I've seen chatters engross some college students completely.  The =
>  banning or kicking of their account sends them into utter depression.

In general, there are a number of things that can warrant a ban. Excessive
harassment, spamming, threats to persons behind the character, threats to
the server itself. In actuality, ideas should never be a source of ban, but
when someone's persistent, repeated vocalization of those ideas infringes
and interrupts the play of nearly everyone else online, some action must be
taken. On LegendMUD, we generally use banning as a last-resort only,
offering in the neighborhood of dozens of warnings and lesser punishments
before using that measure.

An analogy to real life -- if the persons in apartment 3C (just down the
block from you) insist on playing their stereo at a volume of 9 at 3am, most
people won't sit around and say 'oh they're just trying to change the world
to suit them.' They'd call the police and get the thing shut off =)

Now there are cases where ideas are just not pertinent to what's going on.
On Legend, we're a historical-based mud. I once had cause to deal with
someone who kept insisting that there ought to be (insert any of a number of
fantasy elements here). As much as they'd like to change the way the world
works, and we're *very* open about ideas, the ideas, in no way shape or
form, would ever fit what was going on. You just don't go into a vegetarian
restaurant and demand a steak -- it's not going to work. Fortunately this
incident was polite and not troublesome, but there have been other, similar
instances in a context similar to this that did reach the point of
interfering with play.

And a final note -- my duty to the community of my game is to provide a
solid, balanced gaming experience. Not everyone's going to enjoy it, and
some people are going to be religiously devoted. If my action in response to
a players who is keeping me from my primary duties causes utter depression,
that's not my problem. I hate to sound cold-hearted about it, but when it
comes to games, online games in particular, I subscribe heavily to a refined
utilitarian world view =)


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