[MUD-Dev] Corruption of the game, profit and ethics

Greg Miller gmiller at classic-games.com
Thu Jul 13 05:13:57 New Zealand Standard Time 2000


  S. Patrick Gallaty wrote:

> 1) Would it be unethical for a game company to engineer an online game to
> exploit compulsive/addictive personalities?  If yes, then is it a matter of
> degree?

I think this is just a symptom of the tendency to classify everything 
people enjoy doing as an addiction. I don't see anything wrong with 
encouraging players to play more, even if you charge by the hour.

> 2) How is this differentiated from subliminal ads (1-frame, backwards
> masking) or other deliberately obfuscated influence mechanisms designed to
> alter or influence a buyer's decisions?  Note that other such influence
> systems have been outlawed and banished as hurtful and manipulative.

Whether subliminal ads really work is still open to debate. The 
difference is that the EverQuest design characteristics you mention are 
not particularly hidden.

It's also worth mentioning that many of the same design characteristics 
apply to many free muds.
--
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